I thank the ambassador for his attendance and wish to re-emphasise one point that was made earlier in respect of Israel. One does not expect much from dictatorships or countries that are engaged in terrorism, which is why there is no point in bringing before this committee representatives of some countries in the Middle East. That is what dictatorships do – they wage war against democracies and their own people. However, one expects a lot more from Israel, which is a democracy, albeit limited because some of its people living within its borders are not allowed to vote. Members expect a lot more of democracies than of terrorists or dictatorships.
My question to the ambassador pertains to the European Union’s trade agreement with Israel, namely, the Euro-Mediterranean agreement, which has within it a humanitarian clause and a human rights clause. What does the Palestinian Authority want Ireland to do in invoking that clause because one has seen many times the European Union engaging in talks but not in actions? The Euro-Mediterranean agreement allows Israel, as well as illegal settlements and the produce produced therefrom, access to European markets. The aforementioned human rights clause was included to be invoked in the event that Israel was engaged in violations of human rights, as members have seen happen. Members do not expect much from Hamas. They fire indiscriminately and wish to kill everyone they see. Members do not expect much from dictatorships or terrorist organisations. They expect more from Israel and expect more from the European Union, in that if it has a trade agreement with a democracy, it should invoke and revoke that trade agreement and the human rights clause within it as a punishment for its activity. I seek the ambassador’s views in this regard.
I thank the ambassador for coming before the committee. I wish to raise two issues. One is the ambassador’s assertion that Israel was entitled to retaliate and fire at the school despite the fact that its co-ordinates had been given to the Israeli defence forces 17 times. Is the ambassador aware of protocol 1 of the Geneva Convention 1949 which refers to the event of an attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects or a combination thereof which could be excessive in regard to the concentration and direct military advantage anticipated? Why, in his response, did he state Israel was entitled to do something when it is in direct contravention of the Geneva Convention 1949?
I refer to the assertions and comments of the deputy ambassador. Is it now the policy of the Israeli foreign Ministry or the Israeli Embassy in Dublin to have a strategy of humiliation and shame in regard to pro-Palestinian activists in Ireland? Is the current policy to publish photographs to cause embarrassment for their friends in Israel and their families and to sow suspicion among them?
-There was a proposed strategy.
-It agrees with the humiliation and shaming of people.
-I seek clarification on one other issue. Is the Israeli ambassador aware that the three UN schools to which he referred in his submission were unoccupied, had been decommissioned and were no longer being used by the United nations?
-The ambassador insinuated that it had been done by people who were anti-Israel.
-Thank you, Chairman. One of the points made concerned who had made the translation of the comments made about humiliating and shaming activists in Ireland who would be Irish citizens. This seems to be a policy of the embassy. They were translated by the Israeli Channel 10 news. I am also amazed that the ambassador was not aware of this. They were the ones who carried out the translation.
-I only wanted to clarify points made.
-It is not a Second Stage speech. There were a number of statements made.
-It was not a question. I am informing the ambassador that the person who gave the coordinates was Mr. John Ging of the United Nations who comes from Ireland. I am amazed that the ambassador said so before the committee. The Israeli ambassador also made a statement—–
-I just want to—–
-First, I congratulate the Israeli ambassador on the award. However, as I said to the Palestinian ambassador, we do not expect anything from dictatorships or terrorist organisations. We do not expect Hamas to be up to the standards of the United Nations and countries which believe in democratic principles. That is why we expect a lot more from Israel. The Israeli ambassador made a number…