Dublin’s City Council approved a motion to endorse the Palestinian led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement which aims to pressure Israel to respect Palestinians’ human rights, end its occupation, and guarantee the right of return for over 5 million Palestinian refugees.
The city council also issued a call to the Irish government, urging them to expel the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland over the murder of at least 31 unarmed Palestinian protesters participating in the Great March of Return, which began on March 30, during Palestinian Land Day, near the Gaza border.
Israel’s use of lethal force against unarmed Palestinians has garnered international condemnation, with growing calls for a two-sided arms embargo.
As part of the council’s BDS endorsement, it approved a motion by the People Before Profit councilman John Lyons “to boycott Hewlett Packard goods.” The council has a standing contract with HP, which is set to expire in September. After it expires the contract will not be renewed due to HP’s complicity with the Israeli occupation.
According to the BDS movement, HP is the prime contractor of the Basel system, the automated biometric access control system used in Israel’s checkpoint and “separation barrier,” also known as apartheid wall and annexation wall.
The ID card system allows the Israeli government to single out Palestinians in the West Bank and within Israel. Furthermore, HP provides IT infrastructure and support services to the Israeli Navy, helping them to maintain Israel’s illegal siege on Gaza, and HP technology is used by Israeli prisons where Palestinian political prisoners, including over 3,000 children, are held in a clear violation of international law.
As retaliation for the city’s support for BDS and its calls to expel the Israeli ambassador, Israeli Interior Minister Arye Deri Tuesday publicly instructed Israel’s immigration officers to prevent Dublin’s Mayor Micheal Mac Donncha from entering the country. Mac Donncha had announced he was going to visit occupied East Jerusalem to acknowledge it as the designated capital of Palestine and participate in a meeting in Ramallah.
Israeli media reported immigration officers had failed to prevent Mac Donncha’s entry after he posted on Twitter he was in Ramallah. The interior minister admitted Dublin’s Mayor was able to enter the country due to a typo.
The President of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Fatin Tamimi, welcomed the council’s decision. “Speaking as a Palestinian and a Dubliner I’m so proud that the local government of my adoptive city has voted to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom, justice and equality… It is wonderful that Dublin City Council will now become part of the global BDS movement called for by Palestinian civil society.”