Erdan: Irish bill criminalizing settlement imports a 'disgrace'

“We will work to expose the motivations behind it and act to legally prevent its implementation in accordance with international trade laws and in accordance with American legislation.”

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November 29, 2018 20:09
1 minute read.
A general view shows the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba in Hebron, in the occupied West Bank Septe

A general view shows the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba in Hebron, in the West Bank September 11, 2018. Picture taken September 11, 2018. (photo credit: MUSSA QAWASMA / REUTERS)

 
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A vote in the Irish senate advancing a bill that would make it a crime to import or sell goods originating in settlements and east Jerusalem is a “disgrace and infected with antisemitism,” Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan said on Thursday.

Erdan, whose ministry is charged with combating the BDS movement, said the vote “gave a tailwind to contemptible boycott organizations that have links with terrorist organizations and cynically use the term ‘human rights’ for purposes of spreading hatred and deepening conflict.”

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In order to pass, the bill – which has now passed two legislative hurdles – needs to pass another reading in the senate (Seanad Éireann), before going to the house (Dáil Éireann) for final approval. It will then need to be signed by the president.
Erdan said that if the legislation does pass, “We will work to expose the motivations behind it and act to legally prevent its implementation in accordance with international trade laws and in accordance with American legislation.”

Currently, 26 American states have anti-BDS legislation on the books, and that could be leveraged against Ireland since numerous US companies do business there.

The legislation,
which is opposed by the Irish government, passed by a vote of 30-13. The bill calls for a fine of up to €250,000 or five years in jail for those found guilty of importing and selling products made in settlements.


The legislation would put Ireland at odds with EU law, since areas of trade are governed by the EU, and not the individual member states. The EU, which has mandated labeling products from the settlements, has not advocated a boycott of those products.

Israeli diplomatic officials have said that passage of the bill would be “catastrophic” for Irish-Israeli ties, and would strengthen those in the Foreign Ministry who regularly bring up the embassy in Dublin as one that should be closed down because of budgetary constraints.

Closing the embassy could harm Irish-Israeli trade, which in 2017 stood at some $3.7b, with Ireland enjoying a $1.8b trade surplus.
 

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