Gaza Action Ireland stands with the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign as Bank of Ireland closes its accounts

Gaza Action Ireland (GAI) stands with our colleagues in the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC)  and strongly condemns Bank of Ireland’s inexplicable and outrageous closure of their accounts.

The Bank’s action, which has caused financial difficulty and much administrative reorganisation to the IPSC is simply unacceptable and totally wrong. For a long established, well respected human rights organisation, itself a long standing client of said bank, to be treated in such a manner, with no explanation forthcoming and very little time to act on the directive, is absolutely shocking and seriously calls into question the Bank’s operations.

The IPSC is one of Ireland’s leading solidarity organisations, acting as it does for justice for the Palestinian people, and has the support of many members and organisations, including GAI. The Palestinian people have called for a campaign of BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) while they are subjected to apartheid, ethnic cleansing and war crimes by the Israeli state. The IPSC advocates for BDS, as does GAI and thousands of people all over the world, from the very famous to the average person. The BDS campaign is legitimate and justified and, whether one agrees with it or not, is  everyone’s right to engage in.
The Bank of Ireland’s actions are in direct contradiction with the right to advocate for justice for Palestine, and we condemn them.

This is part of a broader attack on solidarity organisations. As apartheid Israel is losing the battle for public opinion as the world sees its crimes against the Palestinian people, the BDS campaign is becoming more of a target – because of its success.

We reiterate our support for our friends at the IPSC and call on the Bank of Ireland to reinstate their accounts.

Lim Boats

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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.

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.

Irish group condemns Gaza school attack and Irish Government inaction

From Gaza Action Ireland
Irish group condemns Gaza school attack, Govt inaction

TODAY’S brutal attack on a UN school in Gaza underlines the stupidity and cowardice of Irish and EU policy toward Israel, Gaza Action Ireland (GAI) said.

At least 15 people were killed, with many more injured and the death count likely to grow.

The hospitals in Gaza, already under dire pressure due to the illegal siege, are now in an overwhelming, Israeli-made crisis, running on generators, with zero stock of many vital medicines and a medical community that is under constant military assault trying to deal with mass injuries and fatalities.

“Hospitals, schools, mosques, homes, the entire infrastructure of Gaza is being targeted and the people there are being terrorised and traumatised by the world’s fourth largest military,” Zoe Lawlor, GAI coordinator, said.

Today at the Dáil, GAI organised a protest by doctors, nurses and paramedics against Israel’s targeting of hospitals, clinics, ambulances and medical personnel.

“It could hardly be made any clearer than Israel is deliberately targeting civilians,” Lawlor added. “The attack, and their initial lies about this savage massacre, have brought home to the world their basic indifference to Palestinian suffering, something that has been evident throughout the last eight years of violence and siege.”

“The sickening irony is that this atrocity comes so soon after Ireland abstained on the UN Human Rights Council motion to investigate Israeli war crimes,” GAI coordinator Mags O’Brien said. “It is a disgrace that Ireland was dragged into an EU language of ‘balance’ that is just a front for shameful capitulation to Israeli and American intransigence.”

Lawlor said: “This latest attack on a UN school shows Israel’s utter contempt for the international community and of course for the people of Gaza. People who had already been made homeless by 17 days and nights of relentless Israeli bombardment, taking shelter in what they thought was a safe place, were bombed. This is a crime against humanity and Israel must face sanctions for its war crimes against the Palestinian people.

“The thousands of people all over Ireland that have taken part in actions and marches in solidarity with the Palestinian people shows clearly that the Irish Government is blatantly acting against the wishes of the Irish people by its shameful abstention on the UN vote yesterday. The level of outrage at this here is palpable.”

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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 Action Ireland on Facebook

Twitter: @GAI1

Medics lament Irish abstention on Gaza

Medics lament Irish abstention on Gaza

DOCTORS, paramedics, nurses and other medical personnel have called for the Irish Government to take a firm stand against Israeli attacks on medical workers, hospitals and ambulances in Gaza.

The protesters, many dressed in scrubs and other clothes of their professions, gathered outside Dáil Eireann with a large crowd of other supporters today [[THURS]] at lunchtime. Some speakers expressed disappointment at Ireland’s abstention in the UN Human Rights Council vote on investigating Israeli war crimes.

During the latest onslaught, thus far one doctor and two paramedics have been killed, more than 30 first-responders wounded and two hospitals bombed. A Red Crescent emergency-services unit and numerous clinics and ambulances have been shelled or damaged.

“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 ICC,” 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 and not to repeat their shameful silence over attacks on medical personnel in Bahrain in 2011,” McCormack said.

The protest was called by Gaza Action Ireland (GAI) and supported by the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Sadaka.

“It’s an absolute shame and disgrace that Ireland abstained yesterday on a mere call for an investigation into possible war crimes,” GAI coordinator Mags O’Brien said.

“We know that attacks on medical staff and infrastructure are established Israeli practice,” O’Brien continued. “During ‘Operation Cast Lead in 2008/2009, 16 paramedics were killed and numerous other emergency responders seriously wounded. Targeted and random shelling and aerial bombardments also saw the partial or total destruction of many healthcare facilities and ambulances.”

The event also included a speech by Dr Bassam Naser, a Palestinian doctor who works in Ireland, and a phone call from paramedics in Gaza.

Last night [[WED]], dozens of Palestinians based in Ireland were joined by hundreds of other people for a poignant ‘die-in’, first outside the Department of Foreign Affairs, then in Grafton Street, where they lay on the ground while the names of the Gaza dead were read aloud. That event was also called by Gaza Action Ireland.

Medics

 

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.