Irish group’s cautious welcome for Gaza ceasefire – Gaza Action Ireland

Irish group’s cautious welcome for Gaza ceasefire

A CESSATION of the assault on Gaza is to be welcomed, but we must ensure it brings a just and lasting peace and an end to the siege of the Palestinian territory, Gaza Action Ireland (GAI) said today.

“The people of Gaza have been traumatised by seven weeks of constant bombardment, death and injury, displacement and wanton destruction of their homes and most of their infrastructure and on that basis we welcome any respite from Israel’s violence,” GAI coordinator Zoe Lawlor said.

“However, this is the third occasion in six years that Gaza has been subjected to sustained attack by Israel, with devastating results,” Lawlor added. “The damage to Gaza’s infrastructure is worse than that in 1967. According to military analysts, the explosive power of the bombs was equal to the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima.”

Lawlor continued: “We in Gaza Action Ireland mourn the barbaric loss of life, with over 2,100 Palestinians dead, around 500 of whom were children. The psychological trauma caused by the attack cannot be underestimated and the scars will stay with the living forever.”

Mags O’Brien, another GAI coordinator, said: “The full terms of the ceasefire are as yet unclear but seem to be little more than previous ceasefire agreements, which failed to address the root causes of the ongoing conflict, that of Israel’s stranglehold control over every aspect of life in the Gaza Strip and, more fundamentally, the future and the autonomy of an independent state of Palestine.

Gaza

“History is doomed to repeat itself unless these issues are finally addressed,” O’Brien said. “The world cannot close its eyes to the problem. Moreover, unless the blockade is finally and completely dismantled, the danger remains that there will be yet another murderous onslaught by Israel on this tiny stretch of overpopulated land and on a people that have suffered devastating trauma.”

O’Brien said she hoped the widespread Irish support for Gaza during this conflict would continue past the ceasefire: “The thousands upon thousands in Ireland who marched, protested and publicly called for an end to the devastation in Gaza, and for the expulsion of the Israeli Ambassador, must continue to support the call for a just solution to the conflict in Israel/Palestine.”

GAI strongly supports the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel.  “Isolation is a powerful weapon, as was evidenced in South Africa,” Lawlor said. “We call on the Irish Government to ban all Israeli imports and to call within the EU for suspension of Israel’s privileged trading status on human-rights grounds. Israel must not be granted impunity for its war crimes against the Palestinian people and must be held accountable.

“We wish to send all our solidarity and respect to the people of Gaza whose resilience and resistance is incredible. The illegal Israeli siege of Gaza must be ended immediately and permanently,” Lawlor concluded.

 

 

Gaza Action Ireland, which grew out of the Irish Ship to Gaza initiative, is a solidarity group that organises civil-society contacts between Ireland and Palestinians in the Gaza strip. It is responsible for the Windows Into Gaza art exhibition that is currently touring Ireland, and it is planning to bring a team of young footballers from Gaza to play here. In addition to artists and sports clubs, it has also forged links with fishermen, journalists, human-rights activists and providers of emergency services.

Minister Flanagan criticised as protesters ‘besiege’ Israeli embassy in Dublin – Gaza Action Ireland

Thursday, August 21, from Gaza Action Ireland

Minister Flanagan criticised as protesters ‘besiege’ Israeli embassy in Dublin

More than 150 protesters gathered outside the Israeli embassy in Dublin between 1pm and 2pm today to demand that the Irish government take action against the Israeli state. The colourful vigil, organised by Gaza Action Ireland, took the form of a peaceful symbolic ‘siege’ of the embassy with protesters ringing the perimeter and calling for the immediate expulsion of the Israeli ambassador to Ireland.

Speaking to the crowd, ex-rugby international and Gaza Action Ireland (GAI) member Trevor Hogan forcefully criticised the inaction of Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan.

