Israel should be treated 'the same way as apartheid South Africa' - Boyd Barrett


Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

08.55 27 May 2021


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The Israeli state should be treated "in the same way as apartheid South Africa was treated", TD Richard Boyd Barrett says.

It comes after the Government backed a Sinn Féin motion declaring the building of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories a "de facto annexation".

The move makes Ireland the first EU country to recognise Israel's settlements in this way.

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However, amendments that also called for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador and for sanctions on the country was rejected.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, said the motion that was passed could be a message to the global community to follow suit.

“The scale, pace and strategic natures of Israel’s actions on settlement expansion and the intent behind it… has brought us to a point where we need to be honest about what is happening on the ground.

“We need to call it out for what it is: de facto annexation.”

The Israeli foreign ministry has described Ireland's position as "outrageous and baseless".

A spokesperson said: "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."

Last night's vote came after the recent wave of violence in Gaza and east Jerusalem.

The Government did not go as far as supporting People Before Profit’s amendment to expel the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland.

PBP argued such a move would make "the strongest statement of solidarity with the Palestinians".

On Newstalk Breakfast, the party’s TD Richard Boyd Barrett argued that more action is needed.

Israel should be treated 'the same way as apartheid South Africa' - Boyd Barrett

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He said: “We think it’s now long past time that Israel is treated in the same way as apartheid South Africa was treated.

"Its entire regime and treatment of the Palestinians is tantamount to apartheid… to orchestrated, institutionalised racism.”

Deputy Boyd Barrett pointed to findings from Human Rights Watch and Israeli human rights organisation B'tselem that Israeli actions have in some cases amounted to apartheid.

He added that he believes Jews, Arabs, Christians and people of no religion should have equal rights.

Main image: Palestinian man inspects his destroyed factory by Israeli air strike. Picture by: SOPA Images/SIPA USA/PA Images

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