Dublin City Council votes to raise Palestinian flag

Dublin’s city council not only voted to raise the Palestinian flag for the rest of May, but also refused to hoist the Israeli flag in acknowledgement of victims on both sides of the conflict.

The city council in the Irish capital of Dublin voted on Monday evening to fly the Palestinian flag above City Hall for the remainder of the month in a demonstration of support for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

The original date for raising the flag was May 15, the day on the Gregorian calendar marking what many Palestinians and anti-Israel activists refer to as the “Nakba,” or “catastrophe,” of the creation of the modern State of Israel.

Forty-two councilmen, mostly members of the Sinn Fein party, voted in favor of the motion, with only 11 voting against and 7 abstaining. A resolution was also proposed to fly the Israeli flag as well, in order to acknowledge “the suffering of civilians on both sides” of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, but was resoundly defeated by a vote of 43-11.

Israeli Ambassador to Ireland Ze’ev Boker had attempted to convince the council members in a written letter to reject the motion, referring to it as a move that was “highly politically charged,” but to no avail.

“Dublin has a proud tradition of receiving new communities, and I know of many Israelis who have come to Dublin to work and decided to stay,” Boker noted in his letter.  “What kind of message will that send to those Israelis who are now proud to call Dublin their home?”

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“Members of the Jewish community in Ireland are also concerned about the negative message emanating from flying the (Palestinian) flag,” Boker added.

A spokesperson for the grassroots group Irish4Israel concurred with Boker’s assertions.

“We believe such a move will have an extremely negative impact on Dublin’s international image and tourism,” the spokesperson said. “The only flags that should fly over an Irish City Hall are the Irish and local county flag.”

“This decision may ultimately cast a shadow over Ireland’s ability to play a useful role in any future [peace] process in the Middle East,” the Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News