“In July 2011 Charlie Flanagan publicly demanded the expulsion of the Papal Nuncio following the horrific revelations in the Cloyne Report, but he seems unwilling to take action now against the Israeli ambassador despite the appalling atrocities carried out in Gaza. We have to ask why? UN schools and refugee centres have been attacked and hundreds of children killed. The blockade of Gaza is itself illegal under international law. If it was right to expel the Papal Nuncio in 2011, it is surely right to expel the Israeli ambassador now. Enough is enough. Ambassador Modai is an apologist and propagandist for war criminals”, he said.

For Minister Flanagan’s call to expel the Papal Nuncio, click here:

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Mr Hogan continued: “Minister Flanagan needs to be more robust in his interaction with the Israeli government because so far he has failed utterly to reflect the sentiment of most Irish people which is sheer horror at what is happening to Gaza. The Israeli government wants to enforce a slow death on the people of Gaza with its illegal siege, suffocating every aspect of life. The right to a seaport, to an airport, to an economy, to a livelihood, these are not negotiating issues – they are obligations that must be met. Israeli governments have grown used to committing crimes – they can no longer be allowed to act with such impunity. The Irish government must argue within the EU for strong sanctions against Israel.”

Mags O’Brien, national coordinator of GAI, speaking outside the embassy said: “The people of Gaza deserve our continued support and that’s why we are here today. Too many people have died and it has to stop now. If we don’t continue to highlight the fact that all Palestinians live under an apartheid system in the West Bank and under siege in Gaza, then Israel will continue to expand its illegal settlements and the collective punishment of the entire population of Gaza. The international community has to stand up to Israel and cry ‘halt’ to this madness.”

Others who spoke included Derek Graham, a long-time Irish resident of Gaza, and Chris Andrews, a Sinn Fein Dublin city councillor who has worked in Gaza.

 


Gaza Action Ireland, which grew out of the Irish Ship to Gaza initiative, is a solidarity group that organises civil-society contacts between Ireland and Palestinians in the Gaza strip. It is responsible for the Windows Into Gaza art exhibition that is currently touring Ireland, and it is planning to bring a team of young footballers from Gaza to play here. In addition to artists and sports clubs, it has also forged links with fishermen, journalists, human-rights activists and providers of emergency services.

Symbolic ‘Siege’ of Israeli Embassy, Vigil for Gaza

Notice from Gaza Action Ireland, for immediate release

Event: Symbolic ‘siege’ of Israeli embassy, vigil for Gaza

Time: Thursday, August 21, 2014, 1pm to 2pm

Location: Israeli embassy, 122 Pembroke Road, Dublin

A vigil, organised by Gaza Action Ireland (GAI), to call for the immediate expulsion of the Israeli ambassador and to remember those murdered in Gaza in recent weeks will be held at the Israeli embassy in Dublin this Thursday at lunchtime.

The most recent figures issued by the Health Ministry in Gaza indicate that the death toll from Israel’s assault over the past few weeks has risen to 2,016, including 541 children. Gaza Action Ireland believes that the EU and the Irish government must take action to isolate Israel in the wake of this massacre to ensure that it is never repeated. We are also calling for an immediate end to all aspects of the Israeli blockade.

The gathering on Thursday, called by Gaza Action Ireland (GAI), comes after ex-rugby international and GAI member Trevor Hogan passionately called on protesters at a recent national demonstration to symbolically besiege the embassy.

“Hundreds of children have been murdered in Gaza in the past few weeks and it cannot be business as usual with a government that behaves in this way. The Irish government would be sending a strong message to Israel that the blockade of Gaza is unacceptable if it took decisive action and expelled its ambassador to Dublin – the minister must act,” Hogan, who will attend the vigil, said today. He added: “Minister Flanagan has stated that he will only expel an ambassador in exceptional circumstances but the crippling blockade of Gaza and the massacre of thousands of civilians are surely exceptional circumstances. If they are not, what are?”

This hour-long symbolic siege will call for an end to the Israeli war on the civilians of Gaza and for a permanent lifting of the siege on that territory.

