The Occupied Territories Bill: Dail Éireann votes to pass legislation banning the import of goods from illegal Israeli settlements!
In a truly historic moment for Palestine, on Thursday January 24th 2019, the Dáil voted by 78 votes to 45 in favour of the Occupied Territories Bill. That means that the Seanad has passed and the Dáil supports in principle a Bill which, if enacted, will ban the sale of goods and services originating in illegal Israeli settlements established on stolen Palestinian land.
78 - 45!
That is the extraordinary majority of the vote in Dáil Éireann in support of the Occupied Territories Bill. Huge congratulations to Niall Collins TD and his colleagues in Fianna Fáil, to Sinn Féin, Labour, the Green Party, Social Democrats, People Before Profit / Solidarity and the range of Independent TDs who voted for the Bill. Significantly, three Government Ministers abstained, choosing not to support the Government in its opposition to the Bill. We are so proud of your representation of the will of the Irish people.
This is a major step in challenging Israel's impunity in its daily breaches of international law. The vote in favour of the Bill represents the strongest possible statement that Ireland as a nation will not stand idly by while Israel commits war crimes against the Palestinian people.
The Occupied Territories Bill was introduced to the Dáil on Wednesday, 23rd January, by Fianna Fáil’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs Niall Collins TD and supported by all political parties (except Fine Gael) as well as by a large number of independents. There were many excellent contributions to the debate, a transcript of which is available here ).
"This is about doing the right thing at the right time and taking the lead."
Niall Collins TD, Fianna Fáil’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs
Pictured after the Dáil debate - Conor O'Neill, Policy Advisor to Senator Black; Stella Carroll, Media Officer Sadaka; Gerry Liston, Legal Officer Sadaka & GLAN; Senator Frances Black; Niall Collins T.D; Jilan Wahba, Deputy Palestininan Ambassador, Marie Crawley, Chair of Sadaka.
Israel parliament cancels Irish trip in protest at goods boycott Bill (Irish Times, 28 Jan 2019)
Israel threatens retaliatory measures if Ireland passes Bill to boycott Israeli goods (Irish Examiner, 29 Jan 2019)
Israel gives Irish ambassador severe dressing down for ‘anti-Semitic’ Dáil Bill (The Irish Times, 25 Jan 2019)
Occupied Territories Bill passes in Dáil despite government opposition (The Irish Post, 24 Jan 2019)
The Irish Times view on Israeli settlements: a principled declaration (Irish Times, 26 Jan 2019)
Coveney warns he could block ‘anti-Israel’ bill (Irish Legal News, 24 Jan 2019)
TDs back controversial occupied territories Bill as Independent Ministers abstain (Irish Times, 24 Jan 2019)
Concerns over Israeli embassy closing down over Occupied Territories Bill 'an overreaction' say FF (The Journal, 24 Jan 2019)
Focus on Independent Alliance over occupied territories Bill (Irish Times, 23 Jan 2019)
Airbnb 'profiting' from illegal Israeli settlements: Amnesty (Al Jazeera, 30 Jan 2019)
Amnesty urges travel sites to remove Israeli settlement listings in occupied West Bank (The Independent, 30 Jan 2019)
The Irish Parliament passed a Bill banning the import of Israeli settlement goods (Facebook, 28 Jan 2019)
TripAdvisor, Booking.com, Expedia – please stop offering holidays in illegal Israeli settlements (The Independent, 30 Jan 2019)
As Malaysia and Ireland Find Out, You Stand Up for Palestinian Rights at Your Peril (Mint Press News, 31 Jan 2019)
Knesset speaker scraps MKs’ mission to Ireland over boycott legislation (Times of Israel, 29 Jan 2019)
Knesset speaker cancels Ireland visit after parliament backs West Bank boycott (Jewish News Times of Israel, 29 Jan 2019)
Israeli parliament Speaker snubs Dáil over ‘hurtful’ proposed law (The Times, 29 Jan 2019)
Michael Jansen: A new victory (The Gulf Today, 1 Feb 2019)
Foreign Ministry blasts Ireland after pro-BDS bill advances (Israel National News, 24 Jan 2019)
