#BDSfail: Irish Councillors reject divestment of military equipment from Israel

Cllr Brendan Young (Independent) of Kildare County Council proposed a motion Monday 27th July to urge the Irish Army & Dep of Defense to stop importing military equipment from Israel. Kildare is home to Ireland’s largest military base.



According to Barry McLiamIrish4Israel welcomed the decision of Kildare County Councillors to reject the following motion:

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In the month of the first anniversary of the Israeli attack on Gaza in July 2014, the council notes that the United Nations Human Rights Council is gravely concerned by reports regarding serious human rights violations and grave breaches of international humanitarian law, including possible war crimes, committed in the Israeli military operations in the occupied Palestinian territory in 2008/2009 and in 2014, particularly in the Gaza Strip, which resulted in the killing of 1,462 Palestinian civilians, including 551 children and 299 women, and six Israeli civilians.

These reports include the findings of the United Nations Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, of the United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict, and of the Boards of Inquiry convened by the Secretary-General. The council also notes that the United Nations Human Rights Council deplores the non-cooperation by Israel with the United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict; the lack of implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict of 2009; and the long-standing systemic impunity for international law violations that has allowed for the recurrence of grave violations without consequence for Israel.

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In the light of these matters, and in a context where the Department of Defence has a significant presence in County Kildare, the council calls upon the Minister for Defence and Department of Defence to stop buying military equipment from Israeli military companies, that profit from the continued blockade of Gaza and the denial of human and civil rights to Palestinians and to support United Nations Human Rights Council steps to force Israel to comply with international human rights law.


Cllr Young’s motion to Kildare County Council, to cease using Israeli military equipment, was defeated 21-7.


Irish4Israel, thanking their supporters who took part in the campaign against Cllr Young’s motion, released the following Press Release:

On Monday July 27th Kildare County Council voted on a motion proposed by Cllr. Brendan Young to strip the Irish army of Israeli military equipment and hardware.

Irish4Israel commends the decision by Councillors to reject this publicity stunt of a motion. Irish4Israel believes the Irish Army should have the best of military equipment to ensure their safety and the safety of our nation regardless of where it comes from. The Irish Army is a peace keeping force and it is vital they have the most up to date equipment to keep themselves safe.

Irish4Israel supporters contacted members of the Council to urge them to reject this motion and we are glad our voices were heard. Those Councillors who supported the motion such as Cllr Young, Cllr Pender and those in Sinn Fein were unable to state “What countries they felt we should buy military equipment from ?”. These Councillors openly advocate for everyone else to boycott Israel, yet are happy to use Facebook. Last week Facebook paid 60 million dollars for the Israeli company Pebbles. Those Councillors who advocate a boycott of Israel while using Facebook, are simply hypocrites.

It is unfortunate that Cllr Young,Cllr Pender and members of Sinn Fein have such little respect for our culture of neutrality, instead of using local government as an avenue to solve the economic and social issues in Kildare County, they prefer to try involve the council in one sided motions about foreign affairs. Is this what the people of County Kildare elected County Councillors to do ?

Filipino UN peacekeepers crossing the border from Syria to Israel – Photo: AFP

Currently the Irish army are in southern Lebanon and the Golan. When UN Peace keepers were attacked by jihadists in Syria they retreated to within Israel for their safety. Israel allowed these soldiers to do so. If Irish councils start passing motions relating to the Irish army we can’t expect the Israeli army to provide any help or support in times of crisis to the Irish army. Cllr Young’s motion and it’s supporters could have led to a break down in communication between the Israeli and Irish army which could have cost the lives of Irish soldiers.

Irish4Israel welcomes the support of a number of councillors for peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and we believe this is of far more use than seeking to use the tragic situation in Gaza and southern Israel to advance ones political career. We now look forward to Kildare County Council being able to return to focus on the more pressing local issues which affect the county.


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