People Before Profit renews call for expulsion of Israeli ambassador

Time for Government to ‘go beyond words’ in response to violence against Palestinians, says TD

People Before Profit has appealed for support for a Dáil motion which calls on the Government to expel the Israeli ambassador as a response to Israeli military action against Palestinian targets in Gaza.

"It's time for the Irish Government to go beyond words," Dublin Mid-West TD Gino Kenny told reporters at Leinster House on Tuesday morning. "They need to do deeds, and that deed is expelling the Israeli ambassador."

The motion, he said, "would put pressure on Simon Coveney and the Government".

On Sunday, Minister for Foreign Affairs ruled out expelling the Israeli ambassador.


“Expelling the Israeli ambassador won’t save a single Palestinian child or Israeli,” he said adding that to expel and ambassador is a “flawed” idea because the Government would no longer have a channel of communication.

“The idea that you advance the argument that you’re making in refusing to talk to a government or ambassador is flawed. That’s not how international [diplomacy] works.”

The past week has seen Israeli forces attack targets in Gaza in response to rocket attacks by Palestinian militants on Israel. Mr Kenny did not mention the Palestinian attacks.

It would also, Mr Kenny said, "send a message to the Israeli government but also to the Palestinian people that they are not alone, but Ireland is with them".

He said Ireland had “a unique position” on the UN Security Council . . . “and could send a message not only to Israel but also around the world that these crimes against the Palestinian people will not go unpunished”.

“There is a huge sentiment of being pro-Palestinian in this country,” he said, adding that he was hopeful the motion could get support in the Dáil.

He said Ireland and other countries “have done nothing”, to contain Israel and criticised the EU in particular.

Dún Laoghaire TD Richard Boyd Barrett called for "economic and political sanctions" on Israel, and said that "Ireland should pay a leading role in the campaign" for these measures.

Pat Leahy

Pat Leahy

Pat Leahy is Political Editor of The Irish Times