“The plan presented by US president Trump and further fleshed out by Israel prime minister Netanyahu is nothing less than a recipe for endless oppression and injustice,” according to the a joint statement from inter-denominational bishops who recently visited Palestine.
“Palestinians for far too long have suffered under Israeli military control, a reality which is denied and ignored.
“The proposed plan would further entrench the Israeli security establishment, ensuring that generations of young Israeli men and women will serve in a military tasked with continuing oppression of the Palestinian people. The inevitable result will be more human rights abuses, trauma, and violence.
“It is clear that Trump has garnered his US Judeo-Christian core support in the hijack of Christian values by the Zionists. They are being weaponised in an attempt to give a veneer of moral legitimacy to a plan that is, in fact, meant to facilitate further Israeli jackboot control over Palestinian lives, land, and resources.”
The use of Judeo and Christian religious and spiritual imagery to justify political aims and agendas is idolatry.
“Referring to the modern geopolitical state of Israel as ‘a light unto the world’ and glorifying ‘places inscribed in the pages of the Bible’ without seriously addressing the injustices suffered by those who have lived under decades of occupation and oppression, flies in the face of what the Jesus taught us. This appropriation of religious ideals diminishes the true spiritual significance of the land we call Holy and is a betrayal of the Christian faith.”
This is a chance for Ireland to stand up for the rights of vulnerable people — it is about respecting international law and refusing to support illegal activity.
It is vitally important to remind Irish people how trade in settlement goods absolutely sustains injustice. In the occupied territories, people are forcibly kicked out of their homes, fertile farming land is seized, and the fruit and vegetables produced are then sold on Irish shelves to pay for it all.
We condemn the settlements as illegal but support them economically. As international law is unbiased and clearly states that the settlements are illegal, then the goods they produce are the proceeds of crime. We must face up to this — we cannot keep supporting breaches of international law and violations of human rights.
Some years ago our Government criticised the relentless progress” of Israeli settlements and said they could seek an EU ban on settlement goods if matters continued to worsen.
In the years since then it has only gone one way, with settlements expanding, more Palestinian homes being demolished and land being confiscated. It’s clear that empty promises have not worked but nothing has been done. Ireland needs to show leadership and act now.
- This readers opinion was originally published in the letters page of the Irish Examiner print edition on 1 February 2020.