Occupied Territories Bill must become law

May 24th, 2020 8:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

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SIR – Ireland is approaching a moral crossroad, at speed. The direction it takes will have international significance.

This country is respected and admired for many things, such as its struggle for statehood, its neutrality and for the principled stand it took in resisting the apartheid regime of South Africa.

Right now, we are on the threshold of another event of equal moral significance to the latter.

Senator Frances Black’s Occupied Territories Bill has jumped hurdle after hurdle in Oireachtas Éireann –  therefore it represents the will of the people. It now just needs a small step to legislate it into law.But, there is a real danger that in the negotiations of forming a government, Fianna Fáil and the Greens will surrender to a Fine Gael demand that the Bill be cast aside.

It is hard to believe that any politician would find some convoluted way of justifying the import and sale in this country of stolen products from any lands occupied by brutal military force, such as the Palestinian territories.

It is hard to believe that any would overlook the flagrant violation of the Geneva Convention that prohibits the transfer of population into an occupied territory.

It is hard to believe that any would ‘overlook’ the theft of land, water and minerals.

The old, worn-out excuse to do nothing, because everyone is working towards a two-state solution, has imploded. The final seizure (or ‘annexation’) of the Palestinian territories is about to happen – emboldened by the support of the Trump administration.

The excuse that Ireland can’t act unilaterally from the European Union, has been thoroughly dismissed by legal experts.

It is time for political representatives to take a principled stand and help wrench the steering wheel away from those who care little for what is right.

Mike Rahr,



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