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 The Irish Response to the Siege of Gaza

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PostSubject: The Irish Response to the Siege of Gaza   Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:50 pm

What is Ireland doing about the siege of Gaza? After watching John Ging, the Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) on Al Jazeera (an Irish man) who seems so frustrated and enraged by the situation, I wondered who else is involved from Ireland and what can be done.

I think that Caoimhe Butterly was on the Dignity, the relief boat that arrived in Gaza last week damaged by the Israeli navy, and is acting as a monitor with a peace organisation.

Aengus O'Snodaigh visited Gaza last November 8 and wrote about the difficult conditions and lack of basic supplies in Gaza back at that time http://www.sinnfein.ie/news/detail/36087

Micheal Martin made this statement on our behalf last week:

Quote :
Minister for Foreign Affairs Condemns Killing of UNWRA (UN Relief and Works Agency) Personnel in Gaza Air-Strikes
29/12/2008
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Micheál Martin, T.D., has again today issued a strong condemnation of the continuing Israeli air-strikes which has now resulted in an estimated 300 people being killed since the air-strikes began Saturday.

“I particularly deplore that among the dead are one staff member and seven students with the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) who were killed in Israeli air strikes yesterday. It is appalling that staff and students involved with a humanitarian agency such as UNWRA, which is headed by an Irish national, John Ging, and is performing such a vital role in providing humanitarian supplies and services to the population of Gaza, should die in this way.”

“I repeat that there is no military solution to the current situation in Gaza and join with others in the international community, including UN Secretary General Ban, in urging an immediate end to the Israeli military campaign and air strikes against Gaza as well as an end to all rocket attacks against southern Israel launched from Gaza.”

“The only viable solution at this stage is the restoration of a genuine and fully honoured ceasefire throughout Gaza and southern Israel. All crossing points into Gaza must also be opened immediately for the passage of vital humanitarian supplies and to enable agencies such as UNWRA to continue to play its vital, life-saving role”, concluded the Minister.

Ends+++
29th December 2008
Press Office

Demonstrations outside the Israeli Embassy I feel are water off a duck's back. Is there anything else that Ireland can do about the terrible onslaught on Gaza?


Last edited by cactus flower on Fri Jan 16, 2009 6:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Response to the Siege of Gaza   Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:35 pm

I thought you supported neutrality, no? Wink
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Response to the Siege of Gaza   Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:39 pm

Oh and my actual opinion - we should be doing alot more but it is hard to see what we can do, particularly given that we are not currently on the Security Council. But we should be using our diplomatic voice to at least state our position which should be for a ceasefire, obviously. Hamas don't exactly have clean hands in this situation but clearly the Israeli policy is entirely depraved of any decency. Beyond which, their policy is perhaps the worst imaginable. I wonder how many Israeli soldiers they'll manage to kidnap before the Israelis call the whole thing off as yet another failure. Their notions of keeping the media out are also ridiculously stupid on their part - they merely give an even greater voice to the Palestinians whilst I presume, at least, their aim is to deprive them of that.


Last edited by johnfás on Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Response to the Siege of Gaza   Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:40 pm

johnfás wrote:
I thought you supported neutrality, no? Wink

No.
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Response to the Siege of Gaza   Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:23 pm

cactus,

i don't think our defence forces are trained for desert warfare, nor would they last 10 minutes against the IDF.
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Response to the Siege of Gaza   Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:31 pm

zakalwe wrote:
cactus,

i don't think our defence forces are trained for desert warfare, nor would they last 10 minutes against the IDF.

They're in Chad. Our Mr. John Ging has been in Gaza doing what seems to be good work since 2006. Most of the IDF are reservists and didn't do too well against Hizbollah.

Not that I'm suggesting we invade.
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Response to the Siege of Gaza   Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:36 pm

I know what my response is to this. . The Anger thread doesn't go far enough
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Response to the Siege of Gaza   Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:57 pm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7813762.stm

This is John Ging talking about how the school was hit: calling for Geneva Convention accountability under the law for every life they take.
He calls for an independent investigation of all actions on both sides.

He says the school was clearly indicated by lit up UN flags and that the Israeli army was given the co-ordinates of the school.
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Response to the Siege of Gaza   Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:54 pm

06/01/2009 - 18:48:37 Breaking News

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Dublin tonight to protest over the deepening violence in the Gaza conflict.

As around 300 people staged a rally outside the Israeli Embassy in Ballsbridge, Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin condemned the latest Israeli air strike which killed at least 45 civilians at two United Nations-run schools.

