The Irish government has been criticised by Richard Boyd Barrett MP for what he described as its “double standards” when dealing with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine compared with Israel’s occupation of Palestine.
“It took five days for sanctions against Putin and his thugs but imposing sanctions for 70 years of oppression of the Palestinians would ‘not be helpful’,” said the left-wing lawmaker from the People Before Profit Party. “You’re happy to correctly use the most strong and robust language to describe the crimes against humanity of Vladimir Putin but you will not use the same strength of language when it comes to describing Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.”
The MP listed Israeli violations against Palestinian rights, including assaults on Gaza and the annexation of land. “You don’t want to even use the word apartheid, never mind sanctions,” he told parliament.
Boyd Barrett reminded his fellow MPs that Amnesty International has called for Israel to be referred to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, including apartheid. “[Amnesty and Human Rights Watch] are calling for targeted sanctions against Israeli officials perpetuating the system of apartheid, exactly the same types of sanctions you’ve just initiated against Vladimir Putin.”