Dáil debates

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Ceisteanna - Questions

Programme for Government

4:35 pm

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

Quite irrespective of what anybody on Capitol Hill might think, and our position on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is well recorded and fully understood everywhere, the fact is that we have the power here to recognise the state of Palestine. As the Taoiseach knows, that matter was settled and agreed by the Oireachtas six years ago. I am saying to him to do it, and to do it while there still is a Palestinian state to recognise. On the issue of the occupied territories Bill, the Taoiseach knows full well there has been a strong pushback against this legislation because it would be groundbreaking and would bring about a change in diplomatic, political and legal terms in respect of the issue and the economy of the occupation which the Israeli state has carefully fostered. The Taoiseach knows the Bill is a game changer that would very much shape and confront Israeli policy. In taking leadership on this matter, Ireland would lead the way for others to follow suit.

We have to act on this. There is no point of us being of good sentiment and being well-meaning and wishing the best for the Palestinians when the Irish State stands back and allows an ongoing occupation, and even the prospect of further annexation. We can lead on this. If I was sitting in the Taoiseach's seat I would be telling Deputies of the date on which the Palestinian State would be recognised, as per the collective view of the Oireachtas. I would not have allowed Fine Gael, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Deputy Coveney, or anyone else, to face down the occupied territories Bill. That is what happened. One of the negotiators from the Green Party, when asked what happened to the occupied territories Bill, answered in two words: "Simon Coveney". The Taoiseach cannot stand over that and nor should he.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.