Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheal Martin has unexpectedly ruled out the possibility of Ireland imposing economic sanctions on Israel and has also warned Irish citizens not to join any future aid missions by sea to Gaza.
The Minister yesterday told TDs how he wanted to leave the door open for future discussions with the Israeli government over economics and politics.
The announcement followed on from lengthy discussions concerning EU relations and agreements with Israel held by the Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs and attended by the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland, Zion Evrony. Ambassador Evrony also said that Israel was fighting Europe’s battle against terrorism on its soil.
TDs (Members of Parliament) speculated that alleged human rights abuses by Israel could have put that State in breach of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, a political and trade pact between the union and the southern Mediterranean nation
The Minister did come out against the boycotts, though, which seem to have enjoyed widespread support in Ireland: "it is quite clear to me,” said the Minister, “ that our influence in Israel would be lessened and our voice weakened if we were to advocate, futilely as I have pointed out, a policy of bans or boycotts."
Minister Martin also cautioned against further Irish citizens going on activist ships, saying that to do so was “very dangerous”.