CP IrelandThe Communist Party of Ireland welcomes the passing by the Seanad of the Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill, introduced by the independent senator Frances Black. The vote of 25 in favour and 20 against is an important and significant first step in what will be a very tough battle to get it through the Dáil and make it the law of this state. The main opposition to the bill came from the Government party, Fine Gael.

The bill, if it becomes law, would prohibit the importing of goods or services from illegal Zionist settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, which violate the Geneva Conventions.

The bill was carried despite intense lobbying by the Israeli embassy and its sponsored organisation’s, and by the US embassy. The reaction of the Zionist apartheid state to the bill shows clearly the central importance of the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, and how seriously concerned it is about global people power.

A further reflection of people power has been that so far seven local councils have voted to support the BDS movement, including Dublin City Council (the first capital city in the EU to take this stand), Derry and Strabane District Council, Galway City Council, Donegal County Council, Monaghan County Council, Mid-Ulster Council, and Fermanagh and Omagh District Council; and the number is growing. The growing BDS campaign is due to the effort of Ireland Palestinian Solidarity Campaign and the thousands of activists in Ireland in support of the Palestinian people’s resistance.

The Government’s attempts to hide behind the European Union in its opposition to the bill, by saying that the EU has competence in matter of foreign trade, exposes further the dependence and beholden relationship of the Irish state to the EU.

Popular sentiment and support for the Palestinian people among the Irish people helped propel this bill through the Seanad, and can succeed in pushing it through the Dáil.

The continued resistance of the Palestinian people and the growing success of the BDS campaign will force the Zionist state and its international allies to end the occupation and to allow all Palestinian people to return to their homeland. Statement ends.

The explanatory note on the bill’s main provisions states:

“The Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018 seeks to prohibit trade with and economic support for illegal settlements in territories deemed occupied under international law. It would restrict the import and sale of goods produced in such settlements, Irish involvement in the provision of services in such settlements, and the extraction of resources from occupied territories without the consent of the legitimate authority of that territory. This economic support underpins the long-term continuation of illegal settlements, established in clear violation of international law. In tabling this bill we are stating that Ireland should not provide economic or political support for them, wherever they arise.”