Published: Sat, July 14, 2018

Israel trade ban 'would put Ireland in wilderness'

Israel trade ban 'would put Ireland in wilderness'

Fortune reported that the bill, if enacted, could force United States companies with Irish subsidiaries or divisions to essentially choose between violating Irish or United States law. It suggests that simple labelling is not enough and proposes to enforce worldwide law by banning goods produced within illegal settlements.

The bill was first tabled in January of this year, but was delayed after Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered that Ireland's ambassador to Israel be summoned to account for the changes outlined in the documents.

The Bill, which was opposed by the Irish Government, will now go to the lower chamber of the Irish Parliament to be debated.

Both the Israeli Foreign Ministry and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have criticized the Senate's bill and believe that this legislation would undermine or deter global involvement or cooperation with future peace talks.

The Irish Republic has moved a step closer towards banning Israeli products produced in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The "Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018" will mean for those who violate the new laws legislated, that they could face a 250,000 pound fine and the possibility of up to 13 months imprisonment. "But I believe... we've made the case clearly".

It, however, is a shame that Ireland was forced to take this first step alone, as the European Union seems more interested in appeasing Israeli colonialism and oppression than in defending the rights of Palestinians.

Speaking in the Senate, Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney of the Fine Gael Party, said that such a boycott is logistically impossible due to Ireland's trade being tied up within the larger European Union, and that Ireland should not push ahead of the worldwide community on the issue, "however strongly it might appeal to our sense of right".

There are at least 126 settlements in the West Bank excluding East Jerusalem, according to a September 2016 report from the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics.

The bill was introduced by Frances Black, a well-known singer and member of the Seanad, the upper house in Ireland's Parliament.

"During the Irish Senate's debate on the bill today, the Irish Foreign Minister, Simon Coveney, spoke against the bill".

Opposition Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Trade Niall Collins told Israel's i24 television channel that "the party (Fianna Fáil) absolutely supports turning trade with the settlements into a criminal offense".

Simon Coveney has dismissed a proposed trade ban with Israel as a divisive move that would make peace in the Middle East even more hard.

Kinvara has a tradition of supporting the Palestinian people. "While Ireland considers Jerusalem an Israeli settlement, the US government recognizes it as Israel's capital", stated Kittrie.

She said she visited Palestine earlier this year and, highlighting an Israel settlement which led to a Palestinian village losing its water supply to provide water for a chicken farm.

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