Ireland and Belfast should demonstrate their support for Palestinians by taking their refugees
A letter from Micheal O’Cathail:
Reflecting on the Irish Parliament’s (and Belfast City Council) condemnation of Israel in the recent Holy Land conflict, and giving them the benefit of the doubt as to their good faith, I did a quick check as to the practical steps that might now be taken by Ireland (and Belfast City Council) to follow up their support with practical help.
I checked what other countries are doing to help the Arab Palestinians. Surprisingly, compared to what’s being done by others, it seems that apart from issuing condemnations, Ireland and Belfast City Council are lagging somewhat behind.
Apart from Ireland (and Belfast City Council), other countries are assisting the Palestinian Arab people by enabling them to emigrate and to settle in their respective countries. For example, 450,000-500,000 immigrants from Palestine are living in Chile, 250,000 are settled in Honduras and Germany has 80,000-100,000.
Out of the top thirty-four countries hosting Arab Palestinian immigrants, neither Ireland or Belfast City Council gets a mention which is an indication that the number must be very small. .
Given Ireland’s (and Belfast City Council) much publicised enthusiasm for the Arab Palestinians, they should now lead by example and generously extend a helping hand to a significant cohort of immigrant Arab Palestinians by hosting them.
El Salvador, which is a relatively small country, has managed to take in about 70,000 Arab Palestinian immigrants: Ireland, and Belfast City Council, should therefore be able to manage 50,000.
Of course, such immigration should be voluntary.
Also, the immigrants should be given Irish/EU/UK citizenship and passports and all the necessary housing, training, social and financial supports to enable them to settle and work in Ireland (and the Belfast City Council area).
Micheal O’Cathail, Fermanagh
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