(Sean Savage/JNS) The Irish and Jewish people share a common history of suffering cruel persecution and achieving national redemption against immeasurable odds. But today, modern Ireland is one of Europe’s fiercest critics of Israel. This tension was on display last week as the Irish Senate was considering legislation aimed at criminalizing trade with Israeli settlements.
The legislation, titled “Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018,” calls to “prohibit the import and sale of goods, services and natural resources originating in illegal settlements in occupied territories,” according to Sen. Frances Black, the bill’s sponsor.
While the vote on the legislation was eventually postponed, many in Israel saw it as another example of the growing effort in Europe to single out and boycott the Jewish state.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said the legislation’s “sole purpose is to support the BDS movement and harm the State of Israel.”
The Israeli Embassy in Ireland also denounced the bill, saying that it “only offers an incentive to those who wish to boycott Israel and stands in stark contrast to the guiding principles of free trade and justice.”