The situation in Gaza continues to deteriorate as violence flares between Israelis and Palestinians. According to reports, at least 83 Palestinians have died in this week's violence, including 17 children. At least 480 people have been wounded. Six Israelis have been killed in violence in Israeli cities.
As the world again grapples with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a video from the Irish parliament featuring Richard Boyd Barrett discussing the plight of the Palestinian people has gone viral.
The video features Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown TD Richard Boyd Barrett addressing the Israeli ambassador to Ireland. It was filmed in September 2014, as the both Israeli and Palestinian ambassadors to Ireland were appearing before the Dáil's Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade to discuss the situation in Gaza.
Boyd Barrett, who has long been one of the most articulate speakers in Ireland on the cause of the Palestinian people, was scathing in his criticism of the Israeli state while questioning Israeli ambassador Boaz Modai. Boyd Barrett - who has repeatedly called for the Israeli ambassador to be expelled over Israel's actions in Gaza - said the following.
The ambassador asked earlier if we could have some constructive solutions. He knows what the Palestinian people have been requesting, which is far less even than some people would request because I believe the whole apartheid system should be dismantled. What they have requested is the lifting of the siege of Gaza. Let them have an airport. Let them have ports. Let them not be dictated to by a Government, for which they do not vote, as to what can go in and out of their territories, and whether they will have power, clean water and medicine. What makes the ambassador think that Israel is allowed to have nuclear weapons and the fourth biggest army in the world, and visit destruction on the people Gaza when they have no rights to defend themselves? They have no territorial sovereignty over that land.
You can watch all of Boyd Barrett's statements here
part 2 pic.twitter.com/lryekx1eWp
— Darragh (@Taiwo_Oifigiuil) May 11, 2021
Through the magic of the internet, this clip has resurfaced this week. The video has been shared widely by people who stand with Palestine, notably Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, who uploaded the video last night with a flattering comment about Irish people.
One of many reasons I love Ireland and its people.
PS I bet the Israeli Ambassador’s answer was a hoot. So I do. pic.twitter.com/YFXjUsofD4
— Roger Waters (@rogerwaters) May 12, 2021
If you are curious how the Israeli ambassador responded to Boyd Barrett's comments, his reply was perhaps predictable.
In response to Deputy Boyd Barrett, I have not heard so many cliches in such a short time for a long time. He belongs to the group that thinks I must be expelled from this country. I am sorry to delude him too. The fact that he mentioned a few times already this afternoon that he is not an anti-Semite raises questions. I am not saying that he is.
It's depressing to think these remarks were made in 2014 and here we are again, nearly seven years later, and the situation in Gaza has only gotten worse. Boyd Barrett's words are as true now and they were then.