Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Irish Senate approves bill boycotting Israeli settlement goods, Foreign Ministry applauds decision

Irish senate backs law banning trade with Israeli settlements Israel Slams 'Immoral' Bill Passed by Ireland's Senate Outlawing Trade With West Bank Jewish Communities
Jeannette Daniel | 14 July, 2018, 11:45

Ireland imports a number of agricultural and cosmetic settlement products, including those produced by Ahava.

"The settlements are immoral and illegal under global law, and Ireland is the first country to practise what the whole world preaches", he said.

The Bill, which was opposed by the Irish Government, will now go to the lower chamber of the Irish Parliament to be debated. But after outrage by the Israeli government, as well as opposition from the ruling government in Ireland, the measure was postponed.

Observing that in 2017, the US accounted for 67% of all foreign direct investment in Ireland, Kittrie warned that "this bill could make US companies with divisions or subsidiaries in Ireland, Irish companies with divisions or subsidiaries in the US, and their employees who are Irish citizens or resident in Ireland, choose between violating the Irish law or violating the anti-boycott provisions of the US Export Administration Regulations".

MK Ayelet Nahmias Verbin (Zionist Union), a member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said the Irish boycott could easily legitimize other European countries to start a similar move, while MK Haneen Zoabi (Joint List) celebrated the vote as an "important political message" to Israel.

"These goods are exported and sold on shelves around the world, including in Ireland, to keep the show on the road".

"One of the points I always make to the Israelis is that I represent the government, and the government opposed the bill in January and it opposed it today", Kelly told The Jerusalem Post after the vote.

The bill would have a "polarising" effect "at this time", the Irish foreign minister said, stipulating that he would be "open to persuasion" in the future if there were no progress in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

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Israel's foreign ministry replied immediately with condemnation, calling it a "radical, anti-Israeli populist boycott that "undermines prospects for a dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians", as well as harms Palestinians working for those boycotted companies".

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Wednesday that it risked "fanning flames" in the Middle East. But this Bill asks Irish govt to do something it is not legally empowered to do - trade is an European Union competence, not an Irish one.

Kelly stressed at that meeting that the initiative had been sponsored by independent representatives in the Irish Senate and was opposed by the Irish government, but also that the proposed legislation was not a BDS initiative and that the Irish government is opposed to BDS.

The bill only targets products made beyond the Green Line.

Similarly, the legislation may also pose a dilemma for many USA -based companies in Ireland.

Kittrie pointed to the example of Apple, which has its second-largest research-and-development office located in Israel, and also produces some parts of its iPhone in Israel. It becomes law only with the signature of the Irish president.

Kinvara has a tradition of supporting the Palestinian people.

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