Action Item: Please urge Minister Gilmore to support a ban on settlement goods & support Trocaire’s campaign
Update (30/09/2012) The Irish NGO Trocaire has also launched a campaign on this issue aimed at TDs, please take the time to mail your local TDS using the form on Trocaire’s website by clicking here.
On Wednesday 19th September the Irish Times newspaper reported that an the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade was “to write to the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamonn Gilmore, calling for a national ban on imports from illegal Israeli settlements”, following a full briefing from the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI).
The Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign supports this limited call, and asks our supporters to consider sending a letter to An Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore asking him to act in support of this call. Below is a model letter which you can send to the Tánaiste.
Postal Address: An Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore TD, Office of the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Iveagh House, 80 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2
I am writing to urge you to take action on the recommendations of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade which, following a submission from the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) on Wednesday 19th September 2012, has supported its call for a national ban on imports from illegal Israeli settlements.
As the settlements are illegal under international law, it would constitute a very strong statement in support of Palestinian human rights and the rule of law were Ireland to implement a ban on products coming from them. By taking such a step, Ireland could lead the way in the EU and take a meaningful stride towards achieving a just and equitable resolution for the people of Palestine and Israel. Construction of the settlements has accelerated since the supposed moratorium in 2010 and it is clear that unless some concrete measures are taken, this situation will continue.
Given your statement in May of this year that “we may have to look at the question of banning products from settlement areas into the EU”, such a ban would be entirely in line with Department of Foreign Affairs’ stated policy on the settlements.
I sincerely hope that you will follow through on the recommendations of the Committee and use the opportunity of Ireland’s presidency of the EU in 2013 to advance a ban on imports from settlements throughout the EU, as well as pushing for the EU to take stronger and more pro-active actions to end Israel’s human rights abuses and violations of international law.