Ireland’s recognition of Palestine

Irish decision has made the road to peace even longer

Letters to the Editor. Illustration: Paul Scott

Sir, – Among all the backslapping in Dublin, it seems the Irish political class have missed the key point if they truly want to put pressure on Israel to again proactively pursue a two-state solution.

Israel needs a viable partner with whom to make peace.

This week’s recognition of an undefined Palestinian state will only strengthen Hamas and weaken the Palestinian Authority.

The Palestinian people can see how Hamas has been rewarded for their campaign of murder and rape. Hamas knew exactly the response it would provoke, it knew exactly where to hide to ensure maximum civilian casualties and, it seems, it knew exactly how to win the support of the Palestinian people.

READ MORE

Israel is the only democracy in the region. After successive peace deals were rejected by the Palestinian leadership throughout the 2000s, Israelis have elected leaders who prioritise security over a peace settlement.

Actors like the UN General Assembly and Ireland will only convince Israelis that they are making the right choices at the ballot box – as they see that the world cares more about gesture politics than it does about removing the obstacles to peace.

The Irish have made that road to peace even longer. – Yours, etc,

GIDON OHANA,

London.

Sir, – Now that the universities are mostly on holiday, I expect legions of undergraduate volunteers will soon head off to the Gaza Strip, via Cairo, or perhaps Amman.

We have heard them “talk the talk”; it is now time for them to “walk the walk”. – Yours, etc,

ROBERT GRACE,

Nenagh,

Co Tipperary.

Sir, – The important symbolism of Ireland, Norway and Spain recognising the state of Palestine is rightfully seen as an important landmark in what has been over 70 years of Palestinian dispossession. Sadly, however, symbolism is all it is. The arguments for a two-state solution in the Middle East have been made continuously by world politicians for decades.

Unfortunately the one nation that can do more than any other to turn symbolism into a tangible outcome has shown absolutely no serious intention to do so. Unless and until the US puts its full diplomatic, political and economic might behind the Palestinian struggle for self-determination and statehood ahead of its unconditional support for a state that daily colonises more and more of the land earmarked for that very Palestinian state, then the Palestinian dream of their own sovereign nation will remain a dream. – Yours, etc,

DEREK ROSS,

Templeogue,

Dublin 6W.

Sir, – Taoiseach Simon Harris told the Dáil: “We see a new despicable trend where every now and again an event of particular horror takes place and the Israeli prime minister then apologises for a ‘tragic mistake’”.

Contrast that with Hamas, which does not apologise for the killing, rape and mutilation of October 7th, 2023, because it was a deliberate act which it vowed to repeat. Emboldened and rewarded by Ireland’s recognition of Palestine, it hopes it has struck on a winning strategy to annihilate Israel and remove the Jewish nation from the region.

Ireland was wrong not to insist Hamas release the hostages, recognise Israel’s right to exist and commit to peaceful means before recognition. That would have genuinely advanced peace and not merely courted popularity. – Yours, etc,

R WHELAN,

Greystones,

Co Wicklow.