Text: Izzy Copestake
A protest will also be held outside the Dáil tomorrow at 6 pm, calling for the removal of the ambassador from Ireland.
As outrage towards the Israeli bombardment of Palestine has grown in Ireland, so have calls to expel Dana Erlich, the Israeli Ambassador, from the country. The vote, deciding if the Ambassador will be expelled from Ireland, has come after the Social Democrats tabled a motion seeking the removal of Erlich’s diplomatic status. This decision came after People Before Profit wrote to Sinn Féin, Labour, and the Social Democrats asking for action. Two weeks ago, Sinn Féin also changed their position on the matter and backed People Before Profit’s calls for the expulsion of the ambassador.
The Social Democrat’s Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Garry Gannon has pushed for the motion “given the failure of the Israeli state to cease the deliberate targeting of civilians, journalists, UN staff and healthcare workers”. Gannon has also called for Israel to be referred to the International Criminal Court. Similarly, Ms McDonald of Sinn Féin said a motion from her party to call for Ireland to refer Israel to the International Criminal Court was done as a means to pile on “pressure” to achieve a ceasefire. TD for People Before Profit, Paul Murphy, has stated via Instagram today that over 3,500 emails arrived overnight calling for the expulsion of Erlich.
Dana Erlich has accused President Michael D Higgins of spreading misinformation about the conflict and has stated that she feels there is “an unconscious bias against Israel” in Ireland. Erlich has also denied that Israel is behind the bombing of hospitals in Gaza. At least 16 of the 35 hospitals in Gaza are currently out of service due to Israeli bombardment.
While a number of parties have called for Erlich’s expulsion, the government have insisted that this could be counterproductive.
Several thousand people took to the streets of Dublin in support of Palestine last Saturday, and growing animosity towards the ambassador was clear from the crowd’s chants and banners. Tomorrow at 6 pm, the public can join a protest to put direct pressure on the government to expel the ambassador by protesting outside the Dáil. This weekend, a national demonstration is being held in Dublin which is expected to draw the largest Irish crowds in support of Palestine so far.
Elsewhere on District: Trinity Students Blockade Front Gates in Solidarity with Palestine