Sinn Fein leader Michelle O’Neill ‘should be challenged on Israel stance’ during visit to Washington DC, says DUP MP Gavin Robinson

A DUP MP has challenged US Congressional members to question Michelle O’Neill over Sinn Fein’s policy of Irish neutrality and opposition to the state of Israel.

By Henry McDonald
Tuesday, 19th July 2022, 9:56 am

The Sinn Fein vice-president is in Washington DC this week to tell senior American politicians about the need to restore power-sharing at Stormont.

East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson called last night on Congressional leaders to quiz her about Sinn Fein’s policy of “asserting Ireland’s neutrality” in the face of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Mr Robinson said: “Sinn Fein’s version of neutrality has seen their representatives tweeting pro-Putin propaganda while the rest of the world was coalescing in opposition. Is that what the Congressional representatives see as responsible foreign policy?

Michelle O'Neill is in Washington DC this week to tell senior American politicians about the need to restore power-sharing at Stormont

“Perhaps the Congressional members could ask Michelle O’Neill how she believes the Ukraine military should fend off Russian tanks when her party has criticised the supply of Belfast-made anti-tank missiles to Ukraine. Indeed, were Sinn Fein to have their way, the supply of such vital equipment would be banned from entering Irish airspace.”

He continued: “Sinn Fein’s version of neutrality is not just about opting out of alliances such as Nato, but agitating in opposition to them. When Sinn Fein are lecturing the United Kingdom from the USA, their hosts could also contrast Michelle O’Neill’s position to their own and to that in mainstream UK opinion.”

On Israel, Mr Robinson said he had a further question for the US Congress members to put to Ms O’Neill.

“Are they content to side with someone like Michelle O’Neill who has described Israel as a ‘racist and apartheid regime’. The US State Department says that ‘Israel has no greater friend than the United States’ whilst Sinn Fein has agitated against Israel everywhere from the Dail to Belfast City Council,” he said.

DUP MP Gavin Robinson

Mr Robinson added: “As Michelle O’Neill attempts to place herself on the world stage, she should be answering questions which need to be asked of her party. These would be two important areas where the Congressional members could start.”

Sinn Fein as well as the Irish government has attempted to persuade the Biden administration to exert pressure on the UK government over the NI Protocol.

Ahead of her trip, Ms O’Neill said she will tell US politicians about “the reckless actions of the British government who are trying to sabotage our political agreements through their anti-Good Friday Agreement agenda”.