U.S. Leaders: “Listen to this Irish Senator”

by James M. WallIrish Senator Averil Power You Tube

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: Reuven_Rivlin

“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.

About wallwritings

From 1972 through 1999, James M. Wall was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, lllinois. He was a Contributing Editor of the Century from 1999 until July, 2017. He has written this blog, wall writings.me, since it was launched April 27, 2008. If you would like to receive Wall Writings alerts when new postings are added to this site, send a note, saying, Please Add Me, to jameswall8@gmail.com Biography: Journalism was Jim's undergraduate college major at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. He has earned two MA degrees, one from Emory, and one from the University of Chicago, both in religion. He is an ordained United Methodist clergy person. He served for two years in the US Air Force, and three additional years in the USAF reserve. While serving on active duty with the Alaskan Command, he reached the rank of first lieutenant. He has worked as a sports writer for both the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, was editor of the United Methodist magazine, Christian Advocate for ten years, and editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine for 27 years.
This entry was posted in Gaza, Israel, Media, Middle East Politics, Palestinians. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to U.S. Leaders: “Listen to this Irish Senator”

  1. Jim, a great, informative post. Thank you. How I wish that U.S. leaders were listening: but they are not. From Obama on down, their ears are plugged, their eyes are blindfolded, and, let’s face it, their pockets are filled with the coin of Zionism, that colonialistic-thieving ideology that has devolved into a criminally psychotic industry. The Palestinians suffer every day while others dither and dawdle, and I’m grateful that Irish Senator Averil Power, for one, has acknowledged that suffering and done something about it.

  2. AWAD PAUL SIFRI says:

    Jim,
    Thank you for an outstanding article. The Irish have stood with Palestine for a long time, as demonstrated once more, this time by Senator Averil Power.
    I thought you hit the nail on the head when you called a spade a spade, as you always do, by naming “the West” as a guilty party in so much as the West has chosen to remain inactive and let Israel do what it wants, especially when it comes to settlements, and they are all illegal.
    It is time for the conscience in the West to be translated into action before it is too late.
    .

  3. ggraves says:

    To illustrate the depths to which the Zionist apologists will sink, I have copied the apparently vandalized entry from Averil Powers’ biography from Wikipedia below (as if vandalizing a Wikipedia entry will change anything):

    “Averil Power (born 26 July 1978) is an Irish anti-Semitic far-left extremist and radical Islamist Fianna Fáil politician.[1] She was elected to the 24th Seanad in April 2011 by the Industrial and Commercial Panel,[2] and is the Fianna Fáil Seanad spokesperson on Education and Skills. She is popular in Ireland, a highly anti-Semitic country, for telling racist lies about Israel. For example, she recently claimed that Israel was an “apartheid state,” and she recognized the Arabian colonial country of “Palestine” that is illegally occupying the Jewish homeland of Judea, which she called the “West Bank” (an Arabian imperialist term invented by Jordan).[3]”

    The prior entry was changed on 10/23/2014, apparently to retaliate for the introduction of her motion to recognize the state of Palestine.

    Despite his statements, Reuven Rivlin gets a (Wikipedia) pass.

    The insanity continues.

  4. Samia Khoury says:

    This is excellent Jim. Yes indeed we as Palestinians are physically occupied, but the US and Europe are psychologically and mentally occupied. I think the words of Junto Diaz said upon endorsing the USA campaign for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel is very approriate as a response and as one means of moving from lip service to action. “If there exists a moral arc to the universe, then Palestine will eventually be free. But that promised day will never arrive unless we, the justice-minded peoples of our world, fight to end the cruel blight of the Israeli occupation. Our political, religious and economic leaders have always been awesome at leading our world into conflict, only we the people alone with little else but our courage and our solidarities and our invincible hope can lead our world into peace.”

  5. abunaalgodon says:

    Jim, I knew about Senator Power but did not know about Reuven Rivlin’s words. Thanks so much for highlighting them both. I am most moved, though, by Salman Masalha’s assertion that “The occupation in Palestine isn’t just an Israeli occupation – it’s a Western occupation; a European, American and Russian occupation, and more.” I would underline “American”. We really are the linchpin that makes the occupation possible. Persuading the public that we are an “occupying power” would be a hard sell, but it could not be more true. Cotton

  6. Eugene Fitzpatrick says:

    That there are parallel paths in the modern history of Ireland and Palestine is self-evident in that both Peoples were afflicted with an odious occupation by a foreign invader saturated with racism and avarice. It is expected then that Ireland should be fiercely supportive of the Palestinians in their struggles. Given this reality, it is particularly vexing for me to watch many Irish-Americans in the U.S. Congress support Israel in its infamy. For example, in Pennsylvania both Senators, Robert Casey and Patrick Toomey, have conspicuously toed the AIPAC line as have Pennsylvania members of the U.S. House with the names Michael Doyle, Robert Brady, Christopher Carney, Patrick Meehan, Tim Murphy, Patrick Murphy and, to my utter chagrin, Michael Fitzpatrick.

    Some kinds of perfidy, some kinds of betrayal of your heritage, of your forebears are unforgivable and Irish-Americans who don’t stand squarely with the Palestinians in this their hour of desperation earn unmitigated disdain.

  7. David Waterberry says:

    to GGRAVES-What makes you think that anti-Jewish is anti-Semitic? The Jews are about 6% of the Semitic people. The other 94% are Arabs. So, relax, anti-Jewish is not anti-Semitic. Don’t lie & forge history. Besides, when Israel bombs & murders Palestinians and other Arabs, isn’t that anti-Semitism by Jews?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. David Waterberry says:

    1 more thing, GGRAVES, it looks to me you are criticizing this Irish senator for being a far-left wing extremist. If you are anti-left, no need to remind that in Israel that are 4 communist parties represented in the kenesset/parliamant. Jewish terrorist organizations since 1948(& before) were right wing and left wing(just google Stern gang) and read to see how terrorists they were & how left-wing they were. If you criticize the left in Ireland, make sure you criticize it in Israel also!!

  9. Ggraves may not re-visit this site, so I feel it necessary to make a point: David Waterberry seems to be *seriously* mis-reading GGraves’ position. Ggraves is merely (and alertly) reporting a dastardly intrusion/invasion of Wikipedia!

    That aside, DW’s other observations are well expressed and appropriate, as are all the wide-ranging responses on this Comments string.

  10. I wish all of you could go to Israel and see what you are all decrying. It is obvious to me that you’ve all done nothing but read biased, censored media from arab countries that have no protection for free speech or a free press. Their own bad leaders have stolen from the coffers and left the Palestinian people for cannon fodder while they live in obscene luxury in 5 star hotels in Qatar, and no one here seems to have noticed anything about that. Shame on you all. You have done no home work and you are all here judging without knowing the whole story. I’m horrified at the level of hatred towards Jews who, for the most part, design and manufacture life-saving medical technology that the whole world uses and enjoys. Shame on you for hating, I hope you don’t imagine yourselves Christians, as Jesus himself was Jewish.

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