Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin TD and Party Chairman and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Brendan Smith TD have jointly called on the Taoiseach to bring the Israeli Ambassador to Government Buildings today to express this country’s revulsion at events in Gaza and to make clear Ireland’s rejection of the tactics being deployed by the Israeli Defence Forces.
In a joint statement, the two Fianna Fáil deputies commented: “Fianna Fáil has always accepted Israel’s right to self-defence, but like any other nation Israel has a duty to abide by internationally accepted standards of proportionality and responsibility.
“What is happening in Gaza is disproportionate and irresponsible. Completely innocent men, women and children who are already forced to live in squalor are being slaughtered in this campaign. It is immoral and wrong.
“The Hamas regime’s rocket attacks against Israel are also completely reckless, irresponsible and counter-productive. However, the tactics being employed by IDF and the Israeli Government serve only to further brutalise the people of Gaza.
“In the past, Ireland was able to play a constructive role in helping shape international opinion. When we visited Gaza in 2010, we were the first European state to do so in more than a year and we were able to focus international opinion on the devastating effect that the blockade was having at that time.
“Ireland simply must do more to help influence international opinion on what is currently happening. As a nation we know better than many the despair and waste of pointless brutality and sectarian violence. As the beneficiaries of international support for our own peace process, Ireland has a moral duty to find our voice and use it to oppose the pointless slaughter in Gaza.
“As a first step and as a bare minimum, we are calling on the Taoiseach as Head of Government to bring the Israeli Ambassador to Government Buildings and explain in clear terms that Ireland rejects what his country is doing in Gaza. Equally, if Israel pulls back from the brink and is prepared for peace, Ireland will be a strong supporter of any process that gives the people of Israel and Palestine a chance of a decent future.”