Dublin councillor pushes for City Hall to fly Palestinian flag

Sub-committee has passed motion on issue, full council to make final decision by May 8th

Dublin City Council should fly a Palestinian flag above City Hall for the month of May in solidarity with the people of Palestine living under the "apartheid" regime of the Israeli government, a city councillor has said.

Cllr John Lyons (People Before Profit) said he proposed the motion to mark 50 years of Israeli occupation in the West Bank and to show the support of the international community for the Palestinian people.

A council sub-committee passed Mr Lyons’s motion last month and the full council is scheduled to make a final decision by May 8th.

The Israeli embassy condemned the motion, saying a decision to fly the Palestinian flag over City Hall would be “counter-productive and will ultimately defame the good name of the city of Dublin and its citizens”.


‘White flag of submission’

“Should Dublin City Council approve such a motion, it will in effect raise a white flag of submission to terror organisations, hatred and blackmail,” the embassy said in a statement.

The motion brought to the council by Mr Lyons notes that following “diplomatic developments by the Irish State toward full recognition of the state of Palestine” and the passing of motions in support of Palestinian statehood by both Houses of the Oireachtas, the city should fly the flag of Palestine over City Hall “as a gesture of our solidarity with the people of Palestine living under occupation”.

Mr Lyons, who visited the West Bank last year, said the flag would act as a small gesture of support for communities living under a form of “apartheid, worse than South Africa”.

‘International solidarity’

“The importance of international solidarity was really revealed to me having met people in the West Bank who feel like the world doesn’t care,” he said. “I think there’s a strong sentiment for the struggle of Palestinians in Dublin and we have witnessed some of the largest pro-Palestinian mobilisation in Dublin city in recent years.”

Mr Lyons said he was confident in the support of colleagues and members of other political parties in passing the motion, adding he was also waiting for a result on a second motion calling for Dublin to take part in the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign regarding Israeli goods and services.

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak is an Irish Times reporter and cohost of the In the News podcast