'An Israeli agency has written to the Irish government stating its “concern” about an Irish bill that would ban trade with illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Isaac Herzog, chair of the Jewish Agency for Israel (which encourages Jewish people to emigrate to Israel), wrote to Simon Coveney, the Irish minister for foreign affairs and trade, in January. The Canary obtained a copy of the letter via a freedom of information request.
Concerns about the bill
Members of the Irish parliament recently voted in favour of the Occupied Territories bill. The bill would ban trade with illegal Israeli settlements.
Herzog states in the letter that, “as a faithful friend of Ireland”, he wants to discuss his “deep concern” about the bill. He writes:
This proposed legislation, which singles out Israel for penalization of trade, is not only unfair and unjust, but it also sets a dangerous precedent which is detrimental to the relations between our countries.
As a result, he claims, it would undermine:
the chances of resolving the Israel Palestinian conflict by a negotiated compromise.
Herzog also tells Coveney that, if the bill becomes law, “a general boycott of Israeli Irish exchanges would extend itself to all walks of society”. He says this would mean:
most [people] would deduce it’s open season on Israel.
this singling out of Israel would only spread demonization and double standards with respect to my country, but probably, as is all too often the case, with respect to Jews in general.
What’s more, he claims that the bill could inspire people to attack Israel and Jewish people, causing:
a violent turn by extremists who would interpret it as an official encouragement to more hostility, and indeed more hostilities.
Read more: Israel has tried to pressure Ireland to block a pro-Palestine bill