Dáil debates

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Ceisteanna - Questions

Official Engagements

4:45 pm

Photo of Richard Boyd BarrettRichard Boyd Barrett (Dún Laoghaire, People Before Profit Alliance) | Oireachtas source

I find that there is regularly an Orwellian disconnect between the pious rhetoric often associated with these set piece speeches in Europe and the aspirations that are articulated and the reality of what is actually happening in Europe.

The Taoiseach spoke about a Europe which respects the rule of law and human rights, and about peace. He then contrasted that with 90 emigrants drowning in the Mediterranean. This month, 246 people on one boat drowned because Europe does not want to let them in and because of what European states have done to wreck Libya and the consequences of that. Where is the respect for human rights and the sense of solidarity in all of that? I do not understand it.

Similarly, to return to the issue of Palestine, I do not understand how we can talk about respect for the rule of law and yet the European Union does nothing whatsoever about the fact that Israel acts flagrantly in breach of United Nations security resolutions on the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories. There is ongoing ethnic cleansing but it does nothing. It does nothing about the fact that it continues its murderous siege of the people of Gaza, and sanctions are not taken. I genuinely do not understand it. At a certain point, the world acknowledged that apartheid South Africa was a regime that could not continue. At what point will the European Union say that Israel's treatment of the Palestinians cannot continue, that we will no longer continue to treat it as a normal state and that we will impose some sort of sanctions? We have tried conciliation for decades and it has not worked. The situation just gets worse.


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