Politicians, academics, union leaders and members of the Palestinian-Irish and Lebanese-Irish communities addressed the rally which marched to the US and Egyptian Embassies.

Demonstrators called on the Irish government to break diplomatic relations with Israel in light of the current offensive against Gaza.

Mr Martin later said he was appalled by the indiscriminate attack by Israeli air forces on the schools which resulted in so many civilian fatalities, including children, who were simply sheltering from the conflict taking place around them.

“The death and suffering, as well as the humanitarian deprivation, now being inflicted on the people of Gaza as a result of the continuation of the Israeli Operation Cast Lead cannot be justified in any way and must now be brought to an immediate end,” he said.

“I again would like to make the strongest appeal for an immediate cessation of all violence in and from Gaza and for the putting in place of an effective and sustainable ceasefire and the facilitation of urgent humanitarian access.

“The international community must re-double its efforts to halt the carnage now taking place in Gaza. Ireland will continue to work closely with our EU and international partners to achieve the earliest diplomatic resolution of this crisis.”

At the US Embassy, protestors demanded an end to the current policy of the Bush administration.

Meanwhile demonstrations outside the Egyptian Embassy were aimed at putting pressure on the Egyptian government to open the border crossings with Gaza to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza and to allow citizens out.

Richard Boyd Barrett, of the Irish Anti-War Movement, said: “The murderous week-long assault on Gaza by Israel, that has claimed the lives of over 500 lives men women and children – wiping out entire families – and now the disgraceful decision to invade Gaza is rapidly increasing the death toll and bringing medical services and civilian infrastructure to the brink of collapse.

“Israel’s brazen justification of this attack and its callous indifference to the civilian casualties, is a shocking confirmation that the Israeli government see Palestinians as a sub-human group whose lives count for less than other human beings.”

Labour’s Eamon Gilmore said statements of condemnation from individual countries are no longer enough.

“No other democratic state would be allowed to behave in the way Israel has done for the last ten days. Resolute international action, using diplomatic and other pressure, is now required to bring an end to this conflict,” he added.
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Response to the Siege of Gaza   Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:23 pm

Copy and paste the following into word document (or whatever you're using yourself) print out loads of copies and place them in a prominent position wherever you see Israeli goods for sale. For example in Tesco's Israeli spud section.

The country who produced these goods murder children. Boycott Israeli goods
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Response to the Siege of Gaza   Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:35 pm

johnfás wrote:
Oh and my actual opinion - we should be doing alot more but it is hard to see what we can do, particularly given that we are not currently on the Security Council. But we should be using our diplomatic voice to at least state our position which should be for a ceasefire, obviously. Hamas don't exactly have clean hands in this situation but clearly the Israeli policy is entirely depraved of any decency. Beyond which, their policy is perhaps the worst imaginable. I wonder how many Israeli soldiers they'll manage to kidnap before the Israelis call the whole thing off as yet another failure. Their notions of keeping the media out are also ridiculously stupid on their part - they merely give an even greater voice to the Palestinians whilst I presume, at least, their aim is to deprive them of that.

Even if we were on the Security Council, the US would use its veto and the discussion would be behind closed doors. The SC participants describe it as disfunctional.

The things one can do seem to be demonstrating at the US and Eygyptian embassies as is happening today, maximum diplomatic pressure, sending money for food and medicines and as floatingingalway says, boycotting Israeli goods. The EU is getting more involved with Israel so that is another avenue to keep an eye on.
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Response to the Siege of Gaza   Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:00 am

There was a time when Mr Cowen, in particular, was openly and very, critical of Israel, even when he was minister for foreign affairs. He's been neutered since mind you. The Israelis were not impressed, to put it mildly.

The Irish response thus far has been absolutely pathetic, as usual.

Time to expel the Israeli ambassador, impose economic sanctions and a boycott. Fuck waiting around for those useless cretins in the UN.

That's my take on it. I know many will disagree, but there you have it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Response to the Siege of Gaza   Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:26 am

Hermes wrote:
There was a time when Mr Cowen, in particular, was openly and very, critical of Israel, even when he was minister for foreign affairs. He's been neutered since mind you. The Israelis were not impressed, to put it mildly.

The Irish response thus far has been absolutely pathetic, as usual.

Time to expel the Israeli ambassador, impose economic sanctions and a boycott. Fuck waiting around for those useless cretins in the UN.

That's my take on it. I know many will disagree, but there you have it.

I don't disagree at all.
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Response to the Siege of Gaza   Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:06 am

This might possibly be the wrong thread to post this on. Feel free to move it.

Here's a press release just issued by Mairead Corrigan Maguire, one of the founders of Peace People.

