Category: Anti-war


gazaIsrael has launched at least 16 airstrikes on the Gaza Strip since last night. This is the third such assault since the end of the war on Gaza last summer which killed over 2100 Palestinians, including 500 children. This is unacceptable and the Irish government should hold Israel accountable.

In April the Association of International Development Agencies, which includes Oxfam, Save the Children and the Norwegian People’s Aid, called for a suspension of arms transfers to Israel and the revocation of arms export licenses as an urgent requirement to address the root cause of repeated wars and benefit Israelis and Palestinians alike. The aid agencies also called on EU countries to use the EU-Israel Association Agreement as a form of pressure on Israel until it meets its international obligations. They explicitly asked governments to issue clear guidance to national companies, state-owned companies and pension and investment funds, to ensure they do not invest in companies involved in Israeli violations of international law.

rbb gazaRichard Boyd Barrett said: “This latest attack on Gaza must be condemned by the international community. We cannot stand by silently while Israel unleashes further devastation on a civilian population which is still recovering from the unspeakable horrors of Israel’s bombing campaign last summer.

Just last week the World Bank said that Gaza’s economy is on the verge of collapse. Its unemployment rate is the highest in the world and 100,000 people are still homeless because Israel bombed their houses into smithereens.

Have people in Gaza not suffered enough from these assaults and from the seven year Israeli blockade? It really is obscene we continue to deal with Israel as though it were a normal state.

As a matter of priority, Ireland should lead by example and follow the guidelines issued by the Association of International Development Agencies last month in its report on the situation in Gaza. That means issuing clear guidelines to divest from companies involved in the Israeli occupation, and linking trade to accountability. Our government should act immediately. “

World Bank Report:

http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2015/05/21/gaza-economy-on-the-verge-of-collapse?CID=EXT_TWBN_D_EXT

Association of International Development Agencies Report:

https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/file_attachments/bp-charting-new-course-stalemate-gaza-130415-en.pdf

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Ibrahim Halawa, a 19 year old Dublin born man has been imprisoned, without the right to a fair trial, for nearly 2 years for peacefully protesting in Egypt. Mr Halawa (19) goes on trial on Sunday along with 493 others involved in protests in Cairo against the Egyptian authorities.

He was arrested along with three of his sisters on August 17th, 2013, and has been in Egyptian custody since. His three sisters have been released

CBGk-SdWgAERLwL.jpg largeBelow is a video of Richard Boyd Barrett TD, People Before Profit calls on Irish government to call for his release and to condemn mass trial and possibility of execution of Irish citizen.

A protest takes place today at 2pm at Department of Foreign Affairs, Iveagh House, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2.

 

Palestinian Statehood invite

Press release

Forum to discuss Palestinian Statehood to take place in Dublin tomorrow on both one and two state solutions

A forum will take place in Dublin tomorrow, from 10am to 1.30pm in Wynns Hotel that will look at the issue of Palestinian statehood in terms of the two state solution and the not often talked about one state solution. The event takes place at the beginning of Israeli Apartheid Week 2015 which is being marked by a number of events worldwide.

The forum will also be addressed by Palestinian academic Dr. Ibrahim Natil and Jewish author and critic of Zionism, John Rose.

All media are invited to attend.

Continue reading

Richard Boyd Barrett speaks on US military and CIA use of Shannon airport

People Before Profit shares the near universal revulsion at the horrific murder of Charlie Hebdo journalists in Paris last week. There can be no justification for this awful act.

pbplogo75People Before Profit, which is strongly anti-racist and respects people’s rights to their religious beliefs would criticise many of the cartoons that appeared recently in Charlie Hebdo, some of which were deliberately offensive to Muslim people, but this in no way excuses this atrocity.

Unfortunately this dreadful event is being used and exploited by various ‘leaders’ and rulers to present themselves as defenders of free speech and freedom in general when they are anything but.

charlie-hebdo-paris-shootingThe demonstration in Paris was attended, absolutely legitimately, by a million French citizens but it was led by a group of leaders that included some of the world’s worst tyrants and violators of freedom of speech. These included the Prime Minister of Turkey which regularly jails journalists just for mentioning the Kurdish struggle, the Foreign Secretary of Egypt which recently sentenced 500 people to death and is imprisoning Al Jazeera journalists, Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel which killed numerous journalist in Gaza last year, and the Foreign Minister of Bahrain which both jails and tortures journalists.

Nor do we accept the right of the French Government, or the so-called ‘West’ as a whole, to claim to be the embodiment of freedom. France has a long history of imperialist oppression of North African and Middle Eastern peoples, and there are currently high levels of racism in France often reinforced by the French state. And ‘the West’, led by the United States, has created the context for these awful reactions by means of repeated interventions and wars on Muslim countries which have claimed far .more innocent lives than all terrorist atrocities put together. Continue reading

 

Speaking in the Dáil today, during question time with Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan, People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett once again called on the government to end the use of Shannon airport by US military.

shannonThere has been an intensification of US airstrikes in the Middle East with several strikes in particular in  recent weeks in the Kobani region on the Turkish- Syrian border.

