Knesset scraps delegation to Ireland over pro-BDS bill

January 29, 2019 by JNS
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Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein scrapped a Knesset trip to Ireland on Monday due to an Irish bill that would prohibit commercial activity connected to areas that were outside Israel’s pre-1967 territory.

Yuli Edelstein

“It’s not surprising that Ireland is once again looking to hurt and boycott Israel,” said Edelstein. “The law to boycott Judea and Samaria has serious repercussions for relations between the countries. Therefore, I instructed to cancel the MK delegation to Ireland that was meant to take place in March.”

“We are happy to take the time to go to a country that wants to cooperate with all of Israel and not just parts of it, instead of wasting our time in a country that obsessively looks for ways to hurt us,” he added.

The Irish parliament advanced a bill last week that would make Ireland the first European Union nation to criminalize doing business beyond the pre-1967 lines, including eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. Violators could be subject to a fine of almost $285,000 or five years in prison.

On Friday, the Israeli government summoned Irish Ambassador to Israel Alison Kelly and warned her that “the hypocritical and antisemitic legislation will have severe ramifications on Israel-Ireland relations and Ireland’s standing in the region should the legislation be promoted,” and that “it would be better if Ireland confronted dictatorships and terrorist organizations rather than Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East,” according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


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