Councillors unite in solidarity as Israelis continue to bombard Gaza strip
AN INISHOWEN councillor has said he was ‘very proud’ last week to be part of a Council which welcomed the Palestinian ambassador to Ireland into its chamber.
On Friday, Donegal County Council welcomed Ahmad Abdelrazek into the County House in Lifford as a message of support and solidarity to the people of Palestine and Gaza who have saw more than 2,000 of its’ civilians killed following the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza strip within the last month.
Burnfoot Councillor Jack Murray said it was “so important” and “very significant” to have the Palestinian ambassador in the Council chamber.
The visit came about as a result of a Sinn Féin motion, which was unanimously passed by Donegal County Council, to have the Israeli ambassador to Ireland expelled from the country, in July. The council also passed a separate motion to officially welcome Ambassador Ahmad Abdelrazek and his deputy Yunus Dorkman to the county on the same date.
Cllr. Murrary said it was poignant that the council could welcome the Palestinian ambassador to Donegal at a time when the Palestinian people are embroiled in such terrible conflict.
“We all see the images of Palestinians being slaughter on the streets on our television screens every night,” said Cllr. Murray. “I think those images have touched everyone in the county and I think it is great for the council to have made this statement last week.
“I was very proud to be a member of Donegal County Council that day,” added Cllr. Murray.
The Sinn Féin councillor said this was the Council’s chance to show people that the Government’s decision to abstain from a European vote to investigate human rights in Gaza was not reflective of the whole country.
And he said Mr. Abdelrazek thought it was especially significant that their motion had been passed by every councillor in the Chamber, showing the extent of solidarity the council had with the Palestinian people.
Cllr. Murray and the ambassador used the opportunity to further emphasise the importance of boycotting Israeli goods, such as was done to South African produce in the 1980s.
Cllr. Murray described what’s happening in Gaza as ‘genocide’.
“Like South Africa in the eighties, Israel are an apartheid state and we must not support them by buying their goods,” he added.
The Burnfoot man said the ambassador was moved by the level of support and solidarity he has received throughout Ireland for the Palestinian people.
He said Mr. Abdelrazek made reference to the Peace Process in Ireland as giving the people of Palestine ‘hope for their future’.