Quote :
PRESS RELEASE:
FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION

NOBEL PEACE LAUREATE, MAIREAD MAGUIRE SUPPORTS CALLS FOR INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL FOR ISRAELI WAR CRIMES.

Nobel Peace Laureate, Mairead Maguire has today written to the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon and Father Miguel D’Escoto President of United Nations General Assembly adding her voice to the many calls from International Jurists, Human Rights rganizations and individuals, for the UN General Assembly to seriously consider establishing an International Criminal Tribunal for Israel (ICTI) in view of the ongoing Israeli atrocities against the people of Gaza and Palestine.

An ICTI can be established by the UN General Assembly as a ‘subsidiary organ’ under article 22 of the UN Charter. Article 22 of the UN Charter states the UN General Assembly may establish such subsidiary organs as it deems necessary for the performance of its functions. The purpose of the ICTI would be to investigate and prosecute suspected Israeli war criminals for offences against the Palestinian people.

Maguire said:

“In November 2008 I visited Gaza and was shocked at the suffering of the people of Gaza, being under ‘seige’ as they are for over two years. This collective punishment by the Israeli Government, has lead to a great humanitarian crisis. Collective punishment of the civilian community by the Israeli Government breaks the Geneva Convention, is illegal and is a war crime and crime against humanity.

Instead of protecting the civilian community of Gaza and relieving their suffering by lifting the ‘siege’, the Israeli military have
carried out 7 days consecutive bombardment of civilians, by sea and air. Dropping Israeli bombs from the air and sea on unarmed civilians, many women and children, destroying mosques, hospitals, and homes, and infrastructure, is illegal and constitutes war crimes. The deaths of people in Gaza is now over 600 with over 2,500 people injured – many women and children. The infrastructure of Gaza has been destroyed, and the people cut off from the world – including journalists, Humanitarian workers, locked out of Gaza, and unable to go to the aid of the people.

The UN must help uphold Human Rights and Justice for the Palestinian People, by seriously considering establishing an International Criminal Tribunal for Israel, (ICTI) in order that the Israeli Government be held accountable for war crimes.”

Mairead Maguire (Nobel Peace Laureate) www.peacepeople.com
4th January, 2009.
ENDS
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Response to the Siege of Gaza   Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:17 am

This is pretty well in line with what John Ging of UNWRA is calling for.

Eygypt and Libya are separately putting up some kind of cease fire proposal to the UN tonight. It seems unlikely that Israel will stop unless stopped.

Accountability is needed but it will be too late for the nearly 800 dead and nearly 3,000 injured Palestinians in the last week.
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Response to the Siege of Gaza   Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:18 am

This is pretty well in line with what John Ging of UNWRA is calling for.

Eygypt and Libya are separately putting up some kind of cease fire proposal to the UN tonight. It seems unlikely that Israel will stop unless stopped.

Accountability is needed but it will be too late for the nearly 800 dead and nearly 3,000 injured Palestinians in the last week.
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Response to the Siege of Gaza   Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:18 am

This is pretty well in line with what John Ging of UNWRA is calling for.

Eygypt and Libya are separately putting up some kind of cease fire proposal to the UN tonight. It seems unlikely that Israel will stop unless stopped.

Accountability is needed but it will be too late for the nearly 800 dead and nearly 3,000 injured Palestinians in the last week.
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Response to the Siege of Gaza   Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:41 am

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1231167284154&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

This article in the Jerusalem Post says that Ireland is one of the most pro-Palestinian States.


Quote :
For instance, when an Irish radio station interviewed Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor on Saturday, the presenter asked the following question: "Shouldn't Israel be ashamed of itself?"

Palmor's response, that a country does not have to be ashamed of itself for defending itself, is beside the point. What is significant is the tone and tenor of the question, and the mood it reflects.

Ireland, according to foreign ministry officials, is currently one of the European countries most antagonistic to Israel, and a country where the hostility of the press is matched by the tone of the government.

An example of the toxic environment in Ireland is a letter published in the Irish Times on Monday by Irish politician Chris Andrews calling Israel's action state terrorism and calling for the expulsion of Israel's ambassador to Ireland

The Post is a good place to find the Israeli view of the Gaza offensive.
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Response to the Siege of Gaza   Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:47 pm

Breaking News (today)

The Church of Ireland has donated €25,000 to help a hospital at breaking point in embattled Gaza with an influx of patients as the Israeli offensive against Hamas continues.

The church said today the donation was in response to an appeal for help from the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, the Rt Rev Suheil Dawani, whose diocese operates the Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza City.

