The President of the Workers Party Michael Finnegan has sent a message of solidarity from the party to the flotilla of boats and small ships which is on its way to
Gaza in the Palestinian Territories. The flotilla is carrying material aid to the area which has been blockaded by the Israeli military who have prevented vital supplies from entering the region. The nine ship flotilla includes the Irish ship MV Rachel Corrie which is carrying a cargo of cement and other material for the Palestinian people.
Mr. Finnegan said that the flotilla consisted of material aid and equipment and nothing on board the ships could be a threat to Israel other than the witness borne by those on board to Israel’s illegal collective punishment of the Palestinian people. On board the Rachel Corrie are several members of the Oireachtas, several academics, aid workers, former United Nations official Denis Halliday, and volunteer workers.
The Workers Party President appealed to the Israeli government to allow safe passage to the flotilla and not to impede what was essentially a mercy mission and he called upon the international community, including the Irish government, to take a more active stand against Israeli human rights abuses.
“What Israel is doing to the Palestinian people is a crime under international law. It is also a form of apartheid. In the 1980s the entire world isolated South Africa over its apartheid laws and forced it to change. The same pressure is not being put on Israel because of its close ties with the United States. Until and unless Israel begins to feel the pain economically it will continue to hold the entire Palestinian nation hostage, hijack the best of its land and resources to itself, and treat all Palestinians as terrorists. It is time the world stood up and took a firm attitude to Israel”, said Mr. Finnegan.
Issued 25th May 2010