Ireland Passes BDS Bill to Outlaw West Bank Settlement Goods (The Palestine Chronicle, 25 Jan 2019)
Ireland passes BDS bill banning Israel settlement goods (The Middle East Monitor, 25 Jan 2019)
Irish parliament passes bill to ban Israeli settlement goods (Electronic Intifada, 24 Jan 2019)
Israel Expresses ‘Disgust’ After ‘Occupied Territories’ Boycott Bill Wins Crucial Vote in Irish Parliament(Algemeiner, 24 Jan 2019)
Irish lower house passes bill to ban Israeli settlement goods (Aljazeera, 24 Jan 2019)
Irish envoy given ‘angry rebuke’ over bill outlawing settlement goods (The Times of Israel, 25 Jan 2019)
Ministers urged not to block occupied territories trade ban (The Times, 25 Jan 2019)
Israel condemns Irish parliament advances anti-settlement bill (XinhuaNet, 25 Jan 2019)
The EU's position on the Irish Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018 (European Parliament Questions, 9 Jan 2019)
Framework for Evaluating Listings in Disputed Areas (Airbnb Press Room, 17 Jan 2019)
Political and Legal Arguments
Minister Simon Coveney and the Government remain opposed to the Bill. This is based on two key arguments: firstly that the Bill is not compatible with EU law and secondly that it would undermine a role he envisages Ireland might play in a resumed Middle East peace process. These positions are not tenable.
1. In response to the Government’s position on EU law, this is a legal opinion authored by Takis Tridimas, Professor of EU law at King’s College London and practising EU lawyer who is "one of the most frequently quoted academic authors by Advocates General of the European Court of Justice and, on matters of EU law, by English courts." His opinion that the Bill is compatible with EU law is unequivocal.
2. In response to the Government position on a future peace process, this Sadaka paper outlines how the Trump Administration’s "peace plan," in which the Tánaiste has expressed faith, is not a peace plan at all and seeks to ensure that Israel will benefit from its longstanding and systematic breaches of international law, to the extreme detriment of the Palestinian people. It also explains how the Occupied Territories Bill has the potential to play an important role in creating the conditions for a just and meaningful peace process.
3. This opinion piece, written by Gerry Liston (Legal Officer Sadaka) and published in the Irish Times (26th November 2018) provides an excellent argument as to why the Irish Government should support the Bill.
Occupied Territories Bill
The Occupied Territories Bill, developed by Sadaka and tabled by Senator Frances Black, will prohibit the import of goods and services which are produced in illegal Israeli settlements. Settlements are a war crime under international law.
Sadaka runs targeted campaigns on an annual basis, each one aimed at achieving a particular goal such as Irish Government Recognition of Palestine, pre General Election commitments on Palestine and similar goals.
High Level Fora and meetings are used to get particular messages to selected audiences. We focus on high profile speakers to attract key decision makers and people of influence.
Writing and disseminating high quality factual information and analysis on political developments in Palestine is a central tenet of what we do.
In partnership with the Curriculum Development Unit, Sadaka produced an education resource on Palestine available on the Irish secondary school curriculum. More resources also available.
Visiting Speaker Programme
Sadaka organises high level speaking tours with invited guests, primarily from Palestine. They typically involve meetings with the Minister, political party leaders, leading NGOs, trade unions and presentations to Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Political meetings are core business for Sadaka as we attempt to shift Irish foreign policy towards the achievement of political self –determination and human rights for the Palestinian people.
Sadaka has hosted lengthy speaking tours with leading Christian church leaders from Palestine to encourage the Irish churches to develop pro-active positions on the plight of their brothers and sisters in the Holy Land.
