Ireland to Boycott Israeli Settlement Goods

The proposal was led by Independent Senator Frances Black

By a narrow 20-25 vote, the Irish Senate has passed a bill that bans the import of products from West Bank settlements.

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".

Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for its part, slammed the vote, saying it has supported "populist, unsafe and extremist" anti-Israel boycott initiative.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney voiced the government's opposition to the bill during a debate at the Senate. "Events on the ground at the moment in Gaza, the demolition of Palestinian homes in the West Bank and announcement of settlement construction renders the task more hard in opposing the bill".

Speaking in the Senate on Wednesday, 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 global community on the issue, "however strongly it might appeal to our sense of right".

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".

In fact, he said, "passage of the bill would be a breach of European law", adding that Ireland's attorney general confirmed this view.

"One of the points I always make to the Israelis is that I represent the government, and the government opposed the bill in January and it opposed it today", Kelly told The Jerusalem Post after the vote.

Black said that despite Israeli settlements being condemned as illegal by the European Union, the United Nations and Irish government, "they continue to extract valuable natural resources and agricultural produce".

Fortune reported that the bill, if enacted, could force USA companies with Irish subsidiaries or divisions to essentially choose between violating Irish or U.S. law. The campaign received support from over 6,000 people, including celebrities such as Charlie McGettigan and Christy Moore.

The Israeli foreign ministry said the bill would have a negative impact on diplomatic processes and said it is monitoring the development of the bill before it responds; the Palestine Liberation Organization praised the move as "courageous".

"The passing of the Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018 through Ireland's Seanad, represents a critical first step in differentiating between unlawful settlement products and products originating from Israel".

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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