Tuesday, 17 July, 2018

Liberman wants Dublin embassy shut over Ireland's anti-settlement legislation

Irish senate backs law banning trade with Israeli settlements Israel Slams 'Immoral' Bill Passed by Ireland's Senate Outlawing Trade With West Bank Jewish Communities
Deanna Wagner | 14 July, 2018, 11:44

Israeli settlements in both the occupied West Bank and the Golan Heights are illegal and constitute a war crime under both the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and International Humanitarian Law (IHL), which prohibit occupying states from transferring their own civilian population into occupied territory.

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 USA 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 Upper House has passed a bill to ban Israeli settlement goods on Wednesday [11 June], the first parliament chamber in the European Union to do so.

Besides Israeli settlements, the bill also forbids imports from the Crimea and Western Sahara.

The bill was passed in the senate by a vote of 25 to 20, but still needs to be approved by the House of Representatives before it becomes law.

The Irish government made its opposition clear by saying there should be a common European Union response to this matter.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry summoned Ireland's ambassador in Tel Aviv, Simon Coveney, to condemn the Senate's "absurd" initiative. "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.

"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.

Despite the legislation's passage in the Irish Senate, it faces an uphill battle in the Dail, or Ireland's lower house, which is controlled by the center-right Fine Gael Party that opposes the legislation.

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Ireland imports a number of agricultural and cosmetic settlement products, including those produced by Ahava.

In the U.S. Senate, a bill doing the opposite has been proposed.

At the time, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the bill "gives a tailwind to those who seek to boycott Israel and is utterly contrary to the principles of free trade and justice".

Simon Coveney has dismissed a proposed trade ban with Israel as a divisive move that would make peace in the Middle East even more hard.

"If an engineer in Apple's Herzliya office lives in Jerusalem and telecommutes from home for a day, will Apple be at risk of providing a settlement service in violation of Irish law?"

But how did the Irish, who like the Jewish people have also faced centuries of persecution, end up so sympathetic to the Palestinian cause?

Proponents of the measure argued Israel is profiting from its illegal settlements in the Palestinian territories and the stalled peace process shows no signs of yielding a resolution. 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.

"Countries need to take a stand and put Apartheid Israel on notice that it can not continue to expand into Palestinian territory and brutalise its citizens".