DUBLIN (The Thursday Times) — The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has once again become the focal point of political debate in Dáil Éireann—the Irish Parliament—this week, with a critical vote looming over the potential expulsion of Israel’s Ambassador to Ireland, Dana Erlich. The republic’s Social Democrats party have initiated a motion for Erlich’s expulsion, accusing her of bias in the Israel-Hamas conflict and criticising Irish President Michael D Higgins for allegedly spreading misinformation.
Despite opposition parties rallying for the ambassador’s expulsion, the Irish Government maintains that such a move would be detrimental. Foreign affairs spokesperson for the Social Democrats, Gary Gannon, is spearheading the motion.
In a parallel development, leading opposition party Sinn Féin has announced its support for the motion, but with an added agenda. Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald disclosed plans to introduce a separate motion urging the Irish Government to refer Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for investigation. This move, according to McDonald, is aimed at addressing the broader issues in the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Tánaiste Micheál Martin, also serving as Minister for Foreign Affairs, reaffirmed Ireland’s unwavering support for the ICC, which he describes as the bedrock of international criminal justice. Martin emphasised the ICC’s ongoing investigation into alleged crimes in Palestine, including war crimes and crimes against humanity since 2014.
This investigation, initiated in March 2021, encompasses events in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem. Martin highlighted the ICC’s jurisdiction over crimes committed within Palestine, including those by Palestinian nationals outside its borders.