Irish senate backs law banning trade with Israeli settlements

Remigio Civitarese
Luglio 12, 2018

Passed by a vote of 25-20, the bill drew support from all Ireland's major political parties, except the governing Fine Gael party.

Observing that in 2017, the US accounted for 67% of all foreign direct investment in Ireland, Kittrie warned that "this bill could make US companies with divisions or subsidiaries in Ireland, Irish companies with divisions or subsidiaries in the US, and their employees who are Irish citizens or resident in Ireland, choose between violating the Irish law or violating the anti-boycott provisions of the US Export Administration Regulations".

It now goes to a vote in the lower house of parliament, which is expected to take several months, and will also undergo further scrutiny in a senate committee.

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. Calling Israeli settlements a "war crime", she compared her proposal to Irish efforts to oppose apartheid in South Africa, adding Ireland "will always stand on the side of worldwide law, human rights and justice". The EU, which criticizes settlement building, did introduce rules in 2015 calling for products from settlements to be clearly labeled as such.

Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said the vote would have "a negative impact on the diplomatic process in the Middle East".

"Israel will consider its response in accordance with developments regarding the legislation", he said.

Israel summoned the Irish ambassador for clarification over the proposed legislation when it was first introduced in January. The Palestine Liberation Organization called the move historic and urged other countries to follow suit.

Fadi Quran, Palestinian senior campaigner at pressure group Avaaz, who was in the senate when the bill passed, heralded July 11 "Palestine's St. Patrick Day".

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