There has been further criticism levelled at Clare County Council for allowing the Israel Ambassador to Ireland visit Áras Contae an Chláir.
Clare’s branch of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) has weighed in behind Sinn Féin Cllr Mike McKee’s criticism of the local authority for allowing the visit to go ahead.
In a statement released to The Clare Herald they described the situation as “a soft-focus PR opportunity in which official representatives of the dangerous and highly repressive apartheid state of Israel were portrayed as harmless tourists”.
Regional IPSC spokesperson Zoe Lawlor feels the visit has disrespected Palestinian people living in Co Clare. “Mr. Boker and Mrs Arnon represent a government whose members have called for the beheading of Palestinians, who have said Palestinians should be expelled and their land seized, and who have called for Palestinian women to be murdered before they can ‘give birth to little snakes’. These diplomats, professional apologists for Apartheid and war crimes, are not suitable people for the chair of Clare County Council and the Mayor of Ennis to meet. This visit was an insult to Palestinian community in Clare and throughout Ireland, and we know from our activities on the streets of Clare that the Israeli state has no support here. The elected representatives of the people should act according to the people’s will”.
Clare County Council has responded to the claims by the ISPC and Cllr Mike McKee by highlighting that it is normal for an ambassador to visit the headquarters of a local authority in what was a simply a “courtesy call” by Ze’ve Boker and Amira Arnon.
“The Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council and Mayor of Ennis receive many people at Áras Contae an Chláir. The Israeli Ambassador is an accredited ambassador to Ireland and was paying a courtesy call to the Aras. It is common practice to receive ambassadors when visiting the county. American and French Ambassadors were received last year” the statement outlined.