The bill that would ban all products produced in Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories from being sold or distributed in Ireland is now going to advance to the committee stage of voting.
The bill proposed by Ireland would be the first to ban imports to this degree.
YOU DID IT! Irish Seanad votes in favour of @frances_black's Occupied Territories Bill! The Bill now moves to the committee stage, the next step on it's journey toward becoming law. #BanSettlementGoods #Palestine #EndImpunity https://t.co/YgbKuvQMzd pic.twitter.com/2rDOwd1sA1— IPSC (@ipsc48) July 11, 2018
The bill was initially proposed by an independent senator, Frances Black, who is a staunch advocate for the Palestinian cause and even brought Palestinian farmers to the Seanad for the vote.
Black expressed that she sees the hypocrisy in that the EU, UN, and government of Ireland all see the Israeli settlements as illegal, but they still continue to purchase products from these same settlements.
She called on her colleagues “to state firmly that Irish foreign policy will always stand on the side of international law, human rights and justice,” by supporting this control of economic activity bill.
The Independent reported that the Israeli Embassy in Ireland was not pleased. The embassy stated: “Legislation, which promotes a boycott of any kind should be rejected as it does nothing to achieve peace but rather empowers the Hamas terrorists.”
Irish Seanad approves Senator @frances_black's bill prohibiting “the import and sales of goods, services and natural resources originating in illegal settlements in occupied territories” https://t.co/VvXrITV7Zy #BDS #Palestine #Ireland— Emma Clancy (@emmaclancy123) July 11, 2018
A Fortune column outlined the potential ramifications for US companies that do business in Ireland:
"If enacted, it could force U.S. firms with Irish divisions or subsidiaries to make a costly choice between violating either Irish law or U.S. law. If the companies refuse to join in Ireland’s boycott of such products, they could violate the new Irish law. But if they abide by the Irish law, they could violate U.S. law, which prohibits U.S. companies from participating in foreign boycotts that the United States government does not endorse."
Support of the legislation has been seen from Fianna Fail, Sinn Fein, and the Independents, but the Fine Gael government is opposed. Tanaiste Simon Coveney voiced his opposition to the bill when addressing the Seanad.
He argued that there should be a smaller approach to the matter compared to a flat-out ban of all products from the region. Coveney believed that the ban was not logistically capable because Ireland’s trade is intrinsically linked with the EU.
As Ireland is currently eyeing a spot on the UN Security Council for 2021-2022, senators argued that a stand against Israel in this matter is exactly what should be done to set an example for the rest of the world.