Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle: ‘We must begin to right decades of wrongs for the Palestinian people’

Pringle: ‘We must begin to right decades of wrongs for the Palestinian people’

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, said the EU cannot continue to support and facilitate Israel’s apartheid system in Ireland’s name.

Addressing the Dáil on Wednesday evening, Deputy Pringle said: “We, as a country, can no longer pretend that we support Palestinians while continuing to facilitate this apartheid system and these terrible crimes against humanity.”

Deputy Pringle spoke during statements on the recent report of Amnesty International, ‘Israel’s Apartheid Against Palestinians: Cruel system of domination and crime against humanity’.

The deputy said: “Some of us have long known that Israel is an apartheid state, however we can hide from that fact no longer. It is now here, written in black and white. And so my question is: What are we going to do about it? There are simply no excuses left. We must come out in full support and solidarity with Palestine and its people.”

Calling the report, “a bleak and sobering read”, the deputy said it stated that “Palestinians living in Israel and in the occupied territory are disadvantaged across every well-being indicator for which measures are available. More than 80 per cent of the population depend on international assistance. It found that institutionalised segregation is evident in all aspects of Palestinian life under Israeli control and that Israel’s laws and practices deployed against the Palestinian people amount to apartheid.”

Deputy Pringle said: “I want to compare our stance on Palestine, and events of a similar nature, with our stance on the recent invasion of Ukraine. I note with interest how quickly the entire world imposed sanctions on Russia for Putin’s violations of international law. This is completely justified and I fully support this move. However, we must ask ourselves why the same cannot be done in Israel.

“The shocking fact is that after knowing of human rights abuses and international law violations happening in Israel and the occupied territory for decades, not a single economic or diplomatic sanction has been placed upon Israel. We need to ask ourselves: What is the difference?”

In the same way, the deputy said, Minister Simon Coveney recently announced that 20,000 Ukrainians will seek refuge in Ireland. Minister Coveney confirmed during the deputy’s remarks that Ireland had provided only about 600 places for Afghan refugees.

Deputy Pringle said: “Again, what is the difference? War is war, no matter where it is. People fled Afghanistan due to war, people are fleeing Ukraine due to war. They should be treated no differently.

“And no matter what their skin tone, every single human life should have the right to live a life free from war and free from oppression,” he said.

The deputy said Amnesty’s report sets out what needs to be done.

Deputy Pringle said: “We need to ban all products from Israeli settlements. This government needs to publicly and openly recognise that Israel is an apartheid state and use all the political and diplomatic tools we have to ensure that Israel implements the recommendations outlined in the Amnesty report.

“We must begin to right decades of wrongs. We can stay silent no longer and the EU cannot continue to support and facilitate Israel’s apartheid state in Ireland’s name,” he concluded.