Date Released: 08 October 2015
The SIPTU National Delegate Biennial Conference has today (Thursday, 8th October) called for the centenary of the Easter Rising to be marked by a major campaign to make 2016 the year for the creation of a Palestinian state.
SIPTU National Executive Council member, Jack McGinley, proposed a motion, which was passed at the conference in City Hall, Cork, calling for an Easter Rising centenary campaign by trade unions, progressive civic groups and political organisations in support of a Palestinian state.
McGinley said that the “most fitting way to commemorate” the anti-imperialist principles of the 1916 leaders was to “call on the Irish Government to fight for the liberation of the Palestinian people.”
He added that the Palestinians were facing “a most aggressive” Israeli settlements policy which amounted “to the de facto annexation of their land and towns.”
On Wednesday (7th October) delegates had heard details of the horrific suffering of children living in Gaza from Dr. Mona El Farra, the projects director of the Middle East Children’s Alliance.
At a conference fringe meeting in Connolly Hall, Cork, hosted by the SIPTU Global Solidarity Network, Dr. El Farra said: “Children under five have lived through three military attacks by Israel on Gaza. All Gazan children suffer from signs of trauma; tens of thousands show signs of severe trauma.”
She said that the Israeli military attack on Gaza last summer had claimed the lives of over 540 children and left many more with life changing injuries.
SIPTU Global Solidarity Network chairperson, Mags O’Brien, read out a letter from the General Federation of Palestinian Trade Unions at the meeting. The letter thanked Irish trade unionists for their continued support and called for the intensification of the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel.