Irish Senator Averil Power (at right) stood before the Senate of Ireland this week and offered a motion which calls for the Irish Government to:
“formally recognize the State of Palestine and do everything it can at the international level to help secure a viable two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
The government parties agreed to the motion “without us actually having to push it to a vote,” Power said.
Are you listening, U.S. leaders?
If you are listening, be aware, Ireland is way ahead of you in taking a stand for justice for Palestine.
The Times of Israel recalls that “Ireland was the first European country to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization.”
Ireland joins Sweden and the British House of Commons to express support for Palestinian statehood. A similar motion is pending before the Spanish Congress.
In support of her motion, Senator Power told the Irish Senate:
“By joining Sweden and other EU states in recognizing Palestine, we will make it clear that statehood is a right of the Palestinian people. It is not an Israeli bargaining chip for them to play in their sham negotiations.”
Senator Power, who is from the center-right Fianna Fáil (Republican Party) added:
“In doing so we will create pressure on Israel to pursue a genuine peace process that has a real prospect of delivering peace and justice for both Israelis and Palestinians alike.”
In her speech, Power accused Israel of having implemented an “apartheid regime in the West Bank that denied Palestinians basic human rights that their Israeli counterparts take for granted.”
She added, “Without wider recognition of the State of Palestine, Palestinian representatives are in a weaker position at the negotiation table”.
Are you listening, U.S. leaders?
In recent months, a few U.S. religious bodies have heard voices denouncing injustice. Two U.S. Christian bodies–the Central Pacific Conference and the Connecticut Conference, both in the United Church of Christ–have voted to endorse the BDS movement to apply economic pressure on Israel to “pursue a genuine peace process”.
Other Christian denominational bodies are considering future resolutions that would urge Israel to take seriously the moral imperative to end its occupation of Palestine.
These religious bodies move slowly, but in time, some state, regional and national assemblies will debate, and vote on, actions that support justice for Palestine.
In their deliberations, they will want to listen to foreign political leaders with a conscience, parliamentarians like Irish Senator Averil Power, and rather unexpectedly, the president of Israel, Reuven Rivlin (at left), who had stern words for his nation Sunday:
“The time has come to admit that Israel is a sick society, with an illness that demands treatment, President Reuven Rivlin said at the opening session on Sunday of a conference on From Hatred of the Stranger to Acceptance of the Other.
Both Rivlin and Prof. Ruth Arnon, president of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, which organized the conference at its premises on the capital’s Jabotinsky Street, spoke of the painful and bloody summer, and the resultant resurgence of animosity between Arabs and Jews that had escalated to new heights.
Referring to the mutual expressions of hatred and incitement, Arnon said that Jews, who in the Diaspora had been exposed to anti-Semitism and persecution, should be more sensitive to the dangers of incitement. ‘But are we?’, she asked.”
Are you listening, U.S. academic institutions, with your donor base strongly influenced by pro-Israel American citizens?
Israel’s occupation of Palestine is both immoral and illegal. It is also true that the occupation is rooted not just in Israel, but in the West, most especially the U.S.
Salman Masalha wrote in Ha’aretz, a centrist Jerusalem newspaper, that the occupation is international:
“The truth must be stated: If the West, led by the United States, truly wanted to bring about an end to the Israeli occupation and a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it would have done so long ago.
The West has some very effective means at its disposal that could change the situation. But instead of employing these means, what do we get? A flood of declarations. Again and again, Western leaders make the same hypocritical proclamations calling the settlements in the occupied territories illegal and an obstacle to peace.
These declarations are as old as the occupation itself, stretching all the way back to June 1967.
The world hasn’t learned that toothless declarations won’t stop the real-estate theft called “Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel.” The multitude of declarations made over the years haven’t removed a single Zionist trailer from a single Palestinian hilltop. Throughout the years of the occupation, such declarations have served as nothing more than mild pain relievers for a body that is in critical condition.
So, enough hiding behind all the bland verbiage. The time has come to call a spade a spade:
The occupation in Palestine isn’t just an Israeli occupation – it’s a Western occupation; a European, American and Russian occupation, and more. As such, the Palestinian argument must be directed to the entire Western world: Stop trying to sell us empty lip service.
The time has come to ask the world to take operative steps that hold the potential to compose the final movement of the unfinished symphony of the immoral Israeli occupation.”
American leaders and those that they lead, must all share responsibility for this “immoral Israel occupation”.
The photo of Senator Power is from YouTube and The Times of Israel. The photo of President Rivlin is from Mondoweiss.