Israel summons Irish ambassador over boycott legislation

Ireland's ambassador to Israel summoned for clarifications over legislation prohibiting trade in or from Judea and Samaria.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Flag of Ireland
Flag of Ireland

Israel on Wednesday summoned the Irish ambassador for clarifications over legislation prohibiting trade in or from Judea and Samaria, the foreign ministry said.

The Irish initiative, introduced to the Senate on Tuesday but yet to be voted on, would make it "an offense for a person to import or sell goods or services originating in an occupied territory or to extract resources from an occupied territory," the bill reads, according to AFP.

While it does not specify Judea and Samaria, the Israeli government understood it as singling out the Jewish state. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu condemned the initiative, saying that the goal of the proposed legislation “is to support the BDS movement and harm the State of Israel.”

Ireland's ambassador to Israel was summoned to the foreign ministry on Wednesday at Netanyahu's instruction for a "clarification meeting," a statement said, despite the actual voting on the bill being postponed to an "unknown date".

The envoy, Alison Kelly, told the Israeli officials the bill was "raised by independent representatives in the Irish Senate and that the Irish government opposes the initiative," the foreign ministry said.

According to the statement, Kelly said the bill "was not a BDS initiative and that the Irish government opposes BDS," the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

The Israeli officials expressed to Kelly their "firm opposition to the legal initiative and made it clear that any initiative to boycott settlement products is a BDS initiative," the statement said, according to AFP.

The European Commission in 2015 issued guidelines for labeling products from Israeli communities in Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights and neighborhoods of Jerusalem liberated during the 1967 Six Day War.

The EU insists the labeling does not amount to a boycott of these regions, saying so-called “settlement products” have to be correctly labeled.