Occupied Territories Bill

 

Sir, – Senator Frances Black is to be congratulated on the successful passage of her Occupied Territories Bill through the Seanad.

In prohibiting “the import and sales of goods, services and natural resources originating in illegal settlements in occupied territories”, the Bill merely reasserts the status quo under international humanitarian law. This means that the Government, in opposing passage of the Bill, is in fact disgracefully opposing the implementation of international humanitarian law.

Furthermore, although the Bill nowhere mentions Israel, the Israeli embassy has described it as “a populist, dangerous and extremist anti–Israel boycott initiative”. Given that the standard Israeli position is to deny that the Palestinian territories are occupied, this in itself constitutes an admission that the cap fits.

If the Bill now passes the second stage in the Seanad and is passed in the Dáil, Ireland – despite its Government – will have set an example that is certain to be followed by some of its more courageous EU partners. This, at last, is something to be proud of. – Yours, etc,

RAYMOND DEANE,

Dublin 1.