Counter motion passed on Gaza after lengthy council debate

Donegal County Council has passed a motion condemning the violence in Gaza, as well as calling for a permanent ceasefire and the commencement of peace talks.  However, the motion as passed calls on the Irish government not to expel the Israeli ambassador.

Earlier, the meeting adjourned for a lengthy period after Cllr Gary Doherty proposed a motion condemning the ongoing violence in Gaza and the occupied Palestinian territories, calling for an immediate and permanent ceasefire, and seeking the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador to Ireland.

However, Cllr Nicholas Crossan questioned whether this is the right time for such a motion, given that there is currently a ceasefire and hostage exchange. He said he condemns all violence, but fears that a motion seeking the ambassador’s expulsion could be detrimental to the council.

He also questioned the point of such a move, pointing out that a similar motion has already been discussed and defeated in the Dail.

A number of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael members asked what the consequences would be if Ireland cut off its only diplomatic link with Israel, while Sinn Fein members supported the motion.

Cllr Ciaran Brogan asked if a compromise wording could be agreed, pointing out that all members agreed with the substance of the motion, but the call for the ambassador’s expulsion was the sticking point.

Agreeing, Cllr Jimmy Kavanagh expressed fear that a recorded vote would create the impression that some members are pro-Israeli and others are pro-Palestinian.

Cllr Gerry McMonagle asked Cllr Crossan to draft a counter motion and present it to the members.

After a series of adjournments, a counter motion was proposed by Cllr Nicholas Crossan which unreservedly condemns violence in Gaza, calls for a permanent ceasefire and the commencement of peace talks, and calling on the Irish government not to expel the ambassador.

Cllr Crossan’s counter motion was passed by 22 votes to 11, and the original motion fell.