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Senator Black to give Palestine public talk

Wednesday, 7th November, 2018 4:50pm

Independent Senator Frances Black will visit Cork next week to give a public talk on Palestine and her Occupied Territories Bill 2018.

The bill, which seeks to ban trade in goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, passed a historic first vote in July and will return to Seanad Eireann for the next stage later this month.

Speaking to the Cork Independent this week, Senator Black said: “I’m actually very surprised by how much support we’re getting and by how many people out there that are appreciative of the importance of this legislation. Everywhere we go there seems to be a huge interest and there are young people coming out too which is great.”

Senator Black added: “It’s almost like people have been waiting for a long time for something like this where they can actually take action and do something to support the Palestinian people and it seems like this is something that people are really connecting with.”

At the talk, which takes place in the Metropole Hotel on 15 November, Senator Black will outline why she has tabled the bill and why it’s so important that it is passed.

She will also speak about her visit to the West Bank and Gaza in May where she met with community groups and activists working against the occupation and witnessed the devastating human rights conditions there.

“There’s huge injustice going on in Palestine at the moment and what the bill seeks to do is to end Irish trade in goods produced in the illegal settlements in the occupied territory,” said Senator Black.

“I saw the settlements when I was over there. The Palestinian people are being dragged out of their own homes for these settlements to be built, and this is on Palestinian land. Under international law, these are war crimes but nobody is doing anything about it,” she added.

The evening will feature personal accounts from local members of the Cork Palestine Solidarity Campaign, who are hosting the meeting, and a number of political representatives.

The public talk follows on from a sold out 350 person meeting which took place in Cork city centre in September.

Senator Black continued: “For me this legislation is important because what they’re doing is totally illegal and we are essentially receiving stolen goods here in Ireland. How can we condemn these illegal settlements and then happily buy the proceeds of the crimes?” she concluded.

All are welcome to attend the talk which will get underway at 7.30pm and is free of charge.

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