“Ambassador Modai and his team are spokespersons for war criminals,” GAI national coordinator Mags O’Brien said. “He should be told to pack his bags and leave Ireland. The blockade of Gaza is immoral and an illegal collective punishment that cannot be justified. We currently have a ceasefire and that is to be welcomed, but we cannot allow a stalemate to develop where the siege of Gaza continues as it was before. The blockade must be fully lifted and Palestinians in Gaza must be allowed access to the outside world – it must end now.”

The colourful vigil, which will be attended by members of the Palestinian community in Ireland, will assemble at 1pm outside the Israeli embassy at 122 Pembroke Road, Dublin.

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Gaza Action Ireland, which grew out of the Irish Ship to Gaza initiative, is a solidarity group that organises civil-society contacts between Ireland and Palestinians in the Gaza strip. It is responsible for the Windows Into Gaza art exhibition that is currently touring Ireland, and it is planning to bring a team of young footballers from Gaza to play here. In addition to artists and sports clubs, it has also forged links with fishermen, journalists, human-rights activists and providers of emergency services.

Hundreds ‘Besiege’ Israeli Embassy in Dublin – Gaza Action Ireland

Hundreds ‘besiege’ Israeli embassy in Dublin

Up to 300 protesters formed a symbolic siege around Dublin’s Israeli embassy today, calling for the immediate expulsion of the Israeli ambassador and remembering those murdered in Gaza in recent weeks.

“This embassy has been the source of a string of shameful lies,” Gaza Action Ireland (GAI) member and ex-rugby international Trevor Hogan told the crowd. “Lies about Palestine, lies about the siege of Gaza, and lies about Irish activists.

“While Israel maintains its violent, murderous siege on Gaza, we should keep coming back for peaceful, symbolic ones here, until the ambassador is told to pack his bags and leave Ireland,” Hogan added.

This hour-long event, organised by GAI, saw protesters spread out around the perimeter of the south Dublin office block that houses the embassy. Fatin Al-Tamimi, who has many relatives suffering under the siege and assault in Gaza, walked along the line reading the names of the dead.

“Ambassador Modai and his team are apologists and spokespersons for war criminals, for a regime that in the past five weeks has murdered nearly 2,000 Palestinians in Gaza including hundreds of children,” GAI coordinator Mags O’Brien said.

The colourful vigil also included readings of poetry from Gaza and was addressed by People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett.

EmbPhoto Greg Manahan

Video of the Event, including interview with Trevor Hogan, GAI

 

Gaza Action Ireland, which grew out of the Irish Ship to Gaza initiative, is a solidarity group that organises civil-society contacts between Ireland and Palestinians in the Gaza strip. It is responsible for the Windows Into Gaza art exhibition that is currently touring Ireland, and it is planning to bring a team of young footballers from Gaza to play here. In addition to artists and sports clubs, it has also forged links with fishermen, journalists, human-rights activists and providers of emergency services.

Symbolic ‘siege’ of Israeli embassy, vigil for Gaza

Notice from Gaza Action Ireland – Event: Symbolic ‘siege’ of Israeli embassy, vigil for Gaza

Time: Wednesday, August 13, 2014, 1pm to 2pm

Location: Israeli embassy, 122 Pembroke Road, Dublin

A vigil to call for the immediate expulsion of the Israeli ambassador and to remember those murdered in Gaza in recent weeks will be held at the Israeli embassy in Dublin on Wednesday at lunchtime.

The gathering, called by Gaza Action Ireland (GAI), comes after ex-rugby international and GAI member Trevor Hogan passionately called on protesters at a national demonstration last Saturday to symbolically besiege the embassy.

“We should not allow diplomatic status to be accorded to the representatives of a terror state,” Hogan, who will attend the vigil, said today.

This hour-long symbolic siege will call for an end to the Israeli war on the civilians of Gaza and for a lifting of the siege on that territory.

