Varadkar raises concerns about EU ‘double standards’ on Israel and Palestine

Leo Varadkar said Shannon Airport was not being used by the US military to support Israel (Brian Lawless/PA)
Leo Varadkar said Shannon Airport was not being used by the US military to support Israel (Brian Lawless/PA)

Irish premier Leo Varadkar has said there is “double standards” from the EU and some Western powers in relation to Israel and Palestine.

The Taoiseach said the stance of some Western countries in response to the Israel-Hamas war had “undermined the fight” to garner support for Ukraine as it battles against the ongoing Russian invasion.

He said that neither Shannon Airport, nor any other Irish airport, was being used by the US military to support Israel.

“No. You have to receive express permission to bring munitions through any airport in Ireland and they have to be signed off on by the Department of Transport and the Minister for Transport, and that’s not happening,” the Taoiseach told RTE.

Mr Varadkar said he believed the Irish Government was “matching our words” when it came to its stance on Israel and Palestine, and that other countries had taken a “double standards” approach but Ireland had not.

“I don’t think that’s true in relation to Ireland,” he told The Week in Politics.

“If they’re saying that in relation to the European Union and some Western powers, I think they’re correct and I made that point at the peace conference in Paris, that there can’t be double standards when it comes to the conflict in Ukraine.

“That when it comes to international humanitarian law, it has to apply across the board.

“One of the concerns I have is that the double standards that are being applied by some countries in the West is actually undermining the fight in Ukraine.

“Because one of the things that I’ve been working very hard on, and European leaders have been working very hard on, is to gain support for Ukraine across the global south – from Africa, from Latin America, from Asia – saying to them that what’s happening in Ukraine is a war of aggression, it’s an imperialist war.

“Unfortunately, some of the double standards that we’ve seen from a lot of Western powers has undermined that fight.”

The Taoiseach was speaking after thousands of pro-Palestine protesters marched through Dublin city and carried out a sit-in outside the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The Government has confirmed that 50 Irish citizens and their dependants have fled Gaza in recent days as part of international efforts to evacuate people with foreign passports.

Some Irish citizens from Gaza arrived from Cairo at Dublin Airport this weekend.