Ireland must introduce a ban on trade with Israeli settlements : The Economic Activities (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018
The Economic Activities (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018, presented by Senator Frances Black in the Seanad on Tuesday 30th January did not proceed to a vote but this will take place in July 2018. The debate produced strong and consistent condemnation for Israel's illegal settlement programme, led by Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Simon Coveney. The next five months require consistent lobbying to ensure that this Bill passes and progresses to the next stage. Warm congratulations to Senator Frances Black for making the issue of trade with illegal Israeli settlements a live political issue in Ireland. You may view the recorded debate (from 2:29:50) or read the transcript here.
Irish Times Editorial: Israeli settlements: Seanad diplomacy - Upper house initiative shows momentum towards a real gesture of solidarity with Palestinians "... the latest parliamentary démarche shows that momentum continues to build in Dublin towards a significant gesture of solidarity with the Palestinians. The most obvious would be recognition of a Palestinian state. The Government favours this in principle but opposes doing so now for the same reason that it opposed the Seanad Bill – it believes the EU should act in unison. But pressure is building. Both the Dáil and Seanad have passed resolutions endorsing the idea and the Trump administration’s decision to drop any pretence of impartiality by recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has produced a stronger case for global solidarity with Palestine. Unless the Government can show some progress towards a common EU position in the coming weeks, the pressure for a unilateral move will be irresistible. " The Bill and the debate surrounding it has raised a great deal of interest internationally and has gained widespread press coverage.
Haaretz: Prominent Israelis Petition Irish Parliament to Back Bill Blocking Products From Settlements: Letter written by former Knesset members, legal experts, ex-ambassadors, artists and academics published in The Irish Times: 'The Israeli occupation ... is not only unjust but also stands in violation of numerous UN resolutions' RTE News: "However, Mr Coveney said that he recommended that the Government oppose the Bill. He said Ireland's approach on the Middle East needs to constantly be reassessed. Mr Coveney added that his view was Ireland's approach in our efforts to negotiate a two state solution that is fair to both sides should be focused on intensive diplomacy and on straight blunt discussion. Senator Black thanked the Tánaiste for his sincere engagement, before agreeing to the adjournment of the Bill. It received support from Sinn Féin and Labour, as well as Independent Senator David Norris. The discussion in the Seanad is continuing. Senator Michael McDowell noted that the Tánaiste had indicated in writing to Senator Black that the Goverment would come back to the Bil before the summer. He said the eyes of the world are on us as to how we deal with this Bill."
Jerusalem Post: "Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney told the Senate that the government did not support the bill, and at his request, further debate on the matter was delayed until no later than July. “The minister has asked today for time... He has given a commitment in writing that if the debate is adjourned today the government will facilitate time for this debate to be resumed before the summer recess in July,” Sen. Alice Mary Higgins, also an Independent, told the legislature"
Times of Israel: "The government opposed the passing of the the Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018, but vowed to revisit and possibly support it before the parliament’s summer break, in the event there is no significant progress on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process."
Why Ireland must introduce a ban on trade with Israeli settlements
Overview: For the past number of decades Israel has engaged in the systematic colonisation of the Palestinian territory – the West Bank and East Jerusalem – which it has occupied since June, 1967 by transferring its civilian population into settlements that it has built on that territory. This has been done in flagrant violation of international law and to the severe detriment of the Palestinian people. (Click on cover to download the full Briefing) January 2018, PDF 206 kB.