ISTANBUL MAR 06, 2022
An Irish lawmaker criticized his government for “double standards” regarding sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, but not taking similar steps against Israel for its violence against Palestinians.
Richard Boyd Barrett sits in the Irish parliament for the left-wing 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,” he told parliament on Wednesday.
He listed Israeli infringements of Palestinian rights, including assaults on Gaza and the annexation of land, and said: “You don’t want to even use the word apartheid, never mind sanctions.”
“(It took) five days for sanctions against Putin and his thugs – 70 years of oppression of the Palestinians, and it wouldn’t be – What was the word you used?-it wouldn’t be ‘helpful’ to impose sanctions.”
He said Amnesty International has called for Israel to be referred to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.
“They (Amnesty) are calling for targeted sanctions against Israeli officials perpetuating the system of apartheid,” he said. “Just exactly the same types of sanctions you’ve just initiated against Vladimir Putin.”
The idea of the two-state solution was to give the Palestinians an independent state while allowing Israel to exist as a democracy with a strong Jewish majority. However, Israel’s continued expansion of settlements, the absence of any peace process and repeated rounds of violence have greatly complicated hopes of partitioning the land.
The international community still views a two-state solution as the only realistic way to resolve the conflict.
But the ground is shifting, particularly among young Palestinians, who increasingly view the conflict as a struggle for equal rights under what they – and three prominent human rights groups – say is an apartheid regime.
Israel vehemently rejects those allegations, viewing them as an antisemitic attack on its right to exist. Lapid has suggested reviving a political process with the Palestinians would help Israel resist any efforts to brand it an apartheid state in world bodies.