9 December 2015
By Bryan Smyth
Cork Lord Mayor will meet Ambassador of Palestine
The Lord Mayor of Cork will launch the annual Palestinian support calendar, in Council Chambers tomorrow (Thursday, December 10th), with Special guest of Honour, The Ambassador of Palestine.
The annual calendar produced by Cork Palestine Solidarity Campaign, will be formally launched by the Right Honourable, The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Chris O’Leary, at Council Chambers next Thursday December 10th at 12 noon.
Ambassador Ahmad Abdelrazek, head of the Mission of the State of Palestine in Ireland, and his wife Rania, are to attend as special guests of honour.
The publication documents key events and the historical background to Palestine, and features an array of photographs, taken by a group of individuals from Cork, who traveled to Palestine in September. These illustrate the current situation. In total it is an important educational tool.
The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Chris O’Leary commented: “I am delighted to host the launch of this annual publication, particularly as it launches almost a year to the day that Cork City Council’s formally recognised the state of Palestine. I personally am very happy to welcome The Ambassador, his wife Rania, members of the Cork support group, and everyone to the Council Chambers”.
The Cork Palestine Solidarity Campaign has been running for 11 years, and meets monthly to plan action, and discuss how best to support Palestine. CPSC can be found online at: https://www.facebook.com/corcaighpalaistin.link
Pro-Israel group is against visit
However, a group called Irish4Israel has said it is against Cork’s Lord Mayor welcoming the Ambassador of Palestine.
Irish4Israel said in a statement earlier this week that “The Lord Mayor’s office should be above political bias”
In an email sent to Cork City Councillors Irish4Israel wrote
Dear Members of Cork City Council.
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“Irish4Israel wishes to protest in the strongest possible terms the use of the Council Chamber by the Lord Mayor for an event by a political organisation that is currently fundraising without charity status nor is it registered with Standards in Public Office for political lobbying.
The Lord Mayor is supposed to represent all the people of Cork, which he is not doing. Entering into Middle Eastern politics at a local level is not beneficial for community relations and the Lord Mayor while free to host the Palestinian Ambassador.He should not use the Council Chambers or his position as Lord Mayor to launch or promote a calender for a political organisation.
Irish4Israel started out and is based in Cork, will the Lord Mayor in the interest of fairness be hosting us along with the new Israeli Ambassador Ze’ev Boker, or will he just host those with the political opinions he approves of ?
If the Lord Mayor wishes to endorse a political calender we suggest he does this in his personal capacity and not as the first citizen of Cork.”