“Ambassador Modai and his team are apologists and spokespersons for war criminals, for a regime that in the past month has murdered nearly 2,000 Palestinians in Gaza including hundreds of children,” GAI coordinator Mags O’Brien said.

“They have Gaza under siege – let us put them under siege until the Israeli ambassador is told to pack his bags and leave Ireland,” Hogan added.

The colourful vigil, which will include readings of poetry from Gaza and silent remembering of the dead, will assemble at 1pm outside the Israeli embassy at 122 Pembroke Road, Dublin.

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Gaza Action Ireland, which grew out of the Irish Ship to Gaza initiative, is a solidarity group that organises civil-society contacts between Ireland and Palestinians in the Gaza strip. It is responsible for the Windows Into Gaza art exhibition that is currently touring Ireland, and it is planning to bring a team of young footballers from Gaza to play here. In addition to artists and sports clubs, it has also forged links with fishermen, journalists, human-rights activists and providers of emergency services.

Gaza assault has been ‘attack on education’ – Academics for Palestine, Ireland

From Academics for Palestine, 8 August 2014

academicsforpalestine.wordpress.com

Gaza assault has been ‘attack on education’

Irish Academics’ pledge to boycott Israel passes 170 signatories

STUDENTS, teachers and schools have been targets of Israel’s brutal attacks in Gaza, making it an attack on education as well as a war crime, a group of Irish academics said today — as Israel resumed its attacks on the Palestinian territory.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 141 schools were significantly damaged or destroyed by airstrikes and shelling, including 90 UN schools and four kindergartens. Seven of the UN schools that were bombed by Israel were designated as emergency shelters and hosted thousands of displaced persons.

In addition, Israel bombed the Islamic University in Gaza (IUG), causing extensive damage to Gaza’s largest institution of higher education. A lecturer from IUG was also killed in a military strike, and Israel also attacked a branch of Al Quds Open University, killing 22 people.

Academics for Palestine (AfP) chairperson Jim Roche, who gave a guest lecture in architecture at IUG last year, said this has been “an attack on education itself”.

Roche added: “This is not new, as Israel similarly targeted education during the onslaught in 2008-2009 and it has continuously made Palestinians’ pursuit of education difficult through general harassment, the siege of Gaza and regular military incursions.”

At least 18 Palestinian students who have successfully completed their qualifying high school exams (tawjihi) in preparation for college were killed, before they had a chance to see their results. In UN schools, a school principal, five teachers, and a school attendant are among the UN staff killed by Israeli strikes in Gaza.

“It is all the more shameful that Irish universities have participated in joint research programmes, funded by the EU, in collaboration with Israeli educational institutes and companies with strong links to the Israeli military,” Roche said.

More than 170 Irish academics have now signed a pledge, launched by AfP earlier this year, to boycott such collaboration with Israeli institutions until Palestinian rights are respected.

The signatories come from a wide range of disciplines and include many well-known names, including the Trinity-College-based Haifa-born scholar Ronit Lentin, as well as Seamus Deane, Ailbhe Smyth, Luke Gibbons, Margaret Kelleher, Joe Cleary, Kieran Allen, Kathleen Lynch, Tadhg Foley, Terrence McDonough, John Kelly and Helena Sheehan.  AfP is supporting Saturday’s national demonstration for Palestine in Dublin.

As AfP revealed earlier this year, Irish academic researchers have collaborated in EU-funded projects with Israeli counterparts who make drones, develop high-tech weapons and engage in “counter-terror” activities with the Mossad. In all,  Irish universities have collaborated with Israel in 257 projects to date, seven of them listed as “security” and  13 as “aerospace”. These EU research programmes have bee3n administered by Irish Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn.

Researchers at the University of Limerick collaborated with an Israeli security company, Athena GS3-Security Implementations Ltd, on an EU-funded programme worth almost €4 million from April 2009 to March 2011. UL also partnered with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), key players in the development of security and surveillance for Israel’s separation wall.

