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Irish MP demands establishment of independent Palestinian state as viable solution to decades-long conflict

Protesters hold a Palestinian flag during a march after Friday prayers in the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in in the Old City of al-Quds, on September 10, 2021. (Photo by AP)

An Irish legislator has described the establishment of a sovereign and independent Palestinian state as the only viable solution to the decades-long Palestinian-Israeli conflict, denouncing Israel as an apartheid regime.

In a series of posts published on his Twitter page, Richard Boyd Barrett of the People Before Profit/Solidarity alliance wrote that Israel should be treated like apartheid South Africa.

“As someone who lived in Israel/Palestine for a year, there is no doubt it is an apartheid regime. We must treat Israel as apartheid South Africa was treated,” he noted.

Boyd Barrett dismissed the so-called two-statement solution, stating that the policy is intended to deprive Palestinian refugees of their right of return granted under UN General Assembly Resolution 194 passed on December 11, 1948.

He also praised the decision by best-selling and award-winning Irish novelist Sally Rooney not to publish her new novel in Hebrew, and her support for the cultural boycott of Israel.

Rooney's new novel Beautiful World, Where Are You? explores the life and romance of intellectual, urbane millennials and topped the New York Times bestseller list when it was published in September.

Modan Publishing House has told Haaretz that Rooney won't allow her new book to be published in Hebrew because she supports the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement and does not want to work with an Israeli publisher.

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) said it “warmly welcomed” the author's decision. 

Rooney is not the first author to boycott Israeli publishers. 

In 2012, Pulitzer prize-winning author Alice Walker refused permission for publisher Yediot Books to print an Israeli edition of her classic novel The Color Purple, due to Israel being “guilty of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people.”

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