At 7 pm tonight in the SIPTU Dan Shaw Centre, the Meath Branch of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign will host a public meeting with Shawan Jabarin, Director General of the oldest human rights body in Palestine, Al-Haq.

In October last year, Israel designated six leading Palestinian civil society organisations as ‘terrorist organisations’. This action was viewed as part of a wider strategy of delegitimising Palestinian civil society and was immediately rejected by Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney. In his response, he confirmed that previous allegations against civil society organisations had not been substantiated.

In July this year, 9 EU states, including Ireland, issued a letter to the Israeli government rejecting the designations, noting the lack of evidence and committing to ongoing co-operation with these and other civil society bodies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Speaking in advance of the public meeting, which will be opened by the Mayor of Navan, Cllr. Eddie Fennessy, the Meath spokesperson for solidarity with Palestine, Moira Leydon, said that:

“This visit to Ireland by the legendary human rights defender, Shawan Jabarin, is analogous to that of (now deceased) Archbishop Desmond Tutu coming to Ireland seeking support for the South African Anti-Apartheid movement. Earlier this year, Amnesty International’s landmark report described Israel as an apartheid state – “a cruel system of domination and a crime against humanity”

In the 1980s, Irish people rallied to Archbishop Tutu’s call for solidarity and action to end apartheid. There is huge public understanding of the illegality and cruelty of the Israeli occupation and I have no doubt that they will rally behind today’s Anti-Apartheid movement against Israel.”