Micheál Martin says it is “just wrong” to say Ireland is hostile to Israel

Mr Martin said the Irish have strong opinions on the Israel and Palestine conflict

Speaking to the Israel Council on Foreign Relations, Mr Martin said he was aware that Ireland’s “longstanding principled position” on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could be a “persistent source of tension” in political relations between the two countries.

“However, I would like to start by stressing that the assumption sometimes made in the Israeli media and public discourse that our position on the conflict is evidence of hostility towards Israel by Ireland or the Irish people is simply correct wrong,” he said.

Mr Martin said he was “very aware” of the sense of threat that Ireland was “very aware” of due to Iran’s nuclear weapons program and the country’s “continued destabilizing behaviour” in the Middle East and beyond.

“We have no illusions about the risk this poses to the entire Middle East region and beyond, but we remain convinced that a diplomatic and political route is the only realistic option to manage this risk,” Martin said.

“It may sound naïve to this audience, but the dialogue can and will continue, with Ireland continuing to participate and support it. I also believe that restoring diplomatic ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia has the potential to bring more stability to the region,” he added.

Mr Martin said the Irish people have strong opinions on the Israel-Palestine conflict because we are a small and militarily neutral country that relies on all nations to comply with international law and the rules-based order.

The leader of Fianna Fáil said he “unreservedly condemns acts of terrorism against Israeli citizens” and does not ignore the “fear and tension” felt by citizens hoping to go about their daily lives.

“I fully recognize the destabilizing role played by certain actors in the region, fueling tensions and supporting extremism. I understand how these factors can influence Israeli perspectives and responses, and I have listened carefully to my political colleagues,” he said.

Mr Martin said it must also be recognized that there are five million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip who have a right to self-determination.

“Just in February of this year, the UN Security Council reiterated its strong opposition to Israeli settlement building and expansion, the confiscation of Palestinian land, the demolition of Palestinian homes and the displacement of Palestinian civilians.” These policies and measures not only violate international law, they have also no clear justification in terms of protecting the security of Israel,” he said.

He welcomed the fact that Israel has “normalized” its relations with a number of Arab countries in recent years and said he hoped this would open new avenues for peace in the region.

“That may seem unimaginable in the current political context. But how many of the challenges we’ve faced since 2008 could we have imagined—and how many solutions to some of those challenges could we have foreseen? I firmly believe that with political will, we can pave the way for a just and lasting peace between the Israeli and Palestinian people,” he said.

https://www.sundayworld.com/news/irish-news/micheal-martin-says-it-is-simply-incorrect-to-say-ireland-is-hostile-towards-israel/a707799829.html Micheál Martin says it is “just wrong” to say Ireland is hostile to Israel


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