Occupied Territories Bill Campaign 19 May 2020

We hope you are all keeping safe and well during these very challenging times.

As you are no doubt aware, Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party are currently negotiating to form a new government.

While Fine Gael do not support the “Occupied Territories” Bill, Fianna Fáil included it in their 2020 manifesto for government, and the anti-Israel groups are now lobbying hard to ensure both Fianna Fáil and the Green Party support the passage of the Bill into law.

We are therefore asking you to email or call Fianna Fáil and Green Party TDs as well as your local TDs (including Independents) to let them know that you DO NOT support the immoral, discriminatory and illegal “Occupied Territories” Bill. We have also included Senator Pauline O’Reilly, Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Trace.

Here are the email addresses:

Fianna Fáil: micheal.martin@oir.ie sean.haughey@oir.ie
Green Party: eamon.ryan@oir.ie pauline.oreilly@oir.ie 
Your local TDs (including Independents) please click into the following link for local TD’s email addresses and search by constituency.

Meanwhile, here are some pointers to remind you why the "Occupied Territories" Bill must not be passed into law:

  • The Bill is discriminatory. It is worded in a manner that targets only Israel and ignores other disputed territories in the world.
  • The Bill is illegal. According to Ireland's Attorney General and the EU Commissioner, the Bill would be in breach of EU law. If enacted, the Bill would likely result in long-drawn-out expensive and time-consuming legal battles. Ireland is not in a position to adopt a unilateral policy on foreign trade. The Bill would also fall foul of extensive US "counter-boycott" legislation, forcing US businesses to choose between dealing with Israel or dealing with Ireland. The US may also consider that the Bill contravenes World Trade Organisation rules.
  • I consider the Bill would penalise the religious freedom of Christian pilgrims to the Holy City of Jerusalem contrary to Article 44(2) of the Irish Constitution.
  • As an Irish citizen, I could be fined up to €250,000 or face a prison sentence of up to 5 years or both, for the 'crime' of buying goods or services from a Jewish trader in the Old City of Jerusalem.
  • The Bill would negatively impact the livelihoods of up to 350,000 Palestinians (including their dependents) working in both Israeli industrial zones in East Jerusalem and the West Bank and on fruit and fish farms, where they earn more than three times the average salary than those in the Palestinian Authority.
  • The Bill would polarise communities and discourage grass roots dialogue and trust building.
  • The Bill would see the end of Ireland's role as a negotiator for peace.

It is very important that the TDs, many of whom are newly elected, see that there is widespread opposition to this Bill in Ireland. Your time in doing this is very much appreciated.

Also, please don’t forget to Become A Member of the Ireland Israel Alliance!

by Jackie Goodall

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