Israel cancels Knesset delegation to Ireland

As Ireland advances anti-Israel boycott bill, Knesset cancels planned delegation trip to Ireland, as diplomatic row deepens.

David Rosenberg ,

Irish parliament building in Dublin
Irish parliament building in Dublin

Israel has cancelled a planned Knesset delegation to the Irish parliament, as a diplomatic row over Ireland’s support for an anti-Israel boycott bill deepens.

On Monday, Channel 12 reported that Yuli Edelstein (Likud), the speaker of the Knesset, had ordered that plans to send a delegation of Israeli lawmakers to Ireland be nixed in protest of the Irish parliament’s support for a controversial bill banning business with companies which operate in Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria.

The Knesset had earlier planned on sending a broad delegation of coalition and opposition MKs to Ireland, which was to have been led by coalition MK Akram Hasson (Kulanu) and opposition lawmaker Eyal Ben-Reuven (Hatnuah). The delegation’s trip was planned in response to an invitation from the Irish parliament to meet with senior Irish lawmakers.

The cancellation of the high-level delegation is the latest sign of the increasingly strained ties between Israel and Ireland.

Last week, Israeli foreign ministry officials summoned Ireland’s ambassador to Israel, Alison Kelly, for an official reprimand over her country’s support for a bill to criminalize business ties with Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria.

The summons came in response to the Irish parliament’s preliminary approval for a boycott law which would criminalize commercial ties with businesses operating in Israeli towns over the pre-1967 Green Line. Violators could face up to five years in prison and as well as fines, if the law receives final approval.