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Dublin City Council to fly Palestinian flag above City Hall for a month as "gesture of solidarity"

Dublin City Council and Sligo County Council vote to fly the Palestinian flag for the month of May.

Image: achelle Babbar/Zuma Press/PA Images

DUBLIN IS SET to see the flag of Palestine fly over City Hall for a month in solidarity with the people of Palestine “living under occupation”.

The motion, proposed by People Before Profit Alliance Councillor John Lyons, saw cross-party support and passed by majority at yesterday’s Dublin City Council meeting. Forty-two councillors voted in favour of the motion, while 11 voted against and seven abstained from voting.

The flag will fly over City Hall for a month, beginning on 15 May. This date marks “Nakba Day”, Israel’s Independence Day. Sligo County Council also recently passed a motion to fly the flag of Palestine from their council building for a month.

Councillor Lyons said that the move will be a “small gesture of solidarity from the elected representatives of Dublin City with a people struggling for self-determination, freedom and dignity in the face of the most horrendous Israeli occupation and apartheid system.”

“Tonight’s gesture of solidarity is to show that we care, that we support Palestinians in their fight for self-determination, freedom and justice,” he said after the meeting.

The motion read:

“Noting recent reports of diplomatic developments by the Irish state towards full recognition of the state of Palestine, aware also that Ireland accorded the Palestinian delegation in Dublin diplomatic status in 2014, the same year that witnessed both Houses of Oireachtas pass motions in support of Palestinian statehood, this city council will fly the flag of Palestine over City Hall for the month of May 2017 in support of the above diplomatic moves and as a gesture of our solidarity with the people of Palestine living under occupation in the West Bank and Gaza, with the Palestinian citizens of Israel denied basic democratic rights and with the over 7 million displaced Palestinians denied the right of return to their homeland.”

Irish4Israel condemned the decision of the city council and stated that “such a move will have an extremely negative impact on Dublin’s international image and tourism.”

“It is quite staggering and almost admirable that these public figures spoke with such arrogant conviction, while having such little historical knowledge of the conflict and its complexities. Most rattled off a few rehashed old buzzwords while remaining comfortable in their simplistic black and white world view,” the organisation said.

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In contrast, the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) welcomed yesterday’s announcement.

IPSC chairperson Fatin Al-Tamini, a Palestinian-Irish citizen thanked the Dublin City and Sligo County Councils for passing their motions.

“It is fitting that the flag will begin flying on May 15th, ‘Nakba Day’, or ‘the Day of the Catastrophe’, when we commemorate the forcible expulsion of over 750,000 indigenous Palestinians from their homeland between 1947 and 1949 to facilitate the creation of the apartheid state of Israel on 78% of historic Palestine.

“It is also fitting that the flag will remain in place until the first week of June, which will mark the 50th year of Israel’s ongoing military occupation and illegal colonisation of the West Bank and Gaza,” she said.

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