Lewis defends removal of flag

by Gazette Reporter
0 comment

An Israeli flag on Dun Laoghaire seafront which was part of a display celebrating the European Optimist Sailing Championship, has been taken down by a local politician to protest against recent Israeli attacks on Gaza.
Cllr Hugh Lewis (PBP) said he took down the flag when his request to Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company to do so was refused.
The incident followed the passing of a motion proposed by Cllr Lewis last week, calling for a stop to Israel’s violence against the people of Gaza.
Cllr Lewis said he removed the Israeli flag from Dun Laoghaire Harbour after receiving “dozens of calls from constituents who are disgusted that the Israeli state flag is flying at a time of so much brutality and violence and while war crimes are being perpetrated by that state on the Palestinian people.
“The Harbour Company should have responded to the hundreds of calls they received and not have it come to this.”
A spokesperson for Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company said: “The purpose of flying the various flags is simply to identify the countries from which the participants have come. It is normal practice for flags to be used for this purpose in international sailing events.”
Cllr Shay Brennan (FF) said: “Interfering with a nation’s flag is an unorthodox method of sending a message, but in the circumstances every additional bit of international pressure is clearly required in order to encourage a ceasefire.”
Cllr Patricia Stewart (FG) said: “Removing the Israeli flag this way in no way helps to resolve this complex problem.”
A spokesperson for the Israeli embassy said: “Currently, Israel is fighting a war to defend its people from being rocketed by Hamas terrorists who control Gaza. The action by the councillor serves no purpose whatsoever except to show and incite hatred for Israel and its people. He humiliated the young Israeli children who were at the event which up to that point was a friendly international gathering.”
Meanwhile a motion by Cllr Lewis (PBP) called on the council to ask Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan to exert Ireland’s influence and condemn the atrocities carried out in Gaza.
The motion was passed with 26 councillors voting for, four against and one abstention.
Cllr Richard Humphreys (Lab) said: “This motion is part of the demonisation of Israel… The motion is overwhelmingly one-sided and blind to history.”
However, Cllr Barry Ward (FG) said: “Of course it’s a biased motion and one-sided, but so is the conflict…People compare it to David and Goliath, except this time Goliath has helicopter gunships and M15 fighters.”

Related Articles