An amazing speech on the Day of Rage Saturday August 9 in Dublin. Trevor Hogan is a former rugby forward in Ireland who participated in the Gaza flotilla and has assumed a prominent role in Palestinian solidarity in his country. Here he calls out the “cowardice” of the Irish government and the members of the Israel lobby in the face of Palestinian “annihilation,” and demands that the Israeli ambassador, the “chief liar, the chief warmonger in Ireland,” to be expelled from the country:
We cannot sit back and allow Israel to start its slaughter again…. We will not wait fort them to enforce on them a slow death with the illegal siege. We will not wait. We will not wait…
We will continue to stand against the occupation… we will stand against the annihilation of the Palestinian people. Because that’s what they’re trying to do, and we will not let them get away with it…
Gaza is devastated. There’s nowhere for people to go… So it can feel helpless. Even worse, it feels helpless when you look at the Irish government and the cowardice and inaction of our government, our representatives. In this, I’m looking squarely at a few select members of our government. TDs [members of parliament] and Ministers. Charlie Flanagan [minister for foreign affairs]. Leo Varadkar. Joanna Tuffy. I name them out because you are members of a group called the Oireachtas Friends of Israel.
First of all I’ve got a message to you. You need to change your name. You need to change it to the Oireachtas Friends of War Criminals. You need to change it to the Oireachtas Friends of Apartheid. Because that’s what you are. How can you hold your head up, in our [unintelligible], being associated with that?…
We need to call out and expose the lies of the Israeli embassy, the Israeli propaganda and the Zionist narrative that seems to be accepted at face value. We need to expose that, it’s a policy that kills first and lies about afterwards, they kill and then they lie.
And the chief liar, the chief warmonger in Ireland is the Israeli ambassador to my right, in there, that’s where he resides.
[crowd shouts: BOOOO Out! Out! Out! Out! Out!]
As you said we want him out, we want him out of our country. We do not want to tolerate war criminals; apologizers for war crimes; justifiers of practical genocide. He’s out of our country. But the problem is, since our government won’t do it, since they won’t enact it we’re gonna do it.
We’re gonna put a siege, we’re gonna put a siege around this embassy, every week we’re gonna keep comin’ back until we get him out of this country! Out! Out!
[crowd cheers: Out! Out! Out! Out! Out! Out! Out!]
As long as there’s a siege in Gaza, there’s gonna be a siege on this embassy and we’re not gonna lift it until the people of Gaza are free.
Mr Flanagan, you said last week only under exceptional circumstances could an ambassador be expelled. Well is this not exceptional enough for ya?
Six decades of ethnic cleansing, constant war crimes of bombing of children and families and civilians is that not exceptional enough?!
Is Apartheid, is that not exceptional enough?!
Isn’t racism and vile lies spewed out of this embassy every week, is that not exceptional enough?!
Get him out, out of this country!
Hogan spent a week in Israel’s Givon prison after the Irish ship, the MV Saoirse, part of the 2011 Freedom Waves to Gaza campaign, was intercepted and nearly destroyed by Israeli naval forces in international waters on the way to Gaza.
Him and his shipmates on the Saoirse have setup a group called Gaza Action Ireland. Their next project will be bringing school kids from Gaza to play soccer in Ireland, called Gaza Kids.
Thousands of protestors participated in Dublin’s march and rally in solidarity with Palestine on Saturday, the 5th demonstration in Ireland since Israel’s most recent war on Gaza began last month.