Ireland PM accuses EU, some Western countries of Gaza, Ukraine 'double standards'
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on Sunday accused the European Union and some Western countries of "double standards" in their response to Israel's air and ground assault on Gaza when compared to their position on Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Speaking on the 'The Week in Politics' show on Irish channel RTE, Varadkar questioned why the outright condemnation of Russian President Vladimir Putin for his invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 was nowhere to be seen during Israel's onslaught on Gaza.
"There can't be double standards when it comes to the conflict in Ukraine... when it comes to international humanitarian law, it has to apply across the board," Varadkar said.
"One of the concerns I have is the double standards being applied by some countries in the West is actually undermining the fight in Ukraine.
"I think its seen as double standards, that the absolute rejection of what Putin has done in Ukraine has not been matched with a similar response in relation to Israel."
Countries including the US, UK, and Germany have given Israel their full backing in a brutal air and ground assault on Gaza, even as the death toll - now at more than 13,000 - continues to skyrocket.
Senior EU representatives including Commission President Ursula von der Leyen have been exceptionally vocal in their support for Israel.
Ireland has long been a staunch supporter of the Palestinian cause, due in part to a shared history of colonial repression.
Ireland has been somewhat of an outlier in Europe regarding its stance on the war in Gaza, and was among the first countries to call for a ceasefire.
Irish opposition parties have called on the government to petition the International Criminal Court to open a war crimes investigation on Israel and for the Israeli ambassador to Dublin to be expelled.
But the Irish PM said his government's more gentle approach is more likely to yield positive results for the Palestinians.
"What the opposition would do would be to take actions that would take us out of the mix, we'd be seen as being only on one side, and not being capable of mediating or hearing both sides," Varadkar said.
"That would actually diminish our influence and would do nothing for the Palestinian people."
He also denied claims that an Irish airport was being used by Washington to ship arms to Israel, ahead of a parliamentary motion to close the airport to the US military.