The opposition in Ireland called Tuesday for a parliamentary recognition of Palestine as a state, following similar motions entertained by other European Union nations recently and reflecting a new and historical trend of solidarity between Ireland and Palestine.
Sweden was the largest EU country to recognize a Palestinian state October 30. Parliaments in Spain, Britain and France have also passed non-binding resolutions to recognize Palestine.
The motion passed Ireland’s upper house in October. MPs in the lower house are scheduled to debate the proposal by Sinn Fein party Tuesday and Wednesday. A government speaker told Reuters it would not oppose the bill.
The motion urges the Irish government to "officially recognize the State of Palestine, on the basis of the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as the capital, as established in UN resolutions, as a further positive contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."
The motion also states that "continued Israeli settlement construction and extension activities in the West Bank, is illegal and severely threatening the establishment of a viable Palestinian state."
Ireland has long since been known for its pro-Palestinian stance. Many Irish independence struggles positioned themselves in solidarity with the Nakba and the Palestinian national liberation struggle, which they saw as similar to Ireland’s Troubles.
In the final session of the lower house, Sinn Fein party leader Gerry Adams asked the parliamentarians to stand with him for a minute of silence in solidarity with “the people of Gaza and the Middle East.” In a video that appeared in The Belfast Telegraph, members of the chamber followed suit, stood up in silence. Some even held small posters of the Palestinian flag.
The Irish Times also reported in July that thousands of people staged a “die-in” in solidarity with Gaza during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, one of the largest protest events that have recently taken place in Ireland’s capital, organized by Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign.