Ireland’s recognition of Palestine

“Hope” is a dangerous thing if it is used by either side to encourage more violence

Letters to the Editor. Illustration: Paul Scott

Sir, – The Government deserves to be applauded for its recognition of the state of Palestine. In these desperate times, as Palestinians in Gaza face starvation, displacement and death, trying to survive in apocalyptic scenes of total destruction, it is important to recognise their legitimate right to sovereignty and to live in peace and security alongside an Israeli state. This is the only hope for peace in the Middle East. After more than 50 years of failure to provide legal, diplomatic and political avenues to Palestinians to achieve their legitimate rights, and in view of the ongoing devastation in Gaza and escalating violence in the West Bank, recognition may well be now or never. Last Friday, the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to stop the military offensive on Rafah, “which may inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life which could bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part”.

“There is never a wrong time to do the right thing”, as aptly said by the Taoiseach. – Yours, etc,




A chara, – What is the purpose of the UN International Court of Justice if there is no force or agency to enact its decisions? – Is mise,



Co Wicklow.

Sir, – While Ireland’s recognition of a Palestinian state seems well intentioned, surely it suggests we are in contradiction or at least inconsistent on such matters given that we refuse to recognise Taiwan as an independent country too, despite the majority of people there democratically expressing a desire to be recognised as such? – Yours, etc,



Dublin 16.

Sir, – Justine McCarthy’s triumphalist article “Did Israel expect a country which has endured occupation and violence to stand idly by?” (Opinion & Analysis, May 24th) demonstrates a baffling unwillingness to understand the true complexities behind the tragedy unfolding in Gaza. As an Irish citizen I did not “relish” the declaration or see any comparison with the sectarian struggle on this island. The tension in the Middle East has never just been between Israelis and Palestinians. Since 1948, it has involved Israel, United States, the UK, Russia, Jordan, Turkey, Iran, Qatar, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and a plethora of dissident terrorist organisations. Many of these belligerent regimes train, finance and arm terrorists, ensuring that there will never be peace for ordinary Palestinian people. Egypt restricts access to Gaza because it suits Arab nations to keep Palestinians in a perpetual state of misery beside Israel. Egypt is also the only possible route for the endless stream of weapons used by Hamas, who are not just financed by Iran but are resident in Qatar.

Other states like Jordan, along with UN agencies such as Unwra, fund and perpetuate the myth of special hereditary refugee status for the descendants of the 700,000 displaced people in the “Naqba”, condemning all future generations of migrants from that conflict to poverty and hopelessness.

The lives of Palestinian people have been used and abused by many different actors pushing their own local political agendas, and sadly it feels like that happened again last Wednesday on the steps of Government Buildings in Dublin. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 5.

Sir, – The Government has supported the recognition of Palestine on the basis that it would give the Palestinians “hope”. The statement of recognition needed to bring a little realism too.

In particular it would have been better to, additionally, outline the fundamental elements needed for a two-state solution.

While the protagonists would have to negotiate the territorial and operational detail of a two-state solution certain universal elements of a sustainable solution like this are needed. They are mutual recognition of each other’s legitimacy; a mutual non-aggression pact; a mutual agreement to punish rogue elements within who seek to undermine the deal through violence; and some sort of international guarantees from major powers.

Given where things are now there, these elements look fanciful. However, without them the alternative is continuous terrorism and war. The Government’s position is being misinterpreted by the parties, which is counter to what was designed. It was obvious that would be the case. Also, Ireland is out of step with our leading international partners. “Hope” is a dangerous thing if it is used by either side to encourage more violence. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 14.

Sir, – I am sickened, disgusted and disappointed at the ongoing violence and displacement of innocent Palestinians by Israel. It is truly heartbreaking to see the relentless attacks on innocent civilians and the lack of accountability for these actions.

The International Court of Justice has called on Israel to halt its attacks. How dare it show contempt for this body!

The international community must immediately take a stand against the atrocities committed by Israel and work toward a peaceful resolution for the people of Palestine. It is unacceptable for any country to disregard the rights and lives of others in such a manner.

I support the call for major sanctions against Israel and urge for strong action to be taken to ensure the safety and well-being of the Palestinian people. It is time for the world to come together and demand justice and peace for all those affected by this conflict.

I support our Government and that of Spain and Norway in recognising the state of Palestine. We now need more action and fewer words. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.