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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Standing up for basic human decency is important

There are times when you must take a stand and defend what is right. On Monday night I proposed a motion condemning the recent Israeli attacks on the Gaza aid flotilla and calling on the Government to expel the Israeli ambassador. I was taking a stand for those International aid workers who were killed and those attempting to help the long suffering Palestinian people. I was defending human rights, civil rights and International law. Israel is a rogue state which is out of control. The indiscriminate and indefensible murder of nine humanitarian aid workers was an act of cowardice.

There is a responsibility on all democrats to defend International law and human rights. Such violations by the state of Israel must meet with resistance and there must be consequences. The murder of innocent aid workers is wrong. The illegal blockade on Gaza is wrong. Carrying out extra-judicial assassinations is wrong. The murder, torture, imprisonment and oppression of the people of Gaza is wrong. It is the children of Gaza who are suffering most. Tonight the local elected representatives of Waterford City took a stand and went beyond condemnation. We called for the Israeli ambassador to be expelled.

Last week the World Cup was officially opened in South Africa. It was not so long ago that South Africa was an apartheid state. If it was not for members of the International community taking a stand the apartheid regime in South Africa would not have been dismantled as quickly. I am certain of this. The behaviour of the state of Israel affects not just the Palestinian people but the people of Israel also. I thank my council colleagues for supporting the motion. We the elected representatives of Waterford City have played our part in standing up for human rights, civil rights and for the besieged people of Gaza. We stood up for basic human decency and that is important.

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