Political posturing on Gaza preventing progress

Ivana Bacik TD
23 January 2024
  • Ireland should support South African ICJ case

Labour leader Ivana Bacik has criticised the failure of politics to agree a cross-party approach on Gaza and the ICJ case.

Labour proposed the following amendments to the Government’s motion today:

In the line ‘insist on full, safe and unhindered…’ after insist, insert ‘an immediate ceasefire and’ so it reads:

“- insist on an immediate ceasefire and full, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access to Gaza and support the UN in their efforts to increase the flow of humanitarian goods into Gaza;”,

and in the line ‘strongly consider an intervention in the South Africa v Israel case..’. replace ‘strongly consider’ with ‘make’ so it reads:

“- make an intervention in the South Africa v Israel case at the ICJ, as a matter of urgency after the Court has made its order on preliminary measures and the filing by South Africa of its memorial in the case, which is the only appropriate process to do so and following the necessary legal and policy analysis;

Ivana Bacik, Brendan Howlin, Alan Kelly, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, Ged Nash, Sean Sherlock, Duncan Smith,

Labour had previously tried to garner cross-party support for a motion supported by Sadaka, Christian Aid and other NGO groups.

Deputy Bacik said:

“Ireland could today send a strong united message to the rest of the world by agreeing a cross-party motion to support Ireland backing the South African Case currently before the ICJ.

“Instead, we now see political elbowing and jostling for position from politicians on both sides of the house.

“Our amendments to the Government motion propose that Ireland will intervene in the South African case after the court has made its order on preliminary measures.

“Labour worked hard to try and achieve cross-party support for a motion supported by NGOs last week. Instead, some political groupings are more preoccupied with ownership of the initiative than they are about making a real statement and attempting to get consensus.

“There is precedent for securing cross-party support on these matters; and Ireland has achieved just that on several occasions. The Occupied Territories Bill, which would ban trade with occupied territories including Israeli settlements, passed all stages in the Seanad, and a first vote in Dáil Éireann in early 2019.

“In 2021, the Dáil made history again as the first national assembly in a European Union country to vote, unanimously, to condemn the de facto annexation of Palestine by Israeli authorities. Indeed, on 18th October 2023, the Dáil was nearly successful in agreeing the wording of a motion which responded to the awful violence in Israel and Gaza that month.

“It is deeply disappointing that the Dáil could not speak on once voice on this important issue.”

Text of draft motion is available here.

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