IUG

Academics at Trinity College Dublin have worked with Israeli drone manufacturers Elbit Security Systems and, separately, with Israel’s International Security and Counter-Terrorism Academy. Researchers at UCC coordinated a “counter-terrorism” project alongside Israel’s major weapons developer, Technion.

In addition, Dublin’s Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute recently launched a partnership with the Israeli-based Weizmann Institute of Science, which in addition to its medical research is an important site for Israel’s nuclear-weapons programme.

NUI Maynooth lecturer Conor McCarthy said the daily discrimination inflicted on Palestinian academics, along with savage attacks like those seen in recent weeks, were enough to justify such a boycott, but added: “Irish academia’s collaboration with institutions closely linked to Israel’s military-industrial complex is truly shocking.

“It is not just Israeli universities that avail of this funding, but Israeli security and military companies – and they are often the lead partner in a research consortium. Some Irish universities may be effectively contributing to the denial of Palestinian human rights and academic freedom by collaborating with these Israeli security companies in EU-funded FP7 and Horizon 2020 programmes paid for by European  taxpayers,” McCarthy said.

‘Die-in’ protest against Irish Government silence on Gaza

Thursday, July 31, 2014 from Gaza Action Ireland

Gaza protesters march through Grafton Street

HUNDREDS of protesters, chanting “Boycott Israel”, noisily marched the length of Dublin’s Grafton Street this evening [[THURS]] on their way to a ‘die-in’ at Leinster House to oppose the Irish Government’s inaction over Gaza.

Up to 500 people had earlier heard speeches from doctors and members of the Palestinian community outside the Department of Foreign Affairs on St Stephen’s Green.

The doctors called on the Irish Government to take a firm stand against Israeli attacks on medical workers, hospitals and ambulances in Gaza.

“In my professional opinion, the ongoing attacks on medics in Gaza clearly constitute a war crime that cannot be justified and warrant immediate referral to the International Criminal Court,” Prof Damian McCormack, a surgeon at the Mater hospital, said. “I call on our government to demand an apology from the Israeli ambassador or to expel him.

“Further I call on all medical bodies and colleagues in Ireland to publicly condemn these attacks,” McCormack added.

Israel’s increasingly savage assault on Gaza has seen 1,400 people killed in just over three weeks, with many thousands wounded and close to 200,000 displaced. The UN reports that its relief operations are close to breaking point, and Israel has repeatedly targeted schools that were being used as shelter for people with nowhere else to hide.

At Leinster House there were further speeches and hundreds of protesters lay down as if dead, holding sheets of people bearing the names of those killed in Gaza, while part of a list of the victims was read aloud.

Nyssan Deeb, a Palestinian who lives in Dublin, said the daily litany of horrors from Gaza was heartbreaking. “I look at the pictures of children and I see my own child,” she said.

“When Charlie Flanagan went to the Seanad today and spoke mealy-mouthed words of half-hearted, allegedly balanced condemnation, he wasn’t speaking for the Irish people, who know the difference between the occupier and the occupied, between the oppressor and the oppressed,” Gaza Action Ireland (GAI) member and journalist Harry Browne said.

“Israeli war crimes in Gaza, and the long occupation that lies behind those crimes, are enabled by western governments like our own. Its military research is funded by the EU, sometimes with Irish partners. Its products are in our shops,” he said.

“We share the responsibility for Israel’s actions, and with tools like the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions, we potentially have the leverage to help stop them,” Browne added.

This evening’s demonstration was called by GAI, with the support of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Sadaka and the Palestinian community in Ireland.

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Gaza Action Ireland, which grew out of the Irish Ship to Gaza initiative, is a solidarity group that organises civil-society contacts between Ireland and Palestinians in the Gaza strip. It is responsible for the Windows Into Gaza art exhibition that is currently touring Ireland, and it is planning to bring a team of young footballers from Gaza to play here. In addition to artists and sports clubs, it has also forged links with fishermen, journalists, human-rights activists and providers of emergency services.

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