Sinn Féin TD for Cavan-Monaghan Pauline Tully has called TDs to make a firm commitment on the 75th anniversary of Nakba that Ireland will play no part in supporting Israeli war crimes.
Deputy Tully was speaking as Sinn Féin legislation, that would force the government to surrender shares in companies operating in occupied Palestine, advances to second stage in the Dáil this week.
The bill, brought forward by John Brady TD, would compel the Irish Strategic Investment Fund to divest shareholdings in companies listed on a UN database of businesses operating within illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories.
Teachta Tully said:
“This week marks the 75th anniversary of Nakba – meaning ‘catastrophe’ in Arabic – when more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs fled or were expelled from their homes during the 1948 Palestine war.
“75 years on, Palestinians continue to suffer abhorrent human rights at the hand of the Israeli state.
“While we continue to commemorate those traumatic events of 1948, we must also do everything we can to address the current plight facing Palestinian refugees and their families.
“I am calling on all TDs to seize the opportunity to send a real message of Ireland’s commitment to Palestinian human rights.
“In 2021, the Dáil became the first parliament in the EU to recognise Israel’s illegal occupation as an annexation, and therefore a war crime, when there was unanimous support for a Sinn Féin motion.
“Yet by investing Irish taxpayers’ money in companies operating in occupied Palestinian territories, the government continues to make the Irish state complicit in Israeli Apartheid.
“The Sinn Féin bill being debated this week would mandate the Irish Strategic Investment Fund to divest itself of all assets, and to prohibit future investments in any companies, included on the UN Database of companies that operate within the illegal Israeli settlements.
“This fund has invested Irish taxpayers’ money in nine of the 112 companies listed on the UN Database identified as operating in illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories, in breach of international law.
“These investments include four Israeli banks instrumental in facilitating the ongoing campaign of annexation through the provision of funding and loans, and the operation of ATMs in illegal settlements. These banks are partners in settlement expansion; aiding and abetting war crimes.
“These Israeli settlements are illegal under international law and have resulted in countless abhorrent human rights violations against Palestinians, including unlawful demolitions of homes, forced displacement and unlawful killings.
“Sinn Féin’s legislation, brought forward by John Brady, would send a strong message from this state in support of Palestinian human rights and a firm commitment that we will play no part in supporting Israeli war crimes.”