“Closing doors will not in any way facilitate Ireland’s role and influence. There are direct parties to the conflict. Boycotting one of them will not do any good and is immoral,” announced the Israeli mission in Dublin in response to an Irish boycott of goods from Judea and Samaria.
Israel condemned the reintroduction of a bill in Ireland bill that would outlaw the import and sale of Israeli goods made in Judea and Samaria as an “immoral” move that encourages terrorism.
“The Embassy of Israel is concerned by bills that further the divisions between Israel and the Palestinians. Legislation, which promotes a boycott of any kind, should be rejected as it does nothing to achieve peace but rather empowers the Hamas terrorists as well as those Palestinians who refuse to come to the negotiating table,” the Israeli mission in Dublin said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Closing doors will not in any way facilitate Ireland’s role and influence. There are direct parties to the conflict. Boycotting one of them will not do any good and is immoral.”
Ireland’s parliament, the Seanad, is poised to pass on Wednesday the Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018 would make it a violation of Irish criminal law to purchase goods and services from Israeli companies based in Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights. It would punish violators with up to five years in prison.
This law would thus make the purchase of souvenirs in Israel a criminal act, punishable by a maximum of five years in jail and a $310,000 fine.
The bill was introduced in January, but further discussion was postponed until July at the request of Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney.
A government spokesman stated that the bill presented legal issues regarding trade in the European Union (EU) and also that the government was “wary such a move would undermine Ireland’s position in the Middle East.”
Independent senator Frances Black, who introduced the bill, previously signed a letter calling for a boycott of all Israeli products and services.
Even if it passes, the bill would still have to clear several additional hurdles before becoming law.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in January strongly condemned the Irish legislative initiative, “the entire goal of which is to support the BDS movement and harm the State of Israel,” he stated.
“The initiative gives backing to those who seek to boycott Israel and completely contravenes the guiding principles of free trade and justice,” declared Netanyahu.
In response, Netanyahu summoned Ireland’s ambassador to Israel to the Foreign Ministry for clarification.
Bill Contravenes US, European law
Writing for The Hill earlier this year, Orde Kittrie, a law professor at Arizona State University, explained that the proposed bill runs afoul of US laws and if enacted, could force US companies with Irish subsidiaries to choose between violating the Irish law or violating US Export Administration Regulations, which require US firms to refuse to participate in foreign boycotts that the US does not sanction.
The bill would also subject companies to US state-level sanctions, violate European Union and international law, threaten Ireland’s economic links to the US, and hinder the prospects for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
According to the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland, some 700 US companies employ over 150,000 people in Ireland. Similarly, some 227 Irish companies employ an estimated 120,000 people in the US.