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(Wissam Nassar / Maan Images)

Irish students vote for Israel boycott by landslide

Students at the National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway) have overwhelmingly voted to endorse the Palestinian call for boycotting Israel.

Official results of the 6 March vote showed that 1,954 students voted “yes” to a motion “That NUI Galway Students’ Union actively supports the campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions [BDS] against the State of Israel.”

The “no” vote was 1,059.

Fionnghuala Nic Roibeaird, of NUI Galway’s Palestine Solidarity Society, which actively campaigned for the “yes” vote, said, “This is a landmark victory in Ireland for the growing international campaign to boycott Israel until it complies with international law and ends its illegal occupation of Palestine, and no doubt [NUI Galway Student Union] is just the first of many student unions in Ireland to endorse such a campaign.”

The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) welcomed the 2-to-1 victory for the BDS motion.

The group’s chair Martin O’Quigley said “This is an historic victory for those who stand in solidarity with Palestinians living under the heel of Israel’s racist, apartheid system of occupation and colonization.”

Israel embassy role

O’Quigley also praised the students “who stood with the oppressed on the right side of history and endorsed this measure, despite a stream of venomous anti-Palestinian propaganda and dirty tricks being injected into the debate from off-campus forces, including the Israeli Embassy in Ireland’s failed attempts at using social media to influence the outcome.”

Indeed, the Israeli embassy in Dublin which is notorious for its offensive use of social media, took the extraordinary step of publicly campaigning against the referendum, claiming in one of its Facebook postings that a vote for BDS would be a vote for “anti-Semitism.”

During the campaign, opponents had tried to use de facto Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas’ recent anti-BDS statements as a way to discredit the campaign.

NUI Galway’s Palestine Solidarity Society responded with the graphic above highlighting the broad support for BDS – a Palestinian-initiated campaign – among Palestinians themselves.

Irish Nobel laureate deported

The vote to endorse BDS came just days after Egypt detained and deported Irish Nobel Laureate and peace activist Mairead Maguire from Cairo airport.

Maguire, a vocal opponent of Israel’s oppression of Palestinians, had been part of a women’s delegation trying to reach Gaza.

The delegation included CODEPINK activist Medea Benjamin who was badly beaten before being deported by Egyptian forces.

Due to Israel’s tight siege of the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip, the Rafah crossing with Egypt has become the only outlet for the vast majority of the 1.7 million Palestinians in Gaza.

Since a military coup overthrew Egypt’s elected president last July, the US-backed army regime has tightened its closure of the Rafah crossing.

Comments

Thrilled to see the results of the vote by Irish students. I'm so proud of you and hope that your initiative will be followed by students in all Irish universities.
We need all the help and goodwill we can get to help the indigenous people of Palestine in their courageous struggle for basic human rites under an inhuman regime supported by the powers that be in the US and Europe.
Truth and justice must prevail.

Greetings, Israel continues to commit unlawful punishment and crimes against Humanity upon the Palestinian Peoples.

It matters not, to me, what religion law breakers profess to follow; oppression, apartheid, occupation, theft of land, destruction of property, denial of Human Rights, murder, all of these are criminal acts deserving International sanction and punishment.

The United States of America is obviously not using its power to resolve this decade’s long criminal occupation, instead, choosing to support Israel and this criminal enterprise.

Thus the U.S.A. is also criminally culpable; AS ARE Nations such as my own, Australia, cravenly following the U.S.\Israeli cowardly unethical directive, o for a Government that speaks for us people.

Religion is irrelevant; these criminal acts originate in the decisions and actions of the Israeli and American Governments.

World opinion is near unanimous on this point; Israel and the U.S.A. is criminally culpable in the occupation and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian Peoples from the land which is their birthright. The Palestinian Peoples are an integral part of the great Diaspora of “Semites”; they have a claim to the land that none of the incoming immigrants can match.

I call upon members of the United Nations Security Council together with The General Assembly, to re-affirm the many past resolutions condemning Israel, and to institute lawful effective procedures, by force if necessary, to remove all settlers from land internationally recognised as the State of Palestine.

