The Palestinian Return Centre participated in Sinn Féin’s annual Ard Fheis that took place on Saturday 5th November in the RDS in Dublin, Ireland.
The Ard Fheis hosted several Palestine solidarity groups and collectives from Palestine civil society throughout this years annual conference. During the conference’s ‘Foreign Affairs and International Solidarity’ section, Sinn Féin politician Declan Kearney spoke passionately about his own time spent in Palestine, and how more must be done for the people of Palestine. He then went on to mention how even leading figures who fought apartheid in South Africa, viewed Israeli apartheid in Palestine as far worse and more draconian then apartheid ever was in South Africa. He then closed his remarks with saying when Sinn Féin does get into government, supporting Palestine would be their top international priority.
Mr Kearney then introduced the Ard Fheis’s keynote speaker, Mr Omar Bargouthi, the founder of the Boycott, Divestment and sanctions movement (BDS). Mr Bargouthi spoke on the need for governments to take up a staunch and clear BDS policy, as well as the need to divest not just commercially from Israel but also diplomatically. He spoke on the urgency of doing so, with Israel’s increased land grabs and illegal settlement building.
The Ard Fheis closed the evening with the final address from Sinn Féin’s president, Mary-Lou Macdonald. In the first fee sentences of her final address she mentioned that Palestine solidarity should be at the forefront of every politicians international solidarity.