Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Ireland Is Closer Than Ever to Economically Boycotting Israel

The proposal was led by Independent Senator Frances Black The proposal was led by Independent Senator Frances Black
Patty Aguilar | 14 July, 2018, 11:43

If it becomes law, the bill could have significant implications for major American companies with Irish divisions or subsidiaries, such as Airbnb and Apple, whose global sales outside the United States are taxed in Ireland and whose Irish subsidiary, "Apple Distribution International LTD", paid $1.5 billion Irish corporation tax from 2014-2016.

The Irish Parliament on Wednesday became close to ratifying a new proposal into law that would ban any kind of economic trade with Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Israel described the bill as unsafe.

If the Seanad approves it, it would then be passed to the lower house of the parliament for a debate and vote.

The Irish government said the measure, unprecedented for a European Union member, was unworkable because it would impose a trade barrier within the European Union's single market and could harm Irish influence in the region.

The Irish foreign ministry accused the Senate of "a populist, risky and extremist anti-Israel boycott". "It's an important step in recognising the incontestable fact that Israeli settlements are illegal and are displacing thousands of Palestinians on an ongoing basis", said Egan.

"I would like to make use of this occasion to thank everyone that was involved in the approval of this law, from political parties to Palestinian and Irish civil society, and particularly to Senator Frances Black for her courage to introduce this motion that advances the cause of justice in Palestine", Erekat concluded.

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Currently, the country is importing a variety of products from illegal Israeli settlements, including fruit and vegetables, wine, plastics, big brand beauty products such as "Ahava", and others.

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".

The Minister went on to say he was opposed to the Bill politically because it would leave Ireland out on its own internationally, saying if "we go too far in front of the consensus perhapse we cease to shape it".

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

Kinvara has a tradition of supporting the Palestinian people. The Government would prefer a unilateral, EU-led response to the settlements issue as opposed to striking out alone. The Irish no longer viewed Israel as the underdog struggling for national rights, but instead as a foreign occupier on someone else's land (the Palestinians), similar to the Irish experience with British control over Northern Ireland.

Israel's Foreign Ministry has held the government accountable for the vote and has summoned Kelly to its offices for a Thursday meeting. The Palestine Liberation Organization called the move historic and urged other countries to follow suit.

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