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Irish Friends of Palestine Against Lisbon put their case to the public in Dublin's Grafton Street

category dublin | eu | feature author Saturday July 25, 2009 12:11author by Raymond Deane - Irish Friends of Palestine Against Lisbon Report this post to the editors

Intimidated by economic scaremongering ...

featured image
IFPAL on Grafton Street

For the last three days, several activists from the recently formed campaigning group IFPAL (Irish Friends of Palestine Against Lisbon) manned a stall at the top of Dublin's Grafton St, conspicuously decorated with Palestinian flags billowing freely in the breezy, showery weather.

IFPAL seeks to highlight the negative effects of the European Common Foreign and Security Policy, particularly as displayed by Ireland's renunciation of its independent policy on the issue of Israel/Palestine in favour of conformity with that of the more powerful and pro-Israeli EU members. Some 1,300 leaflets were distributed, stating that:

• EU foreign policy has damaged the human and political rights of the Palestinian people by giving Israel financial and political support regardless of its gross human rights violations in breach of numerous statutes of international humanitarian law and the EU-Israel Trade Agreement.
• EU foreign policy has emboldened Israel which continues its policies of murder, ethnic cleansing, illegal detention, home demolition, land and water theft, construction of the illegal apartheid wall, torture, genocide and apartheid without fear of sanction from the EU.
• It would pivot Ireland from its present status as an independent sovereign country to that of a minor subordinate in a newly constituted European superstate.
• It would allow the EU Council to change the manner in which EU foreign policy is decided from unanimity to qualified majority vote thus removing Ireland’s veto.
• Ireland would be obliged to uphold the common EU foreign policy - even if we disagree with the policy.
• Ireland would lose its sovereign right to espouse an independent foreign policy, even in the United Nations where a new EU foreign minister, as proposed by the Lisbon Treaty, would represent all EU member states.
• EU foreign policy is decided behind closed doors away form the gaze of public scrutiny and is being manipulated by a well funded Zionist lobby embedded in the political architecture of the larger states that dominate and control EU foreign policy.

The EU claims to be guided by values of human dignity, liberty, democracy, equality, the rule of law, and respect for human rights. This claim is exposed as a lie when we examine the EU’s relationship with the rogue Israeli state.

The EU aids and supports Israel
When Israel launched a 22 day assault against defenceless, impoverished and imprisoned civilians in Gaza, already severely weakened by a devastating two year siege - a war crime - the EU took no action to protect these people or to rein in or to sanction Israel. As the people of Gaza were attacked day and night from land, sea, and air with weapons of mass destruction, including white phosphorous bombs and flechette nail bombs, the EU continued to promote economic and diplomatic relations with Israel. No Israeli ambassadors were expelled from any EU member state and none of the EU states withdrew their ambassadors from Israel – the very minimum that should have been done. The EU gave Israel the Green light to continue its assault which killed 1417 people including 315 children and left hundreds of others burned, blinded, crippled, and maimed for life in an impoverished and ruined ghetto that has neither the facilities or the means to care for these people. Six months later and the EU has not sent a single ship with aid to the port in Gaza.

Irish Foreign Policy now decided by the EU.
The common EU foreign and security policy has already had a serious negative impact on Irish foreign policy. This is evident from the decisions agreed by Irish foreign minister Michael Martin which are counter to Ireland’s proud record of supporting human rights and the rule of law. In June 2008 Minister Martin agreed to upgrade relations with Israel even though in the previous five months Israel killed over 300 Palestinians, including 60 children. He failed to use the Irish veto to block the EU upgrade despite Israel’s actions which also breached the “essential” human right Article of the EU-Israel Trade Agreement. In doing do he also ignored a direct plea from the Palestinian Prime Minister to our Taoiseach not to agree the EU upgrade. When Israel killed over 300 children in January, Minister Martin took no action to punish Israel for its gross human rights violations. He refused to withdraw the Irish Ambassador or to expel the Israeli ambassador or to even call for a suspension of the EU-Israel trade agreement which affords Israel lucrative concessions on its exports to the EU, its largest trading partner; Minister Martin failed to act because he could not do so without breaching the Common EU Foreign and Security Policy which shelters Israel from sanctions and which all EU states have agreed to uphold. This situation will be set in stone if the Lisbon Treaty is ratified. Israel will continue to be sheltered and aided by the EU and Ireland will have to comply.

The response to the stall was generally favourable, but many people expressed their surprise that this perspective had never been drawn to their attention before. Many, as expected, agreed with IFPAL's point of view but felt intimidated by economic scaremongering. Others said they would vote no anyway, and were delighted to be given a further reason. A remarkable number of Israeli tourists stopped by, most of them disapproving and one or two almost violently hostile. This would seem to confirm that the vast majority of Israelis (100% as far as tourists in Ireland are concerned) are fully content with the criminal policies of their government. IFPAL believes that the Irish government and the Irish people shouldn't share their contentment!

Related Link: http://www.ifpal.ie

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Caption: Video Id: YMoWSEfAHDY Type: Youtube Video
Irish Friends of Palestine Against Lisbon, Information Stall, Grafton St, Dublin


 #   Title   Author   Date 
   Irish Friends of Palestine Against Lisbon urge a No vote at U2's Croke Park gig     TD    Sun Jul 26, 2009 06:58 
   "Another band-wagon anti-Lisbon group"     Mark C    Sun Jul 26, 2009 10:47 
   Video : Irish Friends of Palestine Against Lisbon present their case to the people of ...     TD    Sat Aug 01, 2009 19:29 
   Irish Friends of Palestine Against Lisbon Facebook Page     Sam    Mon Aug 03, 2009 01:09 
   You're hurting us     Bibakshid    Sun Aug 09, 2009 01:35 
   Sinn Fein meet Northern Ireland Friends of Israel     Patrick Henry    Mon Aug 10, 2009 22:46 
   One million signatures?     One million signatures    Sun Oct 04, 2009 01:34 


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