Ireland: Time for EU to Reconsider Association Agreement with Israel

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. (Photo: Liam Lysaght, via Wikimedia Commons)

Ireland, an EU member that continues to call for accountability in the Israeli genocide in Gaza is now advocating change in the relationship between Israel and the pan-European organization.

Ireland is in talks with other EU members who want a review of the EU-Israel Association Agreement on the basis that Israel may be breaching the agreement’s human rights clause.

The news was communicated by the country’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar to reporters in Brussels on Thursday, according to Reuters. 

Ireland’s action is consistent with the political attitude of other European countries, who are either critical of Israel or are calling for a Palestinian state.

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Joint Recognition

A number of EU States are also talking about a possible joint recognition of a Palestinian State after the current conflict, Varadkar said.

“EU-Israeli relations are founded on an agreement which has a human rights clause, and a lot of us believe that Israel may be in breach of it,” Varadkar told reporters following an EU summit. 

“That’s something we’re talking about,” he added. “There isn’t full agreement, but it’s something I called for today, and I called for last December.”

Ireland has long been a champion of Palestinian rights, and ministers have repeatedly said the government is considering recognizing a Palestinian State. 

Speaking at the end of the EU summit, Varadkar said there were a lot of “very like-minded countries” around the EU table.

“Another thing we are talking about is recognition. That a number of EU States acting together to recognize Palestine could allow a more equal negotiation to happen after the war has ended in Gaza in and around a two-state solution,” he said.

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Ireland, Belgium, Spain and a few other EU countries were some of the early voices to join international criticism of the Israeli war on Gaza, starting on October 7. 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 27,019 Palestinians have been killed, and 66,139 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7. 

Palestinian and international estimates say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.


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