A bill banning all goods from Israeli "settlements” is set to be approved by the Irish Parliament on July 11. The bill's sponsor has responded that EU governments may take actions outside EU trade policy to address violations international law, which considers all Israeli "settlements" - that is, Jewish communities in Area C of Judea and Samaria, as illegal.
Six months ago, a group of radical left Israeli activists sent a petition to the Irish parliament, asking it to support a bill that forbids the sale and export of products from Israeli "settlements". Beyond outlawing the import or sale of such products, it would also ban services originating from the so-called "occupied territories".
The 1993 Oslo Accords divided Judea and Samaria (aka 'West Bank') into Areas A,B and C, with only C under Israeli jurisdiction, A and B self governed by the Palestinian Authority. All Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria are in Area C, (and only 4% of the region's Arabs) on lands which are legally termed "disputed territories" in international forums. The anti-Israel bias prevalent in those forums and in the media has given rise to the false term "occupied territories."
According to Haaretz, the petition stated:
“Sir, – We, concerned citizens of Israel, are writing to you regarding the Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018, which was brought to our attention and which is due to be debated in Seanad Éireann on January 30th. We urge Ireland to support any legislation that will help enforce differentiation between Israel per se and the settlements in the occupied territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
We are convinced that Israel’s ongoing occupation of the Palestinian land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is morally and strategically unsustainable, is detrimental to peace, and poses a threat to the security of Israel itself. While Ireland, along with the rest of the EU, considers the occupation illegal, it continues to economically sustain it by trading with illegal Israeli settlements established in clear and direct violation of international law.
Those who signed included leaders of the New Israel Fund and its beneficiaries including:
- Naomi Chazan- Director in the NIF, who served as president of the New Israel Fund from 2008-2012.
- Avrum Burg- Member of the NIF international council. (Burg has declared that “Zionism is over,”, that Israeli society is fascist and violent, due to continuing trauma over the Holocaust, and claimed that “to define the State of Israel as a Jewish state is the key to its end. “
- Itzhak Galnoor- Member of the NIF international council.
- Miki Kratsman - Breaking the Silence`s Board of Directors Chairman. Breaking the Silence is the infamous organization that blackens the name of IDF soldiers. It has been shown over and over to be lying and is banned from lecturing in the Israeli school system.
And there are others.
Eastern Jerusalem, Ariel and Ma’aleh Adumim are all part of Israel – and this is precisely what the Sodastream boycott, and the worldwide Jewish community support for Scarlett Johansson was all about. Clearly, the New Israel Fund considers the Western Wall "occupied".
The masses of Israel across the political spectrum oppose these radical extremists. A leader of Israel’s opposition, Yair Lapid, is a fierce opponent of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, yet he wrote an op-ed MK Yair Lapid: Does the boycott include …Israeli factories which employ tens of thousands of Palestinians for whom this is the only opportunity to provide for their children?
entitled “The Hypocrisy of [a] Boycott” which was also published on his Facebook profile criticizing the decision of the Reykjavik City Council in Iceland to boycott Israel.
Lapid asked in the piece, “Does the boycott include products made by Israel’s Arab minority which is 20% of the population? …the 14 Arab Israeli parliamentarians who sit beside me in Israel’s parliament?…Israeli factories which employ tens of thousands of Palestinians for whom this is the only opportunity to provide for their children?…Israeli hospitals at which tens of thousands of Palestinians are treated every year? Does the boycott include Microsoft Office, cellphone cameras, Google – all of which contain elements invented or produced in Israel?”
Lapid condemns the double standard of those who continually criticize Israel, yet ignore the fact that Israel seeks peace, and that Israel’s major sin is that the Jewish State is winning the fight against the larger Arab enemy who seeks to destroy the State of Israel.
The same message must be sent to the donors of The New Israel Fund – who continue to support a boycott of Israel by contributing to NIF– despite, as Lapid states, those who support the boycott.. “its “purpose is not the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel but a Palestinian state on the ashes of Israel.”
As Lapid has noted, “…that calling for a boycott of Judea and Samaria is essentially a call for a de facto boycott of Israel. There is no difference between products manufactured beyond the Green Line and products manufactured within the Green Line.”
Donors of the New Israel Fund support these activities. New York based Oz Benamram is a leader of the New Israel Fund, and also serves as chief knowledge officer of White & Case, one of the world’s leading and largest law firms, who have “advised on some of the largest transactions ever to come out of Israel, including advising on the two largest-ever Israeli IPOs — the $1.6 billion IPO of Oil Refineries Ltd. (Bazan) and the $1.4 billion IPO of AFI Development.”
Those who support the New Israel Fund (NIF) stand with a boycott of Israel.
Editor: Note: The boycott was approved on July 11, making this article even more timely than when written.