“Dear Minister Gilmore,
I am contacting you as I am very concerned about the recent Israeli attack on Gaza. Israel has launched an unprovoked and extremely violent assault on the tiny coastal strip (25mls x 10mls), home to over 1.7 million Palestinians, and the most densely populated area on earth.
Contrary to your statement on the situation which mistakenly implied that Israel has responding to Palestinian attacks rather than initiating the violence, on Wednesday 14th November, Israel violated an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire by assassinating a leading Hamas commander and bombarding 20 targets in Gaza. This was the opening salvo of what the Israeli military calls ‘Operation Pillar of Cloud’.
Do you think it coincidental that each of the last six bombardments of Gaza or Palestine have occurred within six months prior to an Israeli general election? They are trading dead children for votes! As I write, 112 people murdered (25% children) and over 800 seriously injured, in just six days. This is genocide Minister, plain and simple.
Human rights organisations – among them the internationally respected Palestinian Center for Human Rights – report that Israel is bombing Gaza indiscriminately. Civilians have borne the brunt of this assault; there have been numerous attacks on civilian dwellings, infrastructure and institutions resulting in many deaths and hundreds of injuries. This amounts to collective punishment of the population, which is a war crime under the Fourth Geneva Convention.
For the last five years Gaza has been subjected to a siege and embargo by Israel, in violation of international law. This siege, which has caused untold misery for the people of Gaza, constitutes an ongoing situation of belligerence and violence imposed by Israel.
I call on you as Minister for Foreign Affairs to take concrete action to help secure an immediate end to both the Israeli attacks on Gaza, and its ongoing illegal blockade of the region. The fact that Israel has faced no sanction from the international community for its frequent and flagrant human rights abuses against Palestinians has emboldened it to launch this current assault. The Irish government needs to take concrete steps to end this impunity by sanctioning Israel for its behaviour.
The principal step would be to call for the suspension of Israel from the Euro-Med Agreement, under which it is granted special EU trading privileges conditional on “respect for human rights” which is “an essential element of this Agreement”. I also call on you to end the Irish arms trade with Israel, to work within the European Union to end EU research grants to Israel and to impose sanctions on Israeli goods, particularly goods from illegal settlements in the Occupied Territories.
It is time you, of all people, stopped the continued official nonsense of ‘calling for a ceasefire’ or ‘putting diplomatic pressure’ on the Israeli government. You and the entire world know that Israel listens to no one and never has. It is time you actually DID something and had the balls to stand over whatever consequences arise. I therefore respectfully request that you start by throwing out the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland, immediately. Can you please confirm to me in writing if this action has been considered or discussed by the Government and if so when?
Any child can talk but it takes a real human being to take action and have the courage of their convictions. The question I have is, do you Minister? It is high time that the Government of this Country and it’s people regained some respect on the international stage by doing what is morally and ethically right and not what pleases the financial community or panders to ‘economic sensitivities’. There is more to life than financial matters and in your capacity as Minister for Foreign Affairs it is incumbent on YOU to take action, and less of the ‘words of condemnation’.
Need I remind you Minister, there is never a wrong time to do the right thing.
Chief Executive Officer
Awshal General Trading & Investment LLC
Muscat, Oman. ”
The Ministers reply (or that of one of his secretaries more accurately) received over TWO MONTHS LATER!
6th February 2013
Our Ref: MEU0120027
Dear Mr. Blaney,
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Eamon Gilmore T.D., has asked me to thank you for your emails of 18th December, concerning an offensive post made by the Facebook account of the Israeli Embassy in Dublin, and 19 December, concerning comments made by the Deputy Head of the Israeli Embassy, Ms. Nurit Modai.
In relation to the Israeli Embassy’s Christmas post on its Facebook page, the Tánaiste notes that the Israeli Embassy has made clear the post was not authorised and was very quickly withdrawn. The Tánaiste was satisfied to learn that the Embassy has issued an apology via the same Facebook page, and considers the matter resolved.
The comments of Ms. Modai were made by in an email sent from her private email account, to a personal friend and quite apart from her official capacity. The Israeli Embassy in Dublin has released a statement which accepts that the comments were made by Ms. Modai, that they were intended as a joke, not to be taken seriously, and that they do not in any way accurately reflect Israeli policy.
The Tánaiste would hope that anyone involved in this often emotive issue, on whatever side, would always have due respect for the private life and dignity of those with whom they may be disagreeing.