Ireland to Boycott Israeli Settlement Goods

Ireland to Boycott Israeli Settlement Goods

Thursday, 12 July, 2018 - 12:15
Palestinian farmer Muna al-Taneeb, from the West Bank, with Senator Frances Black outside Leinster House on Wednesday. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell/AP Images for Avaaz
Ramallah, London- Asharq Al Awsat
Ireland is moving closer to boycotting all goods produced by Israeli settlements established in territories occupied since 1967, and to considering trade with these settlements a criminal offense.

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."

Collins' speech came hours before a supposed vote by the Irish parliament on the bill, which deals with any goods from and to Israeli settlements as “a crime punishable by five years imprisonment or a fine of 250,000 euros.”

The Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018, a private members Bill proposed by Independent Senator Frances Black, will make it an offense to purchase goods and services from Israeli settlements which have been condemned by Ireland and the EU as illegal.

The Bill, passed its first vote in the Seanad by 25 votes to 20 with the support of Fáil, Sinn Féin, and several independent senators.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denounced the bill, saying it “gives a tailwind to those who seek to boycott Israel and is utterly contrary to the principles of free trade and justice”.

Black said in a statement before the vote that “trade in settlement goods sustains injustice”.

“In the occupied territories, people are forcibly kicked out of their homes, fertile farming land is seized, and the fruit and vegetables produced are then sold on Irish shelves to pay for it all,” she said.

“These settlements are war crimes, and it’s time for Ireland to show some leadership and refuse to support them.”

The bill does not name Israel but instead refers to an “occupying power” and “illegal settler”.

In 2015, the EU issued guidelines for the labeling of products from Israeli settlements, which it considers illegal and says are an obstacle to peace.

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