Recognising Palestine – rewarding terror or a path to peace?

Diplomatic initiative

Letters to the Editor. Illustration: Paul Scott

Sir, – If Hamas had known that the slaughter of innocent people in its cowardly attack on October 7th would result in recognition of the state of Palestine within eight months, it probably would have done so earlier. The very least that the Irish Government, along with others, could have done is made that recognition conditional on the return of the hostages. However, the alacrity with which this decision was made would suggest these unfortunates were not even considered. – Yours, etc,



Co Kildare.


Sir, – Following our recognition of the state of Palestine, will be now begin to accept huge numbers of Palestinian refugees?

Will we be welcoming them with open tents? – Yours, etc,



Dublin 4.

Sir, – During the declaration by the Taoiseach to formally recognise the state of Palestine, Simon Harris compared the situation to Ireland’s own declaration of statehood in 1919. We would do well to remember what followed. The War of Independence, the Civil War, shootings, killings, the Border campaign of the Fifties, and the Troubles, which were not confined to the Six Counties. There is a very long road ahead. – Yours, etc,



Co Cavan.

A chara, – The recent decision of the Government to recognise a Palestinian state is at best misguided and at worst foolish and will do nothing to end the conflict. How can such a state be recognised when there are no agreed borders? Hillary Clinton, the former Us secretary of state, recently pointed out that the Palestinians have always rejected a so-called two-state solution whenever they were offered one. The reason is obvious as they want to see the destruction of Israel, the only democratic state in the region. This move will be seen as a reward for terrorism. The only way peace can be achieved is if the two sides agree it themselves and not by external governments that have no role in the process. – Is mise,


York, UK.

Sir, – It’s good to see Ireland playing a leading role among the adults in the room, while others are throwing their toys out of the pram. – Yours, etc,




Sir, – The option to declare a “Palestinian state” has been available to the Arab League initially since 1948 and the Palestinian Authority, more recently, but they have chosen not to declare one. Even today the Palestinian government has not declared a state. But Ireland, Norway and Spain have recognised a state that hasn’t been declared yet? I’m curious to know who governs this “state”, is it Fatah or Hamas? Does it have a constitution? A legal system, and do women have full rights now? Is there a free press? Were Hamas part of the discussions, given Hamas controls half of this “state”?

Who are these governments speaking to in “Palestine” with regard to future free and fair elections and what’s the plan if (or when) Hamas wins those elections? Who are the representatives from the Palestine side presenting peace plans? Who is their John Hume?

Or is it a pointless gesture and a PR stunt that won’t make a jot of difference to creating the environment for a peace settlement in that region? – Yours, etc,


The Hague,


Sir, – I write this letter with a heavy heart, as a woman who has always been a proud to be Irish. However, the recent decision by our government to recognize a Palestinian state has left me disillusioned and deeply troubled.

The recognition of a Palestinian State, in my view, is tantamount to rewarding terrorism. It’s a decision that has shaken my faith in the principles that our nation stands for. Terrorism, in any form, is a threat to peace and stability, and it is disheartening to see our Government seemingly endorse a group that has not shied away from such tactics.

Drawing parallels between the Palestinian cause and the Irish fight for independence from British rule is, in my opinion, a gross oversimplification. The Irish struggle was never about the destruction of Britain, but rather the removal of its rule over Ireland. In stark contrast, there are factions within the Palestinian leadership that openly call for the destruction of Israel, a stance that is fundamentally incompatible with the pursuit of peace.

When Ireland secured independence, the vast majority of Irish people accepted the reality that it was better to rule over most of the country in peace than to continue a bloody conflict. Yet the Palestinians have rejected numerous opportunities for peace and have turned Gaza into the world’s leading hotbed of terrorism and the West Bank a close second.

The Belfast Agreement, a landmark in our history, included the IRA renouncing its belief in armed conflict. This was a crucial step towards lasting peace. However, since the Oslo Accords, the Palestinians have not demonstrated a similar commitment to peace, continuing to advocate for armed conflict, the destruction of the state of Israel and the genocide of the Jews. I write not to incite controversy, but to express my deep concern over the direction our beloved country is taking. I believe that we, as a nation, must stand against terrorism in all its forms and promote peace and understanding, rather than endorsing entities that propagate violence and openly call for genocide. History will not judge Ireland and its leaders favourably for the decision it has taken. – Yours, etc,



Sir, – Further to “Recognition of a Palestinian state ‘an act of pure folly’, says Irish Jewish leader” (News, May 22nd), Maurice Cohen claims that the recognition of a Palestinian state amounts to the rewarding of a terrorist organisation. I don’t accept that but if it were true then the new Palestinian state has something in common with Israel. The recognition of the state of Israel was a complex process. Various factors were obviously at play but the terrorist activities of Haganah, Irgun and Lehi played no small part in the recognition of Israel. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 14.

Sir, – The decision by Ireland, Norway and Spain to recognise the state of Palestinian is a historic day for the people of Palestine.

It may not bring peace today or tomorrow but will undoubtedly pave the way for a just and lasting solution for peace in the region.

Furthermore, it will be an important step in ending Hamas’s reign of terror and any legitimacy it may harbour over the cause of the oppressed people of Palestine. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 18.

A chara, – I wish to congratulate the Tánaiste on his tireless work to find a solution to the war in Palestine. Micheál Martin has engaged with all the main players in this tragic and dreadful conflict. I believe that he is now well positioned and has the bona fides to go to Hamas and try to get the Israeli hostages released. This would be a major building block on the road to a ceasefire. He is trusted and respected throughout the Middle East so he should, in my view, seize the moment and engage with Hamas. – Is mise,



Co Wexford.

Sir, – The recognition of Palestine raises some serious questions, particularly in regard to its timing. Why grant recognition now, less than a year after the devastating attack on Israel by Hamas? With support for Fatah in freefall since the attack, the only possible Palestinian state which could emerge is a Hamas-led one. Why are we supporting this terrorist group and rewarding them for violence? – Yours, etc,



Sir, – Taoiseach Simon Harris says recognising a Palestinian state is the “only credible path to peace between Israel and Palestine”.

Well over a hundred countries have previously recognised a Palestinian state, with little difference to the conflict, and it is highly unlikely an Irish recognition will change anything.

It is telling that Hamas has welcomed the Irish decision, and there is little doubt this decision will embolden Hamas and extremists within Palestinian society to redouble their efforts to attack Israel as these efforts have, in their eyes, been rewarded. – Yours, etc,



Co Clare.