Occupied Territories Bill
Sir, – Jackie Goodall of the Ireland Israel Alliance condemns the Occupied Territories Bill as “legislation that is carefully drafted to apply to Israeli settlements in the West Bank while avoiding settlements in occupied territories such as Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus” (Letters, February 11th).
In what sense are those Turkish settlements “avoided” in Senator Frances Black’s Bill, which is indeed “carefully crafted” to apply to all colonial settlement regimes? If Ireland is indeed importing goods from settlements in Northern Cyprus – and I am unaware of any such imports – then of course the Bill applies to them. On the other hand, although there is clear evidence of such imports from Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, Israel is nowhere mentioned in the Bill. If Ms Goodall wishes to point the finger at that state, that is entirely her prerogative.
Much the same applies to Ms Goodall’s contention that the Bill is guilty of “applying double standards by requiring of Israel a behaviour not expected or demanded by any other nation”. On the contrary, the Bill applies the same standards to all colonial settlement regimes.
Nonetheless the so-called international community does indeed apply double standards to Israel by allowing it to breach innumerable UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions with impunity. Insofar as it is applicable to Israel, Senator Black’s Bill is a modest step towards redressing this imbalance. – Yours, etc,