Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Brendan Smith TD has called on the Government to follow the lead of Sweden and the UK House of Commons and recognise the state of Palestine. The recent war in Gaza and the unwillingness of the Israeli Government to engage in meaningful and constructive negotiations with the Palestinians has resulted in a mind shift in how best to approach the conflict in the Middle East.
Deputy Smith stated “Ireland was the first European Union Member State to declare that a solution to the conflict in the Middle East had to be based on a fully sovereign State of Palestine, independent of and co-existing with Israel. Fianna Fáil in Government launched that policy position in 1980. Today we are moving further and believe the time is right for the Government to fully recognise Palestine as a sovereign, independent state.”
“The recent war in Gaza and the general lack of progress made in achieving the two state solution has been deeply unsatisfactory and has resulted in continued instability in the region. The indiscriminate rocket attacks against the Israeli people by Hamas and the attack on UN schools and refugee camps by the Israeli Defence Forces were despicable acts which shocked the international community. These actions have added to the failure to bring peace to both Israelis and Palestinians. Fianna Fáil believes that the only way to help bring about a two state solution now is to unilaterally recognise the Palestinian state. We hope this would act as an impetus for renewed peace talks. The Palestinians deserve equality in those negotiations. Recognising the Palestinian state would go some way in bringing about that equality. I will be seeking a debate in the Dáil on this matter next week and hope that time will be made available to me to outline the arguments for Irish recognition for the state of Palestine.”
“We are deeply concerned at the continuing advance of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory which are both illegal and make the two-state solution increasingly difficult to implement. The world has witnessed the horrific consequences of war in Gaza this summer. We have witnessed the provocative decision made by Israel to build more settlements on Palestinian lands. It’s time we said in a clear and loud voice “Stop” to the injustices which are on-going in the Middle East. The Government should raise its voice on the international stage and for the first time recognise the state of Palestine on behalf of the Irish people.”