Richard Boyd Barrett TD said, “Incredibly after the last US war in the Middle East with the loss of a million lives in Iraq and widespread destruction in the region, Ireland is supporting yet another US bombing campaign by its facilitation of military plans and personnel at Shannon airport.

Against a background of another disastrous decision by the US to bomb Syria and Iraq, this government is supporting US efforts by still refusing to at least search planes passing through Shannon airport.”

In 2003 Deputy Boyd Barrett was one of the organisers of one of the biggest demonstrations in Irish history against the planned US war in Iraq and at that time the predictions about the loss of life were an estimated 50,000. An estimated 1 million people were killed in the US campaign.

 The People Before Profit TD further stated: “Even with the disastrous consequences we have seen in Iraq and in Afghanistan, the US is going full steam ahead into another war with no regard for the consequences, shoring up support for IS in the region.  A dangerous cocktail is being fermented by US actions”.

“How can the Minister and the government justify US troops using Shannon to go to another bloody war without even searching the planes and merely relying on assurances. Relying on assurances from the same country that told us there ware weapons of mass destruction to justify going into Iraq is hugely irresponsible”. Continue reading

Richard Boyd Barrett TD for the People Before Profit Alliance has said that the failure of the EU and US to impose sanctions on Israel in response to its “murderous” assault on Gaza, “exposes the utter moral bankruptcy of the western powers.”

Deputy Boyd Barrett contrasted the speed with which the EU and US imposed sanctions on Russia for its activities in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine with its refusal to impose any sanctions on Israel – despite “its utterly barbaric assault on the people of Gaza” and its “systematic, on-going persecution of the Palestinian people and weekly theft of ever more Palestinian land through the expansion of illegal settlements.”

Deputy Boyd Barrett called on the Irish government to impose immediate sanctions on Israel by expelling the Israeli ambassador and ceasing all trade with Israel until the Gaza assault ends.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said: “Once again, Israel is engaged in a criminal and murderous military assault against the people of Gaza – deliberately slaughtering men, women and children in an act of collective punishment against the Palestinian people that flies in the face of every standard of human rights and international law. Yet incredibly, the US and the EU stand idly by and allow Israel to inflict this massacre – imposing no sanctions, whatsoever.

Indeed, far from sanctioning Israel for these atrocities and its on-going, systematic persecution of the Palestinian people and weekly theft of Palestinian land through the expansion of illegal settlements, the EU and US continue to give massive financial and military support to Israel.

The moral bankruptcy and double standards of the western powers in allowing Israel to kill Palestinians with impunity without imposing any sanctions is utterly nauseating. Look how fast the EU and US imposed political and economic sanctions on Russia over its activities in Ukraine.

Yet when Israel is engaged in the murder and collective punishment of hundreds of innocent men, women and children, they do absolutely nothing.

If the EU or US had even a scintilla of moral decency and consistency informing their foreign policies, they would immediately impose economic and political sanctions on Israel and demand that they stop this barbaric military assault on Gaza.

Equally, if the Irish government had any decency at all, they would act unilaterally where the EU has failed to act. The government should immediately expel the Israeli ambassador and cease all trade with Israel until massacre stops.”

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As Israel invade Gaza and deaths mount, flag is removed by Councillor in Dun Laoghaire

In a statement today, Cllr Hugh Lewis (People Before Profit)says he, along with People Before Profit members and supporters, has removed the Israeli Flag from Dun Laoghaire Harbour. As a ground invasion begins in Gaza last night and the number of Palestinian deaths rises to over 260, including over 50 children, the Israeli flag was flying this morning in Dun Laoghaire Harbour despite numerous requests to the Harbour Company to remove it.

The Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, in conjunction with the Royal St, George Yacht Club has, for the past week, been flying the flag of Israel as part of a European Sailing Competition.

Despite a stream of calls and pleas from the public in Dun Laoghaire to have the flag taken down as a mark of respect for the dead, injured and traumatised in Gaza, the Harbour Company has so far refused.

Cllr Hugh Lewis is a long time anti war activist and was a crew member of the Irish Ship to Gaza, which was intercepted en route to Gaza and captured by Israel in 2011.

Speaking today Cllr Hugh Lewis said “I have received dozens of calls from constituents who are disgusted that the Israeli state flag is flying at a time of so much brutality and violence and while war crimes are being perpetrated by that state on the Palestinian people.

It is completely unacceptable and inappropriate that after hundreds of people have been in contact, demanding that the flag be taken down out of solidarity and respect, it flies high in our town.
The Harbour Company have refused to listen to the people of the county so I, along with some Pro Palestinian activists went down to the harbour and I have taken the flag down.

Over 3,000 people marched in Dublin last week in solidarity with the people of Gaza and even higher numbers will attend another demonstration at the Spire at 2pm tomorrow. The support for Palestine has been overwhelming, the Harbour Company should have responded to the hundreds of calls they received and not have it come to this.”

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