Occupied Territories Bill
The Seanad passed the Occupied Territories Bill Committee stage by an overwhelming majority
The Occupied Territories Bill passed the Committee stage in the Seanad - huge thanks and congratulations to Senator Frances Black, Niall Collins and those Senators who supported the Bill. Well done the Irish Seanad !
Celebrating after the vote; Senator Alice Mary Higgins (left); (from centre) Susan Power, Legal Director, Al-Haq; Niall Collins TD (Fianna Fáil); Jilan Wahba, Deputy Palestinian Ambassador; The Palestinian Ambassador, H.E. Ahmad Abdelrazek; Senator Frances Black; Selina Donnelly, Trócaire; Conor O'Neill, Policy Advisor to Sen Frances Black; (rear left); Gerry Liston, Legal Officer Sadaka & GLAN (rear right); and front right - Marie Crawley (Sadaka Chair), Stella Carroll (Sadaka), Joan Nolan (Sadaka); Gerry O'Sullivan.
Coveney says he will not be ‘bounced’ into Israeli goods ban (Irish Times, 29 Nov 2018)
Bill banning Israeli settlement goods moves a step closer to passing (Irish Times, 28 Nov 2018)
Seanad passes Occupied Territories Bill despite government opposition (The Journal, 28 Nov 2018)
Erekat applauds Chilean parliament for standing by Palestinian rights (Ma'an News, 29 Nov 2018)
Not Just Ireland: Chilean Congress Calls for Boycott of Israeli Settlements (Haaretz, 29 Nov 2018)
Bill boycotting Israeli settlement goods passes first reading in Irish Senate (Ma'an News, 29 Nov 2018)
Irish senate advances bill to criminalize settlement activity (Jerusalem Post, 28 Nov 2018)
Ireland advances bill criminalizing sale of goods made in settlements (Times of Israel, 28 Nov 2018)
Irish Senate Advances Bill to Boycott Sale of Products From West Bank Settlements (Haaretz, 29 Nov 2018)
Erdan blasts Irish Senate's advancement of 'settlement' boycott (Israel National News, 29 Nov 2018)
Ireland advances bill banning goods from illegal settlements on occupied land (i24 News, 29 Nov 2018)
Political and Legal Arguments
Minister Simon Coveney and the Government remain opposed to the Bill. This is based on two key arguments: firstly that the Bill is not compatible with EU law and secondly that it would undermine a role he envisages Ireland might play in a resumed Middle East peace process. These positions are not tenable.
1. In response to the Government’s position on EU law, this is a legal opinion authored by Takis Tridimas, Professor of EU law at King’s College London and practising EU lawyer who is "one of the most frequently quoted academic authors by Advocates General of the European Court of Justice and, on matters of EU law, by English courts." His opinion that the Bill is compatible with EU law is unequivocal.
2. In response to the Government position on a future peace process, this Sadaka paper outlines how the Trump Administration’s "peace plan," in which the Tánaiste has expressed faith, is not a peace plan at all and seeks to ensure that Israel will benefit from its longstanding and systematic breaches of international law, to the extreme detriment of the Palestinian people. It also explains how the Occupied Territories Bill has the potential to play an important role in creating the conditions for a just and meaningful peace process.
Public meetings around the country
A number of packed public meetings on the Occupied Territories Bill were held around the country over the last few weeks. In Limerick and Cork respectively, Senator Frances Black was joined by Billy Kelleher TD and Niall Collins TD (both Fianna Fáil) to promote support for the Bill.
Cross party co-operation and support (with the exception of Fine Gael) on this Bill has been exemplary!
Thank you to all the Parties and Independents involved! Thanks also to the many elected representatives (in Sinn Féin, Labour, People Before Profit & Independents) who participated in these public meetings, to Trócaire, Christian Aid, ICTU, SIPTU, IPSC branches, Gaza Action Ireland and the many individuals who assisted in organising and promoting these meetings.
And finally thanks to you - members of the public - who participated in these meetings in such high numbers demonstrating the extent to which the people of Ireland demand that the Seanad pass the Occupied Territories Bill.
Chair, Sadaka – the Ireland Palestine Alliance