Israel 'needs to be isolated' - Cllr Bree
Members and supporters of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign in Sligo gathered outside the G.P.O. on Thursday (17th May) to participate in a vigil to show solidarity with the people of Palestine and to protest against the killing of over 60 unarmed Palestinians and the wounding of thousands by Israeli military snipers earlier last week.
The protesters displayed Palestinian Flags and carried placards which read: 'End U.S. aid to Israel,' 'Boycott Israeli Goods', 'Freedom and Peace in Palestine.'
Local elected representatives including Cllr Declan Bree, Cllr Chris MacManus and Cllr Gino O'Boyle were among those who participated in the protest.
Speaking to "The Sligo Champion", Cllr Declan Bree said "Firing live ammunition at unarmed protesters is immoral, illegal and indicative of the disregard that Israel has for the lives of ordinary Palestinians.
"The decision of the Irish Government to condemn the shootings and to summon the Israeli Ambassador to Iveagh House is welcome.
"However, words are not enough. Action is now required.
"Israel needs to be isolated: economically, politically, culturally, diplomatically and militarily.
"The government should break off all diplomatic ties and actively pursue a campaign to establish an international boycott of Israel." he said.
"Israel can only be described as a rogue state." said Cllr Chris MacManus.
It presides over an apartheid system and imposes punitive collective punishment on the entire Palestinian population for simply standing up for their rights.
This week's massacre does not come as a shock nor even as a surprise to anyone familiar with Israeli policies. Israel does not want peace.
"It certainly does not want a two-state solution. The only policy that seems to drive Israel is the ethnic cleansing of the entire Palestinian population."
The U.S. decision to transfer its embassy to Jerusalem showed flagrant disregard for international law and certainly inflamed tensions in Gaza and Palestine, said Cllr Gino O'Boyle.
"As Governments have failed to hold Israel accountable, it is up to people of conscience in every community worldwide to heed Palestinian calls for justice and the right to self determination.
"In this context civil society in Ireland has an important role to play by supporting the call for an international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel similar to that which helped bring an end to the apartheid regime in South Africa." Cllr O'Boyle said.