Irish senator and former presidential candidate David Norris made a powerful speech on 31 July condemning Israel’s massacre in Gaza and the complcity of American, Irish and other European governments.
Norris called for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador. The eight-minute speech can be seen in the video above.
Meanwhile, UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has given public backing to an arms embargo on Israel.
Excerpts from the official transcript of Norris’ speech:
In the 40 years that I have known the State of Israel and sometimes had a home there, I have seen it completely change. It changed from a left-wing, socially directed country to an extreme right-wing regime that is behaving in the most criminal fashion, defying the world and unscrupulously using the Holocaust to justify what they are doing. It is time that rag was torn away from them.
On Israel’s violence:
Entire families have been obliterated and in one case, 20 members of the same family were slaughtered. Also, a disproportionate amount of women and children have been killed in this situation, which is a violation of all the spiritual beauty that Judaism stands for – the respect for life and the fact that if one saves one life then one has saved the universe. All of that is blown out of the window and done so, as I saw, by the arrival of 1,200,000 extreme right-wing former citizens of the Soviet Union.
It is time people told the truth about what is being said in Israel. For example, the interior Minister, Eli Yishai, stated in 2012 that Israel would send Gaza back to the Middle Ages. Defence deputy Minister Matan Vilnai stated that it would visit the Holocaust on the Palestinians. That is Nazi talk. I am not saying that he is a Nazi but what he is saying makes him sound like a Nazi.
On the US role:
America has a shameful role to play in this. Israel could not get away with these disgraceful acts of international piracy and brigandage if it was not for the protecting shadow of the United States of America. I condemn President Obama for his utter inaction.
On Irish complicity:
We do not even mark a protest note with our vote at the United Nations Human Rights Commission. That is shameful – absolutely shameful. I would have interjected that it had been better to be one country in the right than be with all the rest of them in the wrong.
Norris’ reference to “Nazi talk” is bound to attract Israeli lobby criticism, but defenders are likely to point to other genocidal statements by Israeli politicians. These include rising-star lawmaker Ayelet Shaked’s call for killing Palestinian mothers because they give birth to “little snakes,” and the deputy speaker of the Israeli parliament Moshe Feiglin’s call for Palestinians to be put in concentration camps and expelled and for Israel to populate Gaza with Jews.
UK deputy prime minister backs arms embargo
Norris, a long-time supporter of Palestinian rights, was forced to pull his candidacy for the Irish presidency in 2011 after a concerted smear campaign by anti-Palestinian activists.
But now other mainstream politicians in Europe are starting to break their silence.
Yesterday, Sayeeda Warsi, the senior minister of state in the UK Foreign Office, and a member of Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party, resigned from the government over its support for Israel’s attack on Gaza.
“For me it’s morally indefensible where after four weeks of a conflict more than a quarter of the Gazan population displaced, nearly two thousand people killed … four hundred innocent children killed – we still cannot find the words to say we condemn this and that we feel that this action has been disproportionate,” she told the UK’s Channel 4.
In his response to Warsi, Cameron reaffirmed his support for the Israeli attack: “Of course, we believe that Israel has the right to defend itself. But we have consistently made clear our grave concerns about the heavy toll of civilian casualties and have called on Israel to exercise restraint, and to find ways to bring this fighting to an end.”
Following Warsi’s resignation, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, tweeted that he now supports an arms embargo on Israel.
Spain this week announced that it was freezing arms exports to Israel.
These are signs that even career politicians can no longer risk ignoring the overwhelming public horror in Europe against Israel’s massacre.