Act For Palestine Foundation in collaboration with Days Of Palestine organized on Monday, August 21, 2023, a virtual symposium on the Twitter platform titled “International Solidarity with Palestine: Ireland as a Model”
The symposium featured prominent figures, including Irish Member of Parliament and Sinn Féin party member, Mr. Mard Ward, as well as several activists and journalists.
Irish Solidarity with Palestine
Opening the event, Irish Member of Parliament, Mr. Mard Ward, conveyed Ireland’s steadfast solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle against Israeli occupation. He emphasized that the Irish people deeply understand the implications of facing occupation and oppression. “Our strong solidarity with the Palestinian people,” he asserted, “is easily understood given our historical experiences.”
Mr. Ward highlighted various forms of Irish solidarity with Palestinians, including the profound connections between political prisoners in Ireland and those in Palestine. He also pointed out the presence of murals in both Ireland and Palestine that symbolize this unity across Europe. He mentioned how local councils proudly display Palestinian flags, recalling his own experience as an advisor in South Dublin where the Palestinian flag flew outside council offices. He added that student unions have proposed recognizing the state of Palestine.
Irish Support for Palestinian Struggles
Discussing ongoing Irish support for daily Palestinian struggles, Mr. Ward highlighted numerous demonstrations held across Irish cities and villages, condemning recent Israeli killings in places like Jenin. He emphasized the Irish people’s full awareness of the atrocities committed by Israel and their determination to stand against them.
Role of the Irish Government
Regarding official Irish support for Palestine, Mr. Ward explained that while the government has expressed explicit support, substantive actions are still needed. He noted efforts to pressure the Irish government into passing the Occupied Territories Bill, aimed at limiting trade with companies operating in occupied lands. This year, Sinn Féin introduced a bill to withdraw investments from illegal Israeli settlements. The legislation is designed to encourage the Irish Strategic Investment Fund to divest from companies operating within legally unauthorized Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories.
Mr. Ward affirmed that directing the Irish Strategic Investment Fund to divest from businesses tied to illegal Israeli settlements marks a significant step toward addressing Israel’s continuous violations of international law through its unlawful annexation of Palestinian lands and the construction of illegal Israeli settlements.
Unlawful Israeli Settlements
Discussing the issue of illegal Israeli settlements, Mr. Ward stressed that these settlements, their maintenance, and expansion all violate international law and can amount to war crimes. He noted that these settlements have led to numerous human rights violations against Palestinians, including the unlawful demolition of homes and infrastructure, destruction of agricultural lands, forced displacement, and extrajudicial killings.
Mr. Ward highlighted that European and international business entities collaborating with or offering services to Israeli settlements play a crucial role in sustaining and expanding these settlements. He underlined the significant risk that companies involved in settlement projects face in terms of being implicated in serious violations of international humanitarian law.
It’s worth noting that this symposium is part of the ongoing efforts by the “Act For Palestine” Foundation to mobilize international solidarity with the Palestinian people. The foundation aims to connect the Palestinian struggle with the struggles of other nations while shedding light on Israel’s continuous acts of terrorism against the Palestinian people.