(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman called on Israel to close its embassy in Dublin in response to the Irish Senate vote to advance legislation that would criminalize trade with east Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and the West Bank.
On Thursday, the Foreign Ministry met with Irish Ambassador Alison Kelly. The foreign ministry summoned her for a conversation to protest the legislation’s advancement, even though Ireland’s government has opposed it.
No further action was taken after the meeting.
"There is no point in summoning the Irish ambassador to Israel for a reprimand,” Liberman wrote on his twitter account.
“Israel should immediately close its embassy in Dublin. We will not turn the other cheek to those who boycott us,” Liberman wrote.
Ireland has made it clear that it opposes any boycotts against areas of Israel within the pre-1967 lines. It has vigorously opposed any Israeli activity over those lines. But its opposition to the private member’s bill is more about strategy and legality. It believes that the legislation runs counter to European Union law and would harm its ability to be involved in any Middle East peace process.
The New York based think tank, The Lawfare Project, took issue with Ireland’s claim that the legislation did not constitute a boycott of Israel.
It has filed a court case in Ireland against the bill, which claims it to be illegal under EU and US law. If the legislation is passed into law, US companies with Irish branches could no longer continue to operate in Ireland because they would be in violation America’s anti-boycott laws, the Lawfare Project stated.
It is particularly concerned by the section of the bill which states that “‘settlement goods" means goods produced in whole or in part within a relevant occupied territory by an illegal settler.”
This means, The Lawfare Project said, that the ban can also applies to products produced within areas of Israel inside the Green Line.
“It applies not only to supplies in Ireland but also to supplies anywhere in the world if any person involved is an Irish citizen or resident or an Irish company,” the Lawfare project said.
The Project’s Spanish counsel, Ignacio Palacios said the bill “would enact an official, highly aggressive anti-Israel boycott policy within a national government that targets individuals not based on their conduct, but on their national origin and place of residence.”
Palacios explained, “The presence and taxes paid by the subsidiaries of U.S. technology companies are critical for the economy of Ireland: Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Dell, Oracle, and SanDisk are ranked high among the top 20 Irish companies, with total turnovers of €192.5 billion in 2016.”