SIR – I believe that it is incumbent on the Irish government to formally recognise the existence of the state of Palestine and join the other 136 countries who have already given this recognition. The Fine Gael programme for government pledged to ‘honour our commitment to recognise the state of Palestine’.
It is now most important to do so. The Israeli parliament declared to be legal some 4,000 Jewish settlements on Palestinian privately-owned land. These settlements and
others have been declared to be illegal under international law by the United Nations and the ‘legalising’ has been rightly condemned by many nations.
Now with Mr Trump in charge in the US, we can see that Israel has been emboldened and will hasten with its plans to ethnically cleanse Palestine of its indigenous people. Therefore, the UN must be given full support by all unaligned nations, including Ireland, in its endeavours to make Israel compliant with international law.
Israel by its actions since 1967, has made it abundantly clear to all that it has no intention whatsoever to willingly give consent to any meaningful conditions which would lead to a two-state solution. Its present government fully supports the Jewish settlers in their criminal activity of demolishing Palestinian homes and expropriation of their lands.
Sufficient support in the UN will inevitably lead to an embargo on trade with Israel until that rogue country abides by international law.
Here at home last year, we celebrated with pride the bravery of our 1916 leaders who gave their lives and inspired their followers to shake off the shackles of a cruel colonial oppressor. We are all too aware of the pitiful situation in which the Palestinian people find themselves and they deserve our full political and moral support in their legitimate claim to statehood and freedom.
Having celebrated our steps to freedom and nationhood, we would indeed be truly hypocritical to ourselves and a betrayal to the the memory of our liberators if we now fail to give full recognition to Palestine as a state.