Such action would help restore the U.N.’s ethical and moral reason to exist, and remind all members to read again their responsibilities to the Founding Charter. The Palestinian question is deserving of resolution, not just lip-service.

Further, that the United Nations creates a peace keeping force to stay with Palestine until Palestine is peacefully established,
regards. THOMAS W. ADAMS.

Apparently the vote by the BDS supporters at NUI Galway has shown their ignorance of the reality of the situation between the sovereign State of Israel and Palestine. But it also showed that the supporters of BDS were denying their own recent history. The fight for an independent Irish Republic led by members of the Dail Eireann was closely allied with Ze'ev Jabotinsky and Lehi in its fight for the independent State of Israel. College students remember your history and embrace it.

Nonsense. He sided with London all through WWI (to get his core Jewish army detail). After that, London honoured him. Then he violently turned against the British in Palestine, his army attacking British soldiers. You can call that "siding with the Irish" (because, hey, it's anti-British), but I won't. By then, Ireland was independent already. No Zionist helped Ireland, not before not after 1922. Zionist "helpers" did show up afterwards in words, though. Like this Jabot of you, 90 years late.

I guess you also know those Zionists that helped getting rid of Apartheid in South Africa.

"As Jews, with our own painful history of oppression, we are compelled to speak out against human rights violations being committed by the State of Israel – in our name – against the Palestinian people.

We note that the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) together with the South African Zionist Federation (SAZF), recently met with the South African Presidency and other politicians. We also note, with great concern, the SAJBD and SAZF’s assertion that they represent and speak on behalf of all Jewish South Africans, particularly when it comes to Palestine-Israel.

Let us be clear, the SAJBD and SAZF’s position of supporting Israel at all costs does not represent us........."

Issued by Alan Horwitz for StopTheJNF, a campaign initiated by a group of Jewish South Africans committed to justice and rights for the Palestinian people and Jewish Israelis. www.stopthejnfsa.org

The "no"-flyer on the facebook page (linked) uses a thick purple border. In Catholic ritual, purple is a mourning color. For example, a death letter envelope has this purple border - that's what shows before you have read a name. In Ireland, with its Catholic cultural background, this is an association not added by coincidence. Sure purple is one of the university's colors too, but is never used as a border and the accompanying green and white colors are not used in the flyer.

Mourning letters are bordered in black not purple. That said, what exactly is the point of your comment?

Firstly, this is my second attempt to post a comment. I guess the editorial board of the Electric Intifada is afraid that someone's comment opposing the BDS movement will weaken its legitimacy, if indeed it has any. So, I fear it will not permit this message to be posted. My last post can be summarized as follows. The NUI Galway students show their ignorance of their own history of the foundation of a free Republic of Ireland. As students read about the relationship between the Dail Eireann, Michael Collins and Robert Briscoe with Ze'ev Jabotinsky and the Jewish fight for a free State of Israel. I personally met Mr Briscoe when he was elected Lord Mayor of Dublin. He was a great man. If either he or Michael Collins were alive today they both would be ashamed of the NUI Galway student body. Students you still have a chance to honor their ideals and memories as well as your own courage by disavowing your last vote and exposing the hypocrisy and anti-Semitism of the BDS movement.

I don't know about Mr. Briscoe but I strongly disagree with your comment that Michael Collins would be ashamed of the NUI Galway student body., on the contrary!
I can only imagine that you are in complete ignorance of the true situation in Israel as anyone with any basic human values could not possibly support the appalling crimes committed on a daily basis by the racist, apartheid state of Israel.
I suggest that you begin to educate yourself by reading " The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine" by the courageous Israeli author Ilan Pappe, who was forced to leave his native Israel due to death threats against himself and his family. His crime? telling the truth! .

'' There are two stages through which worthwhile ideas must pass before they are accepted. In the first stage they are ignored, and in the second they are ridiculed''
The ideals of the BDS campaign have successfully passed these two stages and are becoming daily more widely accepted as a necessary process. Keep the faith.

Bravo Ireland, lets hope your decision will be an inspiration to UK students.