Collective Punishment a Consequence of Occupation

Press release from the 1916 Societies in support of the Palestinians.

Collective punishment a consequence of occupation: 1916 Societies in solidarity with oppressed of Palestine

The 1916 Societies take this opportunity to express our horror and complete opposition to the ongoing military assault on the innocent people of occupied Palestine and offer solidarity with the besieged people there in the face of the terrifying attacks currently perpetrated by the Netanyahu regime in violation of all international standards and the Geneva Conventions themselves. The disproportionate response of recent days to the abduction and killing of three teenage Israelis just outside the town of Hebron conforms to a long-standing pattern of collective punishment that is both illegal under international law and should be condemned by all right-thinking people with a commitment and belief in the principles of justice and peace.

Image: Israeli warplanes bomb Gaza City in the early hours of Monday morning
The state of Israel presents to the world as a democracy and standard-bearer of human rights but its treatment of the Palestinians, who's lands they have taken by force and continue to occupy, tells a different story. Constant house raids and the ransacking of homes, arbitrary arrest and detention, extra-judicial executions and even indiscriminate bombing of the infrastructure and institutions of civil society feature heavily in the ongoing Israeli operation waged on the defenceless people of Palestine. We in Ireland, who ourselves have experience of a racist-colonial mindset permissive of the type of crimes we're talking about here, recognise the Israeli actions for what they are - a policy of wanton thuggery predicated on a genocidal impulse that hopes to usurp and ultimately extinguish the national rights of the Palestinian people.

We call on the occupying Israeli regime to desist from its brutal actions in Palestine and in particular to put an immediate end to the vicious, unjustifiable war-crimes perpetrated against its innocent, civilian population. Beyond that the 1916 Societies, mindful as we are of the historical role and responsibility of Britain in bringing this terrible situation into being to begin with, support the right of the Palestinian people to full self-determination and sovereignty over their own affairs and territory. We reject at the fundamental level any notion that the state of Israel has any right to occupy Palestinian land by military force or otherwise and call for its apparatus of occupation to be completely dismantled forthwith.

The unwarranted violence inflicted on the Palestinian civilian population demands immediate redress and the Israeli state should be brought before the International Criminal Court to account for its actions. There is though a wider issue in play, that of the continuing occupation itself. To that end collective punishment, while a horrible phenomenon in its own right, is ultimately a symptom of occupation rather than the underlying problem. It is then the occupation which should be challenged and not just the aggression which is a feature thereof. With that in mind we in the 1916 Societies call for a complete and unconditional end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the full retrieval of Palestine's national rights. We extend our full support to the Palestinian people and hope to see the day when our respective countries stand as free nations before the world.


  1. Thanks as always for carrying Anthony. End the occupation!

  2. Brilliant piece Sean. It defies belief that the West pays scant attention to the horrors in Palestine.

  3. I think it's good that the Societies have taken this position Nuala. There's much revisionism in the Palestinian situation at present, much like here, with the purpose being to recognise a right to exist on behalf of the Israeli occupation. Why though should it have ANY right to exist on lands which do not belong to it and have been forcibly removed from their rightful owners? It's akin to the principle of consent and attempts at achieving a hitherto lacking legitimacy for the British presence in the six-counties. Both should be fundamentally opposed and it's good to know that there are still Irish republicans who will do so

  4. Sean if anyone can empathise with the brutality of occupation it's the Irish.
    The persecution of Palestine by an oppressive regime should be condemned by all.
    People like yourself who highlight this injustice should be applauded.

  5. I am incredibly proud of the societies taking such a principled stand on the oppression and attempted ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people from their ancestral homelands. The similarities between the struggles of the people of Ireland and Palestine are legion and it makes us natural allies.
    Today and forever more Irish Republican's are and always will be Palestinians.
    Tiocfaidh ar La