Sadaka has worked closely with trade unions since our formation building on their strong pro-active positions on Palestine.
Recent Media Items
Israel says will legalize West Bank homes built on private Palestinian land (Haaretz, 10 February 2019)
Israel builds settlements while razing Palestinian homes. If that’s not apartheid, what is? (Gideon Levy, Haaretz, 7 February 2019)
US Senate passes anti-BDS legislation with strong majority (Haaretz, 6 February 2019)
Abbas asks Europeans to recognize Palestinian state (Times of Israel, 5 February 2019)
Israeli settlers vandalize West Bank mosque (Electronic Intifada, 5 February 2019)
Spanish company CAF rejects tender for Jerusalem's railway as it traverses '67 border (Ma’an News, 3 February 2019)
180 Palestinian women wounded by live Israeli fire since start of Gaza protests (Haaretz, 3 February 2019)
US stops all aid to Palestinians in West Bank and Gaza (BBC, 1 February 2019)
Palestinian teen hiking with friends was killed in Israeli army ambush. He posed no danger (Gideon Levy, Alex Levac, Haaretz, 1 February 2019)
Israeli Snipers have shot down 45 Child Gaza Protesters (If America Knew, 22 January 2019)
Beat a detained Palestinian and made his son watch: Five Israeli soldiers indicted for abuse (Haaretz, 31 January 2019)
I was a settler. I know how settlers become killers (Shabtay Bendet, Haaretz, 30 January 2019)
After Israel suspends Hebron observers, Palestinians call for permanent UN force (Times of Israel, 29 January 2019)
Palestinian killed during attack by West Bank settlers (Ali Abunimah, Electronic Intifada, 27 January 2019)
British cultural figures urge BBC to boycott Eurovision in Israel (The Guardian, 29 January 2019)
Stars urge BBC to ask for Eurovision to be moved out of Israel (BBC News, 30 January 2019)
Israel to Expel International Monitoring Force in Hebron After 20-year Presence (Haaretz, 28 January 2019)
USAID ceases assistance in West Bank and Gaza: US official (Al Jazeera, 1 Feb 2019)
Palestinian man killed by Israeli settlers in West Bank (The Guardian, 26 January 2019)
The sadists who destroyed a decades-old Palestinian olive grove can rest easy (Gideon Levi & Alex Levac, Haaretz, 24 January 2019)
Hopes for Palestinian State hit by ‘facts on the ground’: Nickolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UN Security Council, 22 January 2019)
Casualties in the context of demonstrations and hostilities in Gaza | 30 March - 31 December 2018 (UN OCHA)
Israeli election ad by Benny Gantz boasts Gaza bombed back to “stone ages” (Ali Abunimah, Electronic Intifada, 21 January 2019)
Palestinian is shot in the head by Israeli police on his way to school, and lives to tell the tale (Gideon Levy & Alex Levac, Haaretz, 20 January 2019)
The war that will decide Israel’s future won’t involve airstrikes, tanks or missiles (Chuck Freilich, Haaretz, 13 January 2019)
West Bank demolitions and displacement: December 2018 (UN OCHA, 17 January 2019)
A new Breaking the Silence tour focussing on the history of Israeli settlement building (Gideon Levi & Alex Levac, Haaretz, 11 January 2019)
As an American-Israeli, I am thrilled for the Palestinians and for Rashida Tlaib (Bradley Burston, Haaretz, 8 January 2019)
Ten years after the first war on Gaza, Israel still plans endless brute force (Professor Avi Shlaim, Guardian, 7 January 2019))
Israeli army exiles Palestinian families from their homes – to train in their fields (Haaretz, 4 January 2019)
Israel again evacuates illegal West Bank outpost of Amona; dozens wounded (Haaretz, 3 January 2019)
Israeli forces shoot and kill three Palestinians on the grounds that they intentionally ran over Israelis - in incidents that never occurred (B’Tselem, 3 January 2019)