Irish Parliament Rejects Bid to Expel Israeli Ambassador, Impose Sanctions on Jewish State, but Condemns ‘De Facto Annexation’
The Irish parliament on Wednesday night voted down an amendment calling for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador and the imposition of sanctions on the Jewish state.
However, Ireland became the first European Union state to condemn Israel’s “de facto annexation” of the West Bank as the government backed a motion from the nationalist Sinn Fein Party, whose foreign affairs spokesperson earlier declared, “we are baldly stating that Israel is acting illegally under international law.”
The Irish government had supported the Sinn Fein proposal in a debate on Tuesday night. Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said during the debate on the issue that “we need to be honest with what is happening on the ground and call it out” as “de facto annexation.” He added that the Republic was the first EU country to state this as fact, saying it could be a “message to the global community.”
Coveney said as well that he found it “deeply troubling” that Sinn Fein could not bring itself to also condemn the actions of Hamas for killing “children and innocent civilians” in Israel.
However, the parliament rejected an amendment tabled by the far left People Before Profit Party to expel the Israeli ambassador to Dublin and impose comprehensive sanctions against Israel, with 86 votes against and 46 in favor.
The rejected amendment stated that “the Israeli apartheid system through its ongoing ethnic cleansing, brutal state repression and murderous military violence, including four savage military assaults on Gaza in recent years, has no place among the international community of nations.”
It called for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador and “all Israeli diplomatic staff,” as well as for the application of “a comprehensive package of economic, political and cultural sanctions against the state of Israel, similar to that applied to apartheid South Africa.”
Lior Haiat, spokesperson for the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, commented, “the motion that was adopted today in the Irish parliament constitutes a victory for extremist Palestinian factions. This motion distances Ireland from its ambition to contribute and play a constructive role in the Israeli-Palestinian context.”