Imports from Israeli settlements

Fri, Dec 7, 2012, 00:00

Sir, – The sound and fury here surrounding the Israeli announcement regarding zoning in the E1 area, to which The Irish Times  added its voice (Editorial, December 6th) reeks of hypocrisy.

Israel’s critics are condemning the announcement on the basis that future construction in this area would “bisect” the West Bank and render unviable any future Palestinian state by leaving a territorial waist between Ma’aleh Adumim and the Jordan river of 21km at its widest and 15km at its most narrow.

Yet almost all of these same critics demand an Israeli withdrawal to the Green Line, which would leave Israel just 15km wide immediately north of Tel Aviv in what is the most populous part of the country. Would this not amount to a “bisection” of Israel? – Yours, etc,

SW GANNON,

Rhebogue,

Limerick.

Sir, – A crucial point to reiterate about the recent calls for concrete action against Israel’s illegal acts (Home News, December 3rd) and the response on your letters page (December 5th) is that what is being called for by organisations such as ourselves is not a ban on produce from Israel. It is a call for a ban on produce from illegal Israeli settlements – which the international community recognises as illegal and not located in Israeli territory.

So a call for a ban is quite simply a call for Ireland to dissociate itself from illegality. Rather than a radical call, it would be a most measured and moral response in the face of what is happening in Palestine. Ireland is currently supporting Israel’s illegal settlement project by allowing produce from illegal settlements onto the Irish market.

It is difficult to know how far Israel has to go before international reaction is more substantial than strong words or the posturing of calling in ambassadors. Sadly it seems to be too much trouble for the Irish Government to take not just a moral stand but a moral action by banning such goods. – Yours, etc,

JOE O’BRIEN,

Ireland Advocacy Co-Ordinator,

Ecumenical Accompaniment
Programme in Palestine
and Israel,

Mourne View,

Skerries,

Co Dublin.