Liberman: Israel Should Close Embassy in Dublin, Ireland

Saul Bowman
July 15, 2018

If the bill is finally accepted, Ireland will become the first country member of the European Union, which will prohibit commercial activity on the territory of Israel.

Legislators in Ireland's Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that will prohibit "the import or sale of goods and services" from Jewish communities in the West Bank, deemed to have been under Israeli "occupation" since the June 1967 Six-Day War.

The bill, which passed its second reading on Tuesday, still has eight more procedural hurdles to jump, including a vote in the Irish Parliament's House of Representatives, before it can be signed into law by the Irish president.

Also the Foreign Ministry condemned the Irish Senate "Irish Senate has given its support to a populist, unsafe and extremist anti-Israel boycott initiative that hurts the chances of dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians", the Ministry said in a statement, adding that if signed into law the measure would "have a negative impact on the diplomatic process in the Middle East..."

Independent observers noted that if enacted, the law could put United States companies with Irish branches in violation of US Export Administration Regulations, which require USA firms to refuse to participate in foreign boycotts that the US does not sanction. Earlier this year the United Nations Human Rights Council published a report on the role businesses play in Israel's violations of worldwide humanitarian law, "contributing to Israel's confiscation of land, facilitate the transfer of its population into the Occupied Palestinian Territory and. the exploitation of Palestine's natural resources". Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said the ban was logistically impossible to impose because Ireland's trade policies are tied to the EU.

Orde Kittrie, a professor of law at Arizona State University and senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told JNS that the legislation, if enacted, could pose both legal and economic consequences for Ireland. "But I believe. we've made the case clearly".

In order to become law, the bill still must pass through several obstacles. "He asserted that the bill would violate European Union law and noted that it could cause problems for Ireland with USA law", said Kittrie.

The Joint (Arab) List also welcomed the bill, saying it hoped it would "mark the beginning of a new stage in which Israel starts to pay an worldwide political, economic and moral price for its actions". There is a clear hypocrisy here: "How can we condemn the settlements as 'unambiguously illegal, ' as theft of land and resources, but happily buy the proceeds of this crime?" Many supporters of boycotts against Israel have been denied visas under the law or deported upon landing at Ben Gurion Airport.

Saeb Erekat, Palestine Liberation Organisation secretary general, welcomed the move. Once again, Ireland is making history and leading the way in its solidarity with the Palestinian people.

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