Urgent Action: Contact your TDs TODAY to support the Settlements Divestment Bill!
We need your help! We have learned that the hugely important Illegal Israeli Settlements Divestment Bill will be voted on in the Dáil this coming Tuesday, 16th May.
The legislation, moved by John Brady TD, seeks to end Irish state investment in companies that are complicit in the building and maintenance of Israel’s illegal settlements in Palestine. All Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine are illegal under international law, and are war crimes under the Geneva Conventions.
Essentially, if passed, it would compel the Irish Strategic Investment Fund to divest shareholdings in companies listed on the UN Database of businesses operating in illegal Israeli settlements.
At present, the ISIF scandalously holds investments in nine such companies, including four Israeli banks – meaning Irish taxpayers money is being invested in companies the UN deems to be complicit in violations of international law.
This is despite the government’s own public advice regarding “the risks related to economic and financial activities in the settlements” and their clear statement that “we do not encourage or offer support in any way to such activity.”
This government has already stalled the Occupied Territories Bill – they cannot be allowed to block this vital piece of legislation that will end the complicity of the ISIF in Israeli war crimes.
So are we asking you to email or call the party leaders and your local TDs from the government parties – Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Greens – to let them know how important the Illegal Israeli Settlements Divestment Bill is to you as voter, and demand that they support.
The relevant email addresses are:
Fianna Fáil: email@example.com
Green Party: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fine Gael: email@example.com
Your local TDs’ email addresses can be found here by using the map or searching by constituency.
Experience has shown that it’s more effective to write your own messages– no matter how short or long – rather than copy and pasting a generic text. So while we ask you to compose your own email, here are some tips.
· Always be respectful, no matter your personal opinion of the parties or individual politicians.
· Be as brief as you can.
· Note that the Irish government recognises that Israel’s settlements are illegal under international law, and that they constitute a de facto annexation of Palestinian land.
· Explain that if the government is serious about respecting international law and defending human rights, and adhering to its own publicly stated view that it does ”not encourage or offer support in any way” to “economic and financial activities in the settlements,” then it can no longer allow taxpayers money to be invested in companies that are aiding the commission of war crimes.
· Note that the creation of the UN Database of complicit companies was an important milestone in international accountability – and now Ireland has the opportunity to put the Database to practical use!
· Note that passing and implementing this legislation something the Irish government can do unilaterally.
· Note that the legislation will send a strong message to Israel that settlements are not only illegal, they are unacceptable.
· Note that the legislations will send a strong message that there will be concrete financial consequences for entities that aid and abet Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise.
· Finally, note that Ireland has a chance to make a hugely positive contribution to the rule of international law –in Palestine and beyond– and that the legislation will likely inspire other states to implement similar legislation.
We ask you to please take a few minutes to make this important contact with your politicians to let them that you have not forgotten about the people of Palestine – and neither should they!