Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Questions (349)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

349. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if his Department by indicating support for the Jewish character of the Israeli state agrees with the treatment by Israel of Palestinian communities in its attempts to accomplish Jewish supremacy; his views on whether these attempts to perpetuate the supremacy of Jews over Palestinians amount to apartheid; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48129/21]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

We respect the strong connection between the Jewish people and the State of Israel.

By their very nature, all States have certain inherent characteristics. However, regardless of how a state may name and define itself - be it socialist, democratic, united, Islamic, Arab or Jewish - full respect for the equal rights of all citizens – irrespective of ethnicity, religion, or other similar factors – is strictly required under international human rights law.

It is imperative that the rights of non-Jewish citizens of Israel are not infringed and that there is respect and tolerance for the diversity of its population. I am fully committed to raising such issues of equality with Israel. Where Ireland has concerns in relation to laws and practices which undermine equality among citizens and disregard the rights of minorities, particularly the Palestinian minority, we make our views known to Israel. We have, for example, expressed our concern about the Nation State Law where we had concerns that it might enable discriminatory practice against non-Jewish citizens.

All States, including Ireland and Israel, have obligations under international law, including international human rights law. In respect of the occupied Palestinian territory, we are clear on Israel’s responsibility under international humanitarian law to respect the rights of the civilian population living under its occupation, who have the status of protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention, for as long as the occupation continues.

I have raised these issues consistently and vocally, both publicly and in conversations with Israeli government interlocutors. I will continue to do so.