The Church of Ireland said the hospital was providing essential frontline medical and emergency humanitarian services to those coming or being brought directly to it.

Additionally it was receiving patients transferred by UNRWA – the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees – from the government Hospital Al Shiffa for emergency inpatient and surgical treatment of the wounded and injured.

The church added: “As a non-partisan well established hospital, it is receiving patients from all directions. The number of casualties arriving at the hospital in the present tragic situation is straining its resources and ability to cope almost beyond breaking point.”

The donation of €25,000) had been made by the Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal, the Church of Ireland World Aid and Development Programme.
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Response to the Siege of Gaza   Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:02 pm

the irish govt should put pressure on both hamas and israel to cease all military operations and allow medical aid and food etc to reach civilians within gaza.
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Response to the Siege of Gaza   Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:29 am

cactus flower wrote:
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1231167284154&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

This article in the Jerusalem Post says that Ireland is one of the most pro-Palestinian States.


Quote :
For instance, when an Irish radio station interviewed Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor on Saturday, the presenter asked the following question: "Shouldn't Israel be ashamed of itself?"

Palmor's response, that a country does not have to be ashamed of itself for defending itself, is beside the point. What is significant is the tone and tenor of the question, and the mood it reflects.

Ireland, according to foreign ministry officials, is currently one of the European countries most antagonistic to Israel, and a country where the hostility of the press is matched by the tone of the government.

An example of the toxic environment in Ireland is a letter published in the Irish Times on Monday by Irish politician Chris Andrews calling Israel's action state terrorism and calling for the expulsion of Israel's ambassador to Ireland

The Post is a good place to find the Israeli view of the Gaza offensive.

I've read the whole article and the part dealing with Ireland seems to be a pretty fair summary of how Ireland's public space perceives Israel and the Israelis. I have certainly heard a lot of commentary privately which has been utterly scathing about the existence of Israel at all.

Shouldn't we as a nation, in the light of our own peace process, be assertively pushing a position that Gaza and the West Bank should immediately form the independent Palestinian nation and that both the new Palestine and Israel be secure from attack within their own borders?
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Response to the Siege of Gaza   Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:42 am

Ronald Binge wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1231167284154&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

This article in the Jerusalem Post says that Ireland is one of the most pro-Palestinian States.


Quote :
For instance, when an Irish radio station interviewed Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor on Saturday, the presenter asked the following question: "Shouldn't Israel be ashamed of itself?"

Palmor's response, that a country does not have to be ashamed of itself for defending itself, is beside the point. What is significant is the tone and tenor of the question, and the mood it reflects.

Ireland, according to foreign ministry officials, is currently one of the European countries most antagonistic to Israel, and a country where the hostility of the press is matched by the tone of the government.

An example of the toxic environment in Ireland is a letter published in the Irish Times on Monday by Irish politician Chris Andrews calling Israel's action state terrorism and calling for the expulsion of Israel's ambassador to Ireland

The Post is a good place to find the Israeli view of the Gaza offensive.

I've read the whole article and the part dealing with Ireland seems to be a pretty fair summary of how Ireland's public space perceives Israel and the Israelis. I have certainly heard a lot of commentary privately which has been utterly scathing about the existence of Israel at all.

Shouldn't we as a nation, in the light of our own peace process, be assertively pushing a position that Gaza and the West Bank should immediately form the independent Palestinian nation and that both the new Palestine and Israel be secure from attack within their own borders?

Spot on. Ireland has come through years of violent conflict and should frame its criticism with the experience we have gained of this. I'm not sure if we are at the moment. I mean the Irish conflict was a bloody messy affair albeit in a much smaller scale to the Israeli/arab experience. Surely government officials have gained some experience in conflict resolution that can be of use.
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Response to the Siege of Gaza   Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:11 pm

Is anyone aware of an english language Israeli radio station besides Israel National Radio? INR is a minority station catering for the far right wing extreme religious element. I'm looking for a secular Israeli station but haven't found any not in hebrew.
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Response to the Siege of Gaza   Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:30 pm

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1231167284154&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Maybe you might find one through the Jerusalem Post site
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PostSubject: Re: The Irish Response to the Siege of Gaza   Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:14 pm

cactus flower wrote:
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1231167284154&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Maybe you might find one through the Jerusalem Post site

No joy. It's a shame as I've read articles complaining that the West gets its news from Al Jeezera and the BBC. However if INR is the only station giving an Israeli point of view in english one would get a very unpleasant view of the Israeli people. It would be the equivalent of only having access to Fox News in the US.
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Radio/
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