ACTIVISTS from the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) this week occupied the Limerick offices of Materion, who, they claim, “profit from the sale of weapons of mass destruction to Israel”.
The Palestine solidarity activists protested at the Ballysimon Road facility to highlight what they consider is the company’s “role over the years in arming and supporting the Israeli war machine”.
According to the Limerick protesters, Materion are also alleged to have a plant in “an illegal settlement on stolen Palestinian land in the West Bank”.
Protesters demanded that Materion “pledge to never again profit from arming Israel, and to return the land on the West Bank to the Palestinian people”.
One of the protesters, Cian Prendiville, commented that “Apartheid Israel has murdered 4,710 Palestinian children in a little over a month. They continue to bombard the captive and besieged people of Gaza with indiscriminate bombing. They are committing these war crimes using high-tech weapons of mass destruction sold to them by massive multinationals, funded by US aid.”
“We are shocked to learn from Palestinian researchers that Materion, a major multinational with a branch here in Limerick, have been involved in profiting from the manufacture and sale of these weapons and we are demanding they give a guarantee they will never again do this.”
Mr Prendiville continued: “Furthermore, we were shocked to learn on the Materion website that, as well as their Limerick plant, they also have a ‘Israeli location’ run by El-Tan Technologies on the illegal settlement referred to as ‘Sal’it Industrial Zone’ on stolen Palestinian land in the West Bank.”
“We are calling on Materion to return this land to the Palestinian people from whom it was illegally stolen. We also wanted to remind Materion that, according to the United Nations, any companies engaged in settlement activities are profiting from and contributing to systemic human rights violations against Palestinians.”
According to demonstrators, multinational Materion would not accept a copy of their protest letter until Gardaí arrived on the scene, after which protesters moved on.
National IPSC chairperson Zoe Lawlor hit out at Wednesday’s failed vote in the Dáil against sanctioning apartheid Israel and expelling the Israeli Ambassador, where instead was passed an amendment that Ireland should maintain diplomatic relations with Israel.
“We do not think this represents the views of the people of Ireland, who stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine,” she opined.
“Every single day that apartheid Israel is not sanctioned for its genocidal crimes against the Palestinian people means more people murdered, wounded, displaced, traumatised. History will judge those who did not act.”