Time for Ireland to recognise state of Palestine

A pro-Palestinian protester holds a Palestinian flag in Ankara. Photograph: Altanadem Altan/AFP/Getty Images

A pro-Palestinian protester holds a Palestinian flag in Ankara. Photograph: Altanadem Altan/AFP/Getty Images

 

Sir, – Yesterday marked the three-year anniversary of Dáil Éireann voting unanimously to recognise the state of Palestine. For three years, the Government has failed to enact the democratic wishes of the Irish people.

Donald Trump’s reckless decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has been denounced by governments around the world, including our own. Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney should be congratulated for contacting the US embassy directly to express Ireland’s concern and belief that Mr Trump’s announcement would “make progress in the Middle East peace process more difficult”.

An appropriate response from the Irish Government would be to finally enact the vote taken in Dáil Éireann on December 10th, 2014, and recognise the state of Palestine. Such a move would be in keeping with the programme for government, which expressed the Government’s intention to do so. More importantly, it would strongly signal Ireland’s belief in a negotiated peace between Israel and Palestine based on mutual respect, dignity and equality.

We must not let people believe there is no hope. Ireland can show leadership in an era when the United States of America has yet again demonstrated that it will not.

If not now, when? – Yours, etc,

ÉAMONN MEEHAN,

Executive Director,

Trócaire,

Maynooth,

Co Kildare.