Richard Boyd Barrett speaks at a protest in support of Palestinians on 13 October. Alamy Stock Photo
People Before Profit

Richard Boyd Barrett defends remarks labelling Israel a ‘filthy, racist regime’

The People Before Profit TD made the remarks at the weekend and claimed that Israel is a ‘psychopath’ State.

PEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT TD Richard Boyd Barrett has refused to apologise for comments he made labelling Israel a “psychopath” State and a “filthy, apartheid, racist regime”.

Boyd Barrett made the comments on Saturday at a march on the Dáil expressing solidarity with Palestine and calling for the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland to be expelled.

During his comments, Boyd Barrett said: “This should be a moment of truth for people who have lied to us or are lying to themselves, that a State that is capable of doing this is a psychopath.”

He also described the Israeli State as a “criminal, a barbarian, and a mass murderer.”

Boyd Barrett also said you can “only make peace with human beings, with people who have some humanity, you cannot make peace with a psychopath, with a mass murderer, with a savage, and that is what the State of Israel is”.

He also claimed it was “shameful” that Tánaiste Micheál Martin “paraded around Israel with (Israel Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu and his mass murderers”.

Martin went on an official trip to Israel last month and visited the sites attacked by Hamas on 7 October, including the town of Sderot where 45 people were killed and Kibbutz Be’eri, a farming community where around 130 people were killed.

Boyd Barrett added that the “filthy, apartheid, racist, colonial-settler regime that is Israel” needs to be dismantled.

Boyd Barrett called for an “intifada”, which is an Arabic term for rebellion or uprising.

In a statement on X, formerly Twitter, the Embassy of Israel in Ireland said Boyd Barrett had “engaged in actions promoting antisemitism and endorsing violence against the people of the Jewish nation”.

The statement added: “By any standard, his words constituted hate speech and incitement, the delegitimization of Israel and an explicit call for intifada (uprising).

“One would expect that people claiming to defend human rights would distance themselves from the sadistic and barbaric massacre, mass rape and torture of 7 October by terror organisation Hamas.”

When asked by reporters today if he would withdraw his remarks, Boyd Barrett said wouldn’t be issuing an apology.

“I abhor every form of racism and antisemitism,” said Boyd Barrett.

“It is precisely because I oppose all forms of racism – I have a long record of opposing racism and antisemitism – that I think the regime of apartheid that Israel is defending is an absolutely disgusting, murderous, racist system.”

He added: “In the same way as apartheid South Africa was dismantled, I believe this apartheid regime in Israel – that is capable of the sorts of crimes we have seen perpetrated against the people of Gaza – needs to be dismantled, and I make no apologies for it.

“Racism is a filthy ideology and the apartheid system in Israel, just like the apartheid regime in South Africa, is a filthy racist regime.”