Tuesday, 8 February 2022
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
I agree that one can oppose Israeli Government policy and should not be labelled as antisemitic for doing it. It is important, given our strength despite being a small country, that our voice on this matter has been seen as objective and honourable, although not by everybody. Generally speaking, our interest is genuine and we have been one of the strong supporters of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East, UNRWA, particularly during the difficult years when former US President Trump took away American funding from UNRWA. Ireland has been a very strong supporter of education, especially in the West Bank and Gaza, through the UNRWA organisation.
We fund civil society organisations and have continued to fund civil society and human rights organisations that Israel has labelled as terrorist or whatever. We do not accept that labelling and we are pushing our European colleagues to continue to support these organisations. I will not use the term "apartheid" because I am not sure it will add anything right now.