Irish Foreign Minister plans to push for EU ban on settlement products

ActivismIsrael/Palestine
on 29 Comments

Ireland will be taking over as President of the Council of the European Union at the beginning of 2013, and Haaretz reports it will use the position to push for an EU ban on settlement products:

Ireland is planning to utilize its upcoming term as President of the Council of the European Union, which begins on January 1 2013, to advance efforts to achieve a joint decision between all 27 member states to ban products from West Bank Settlements.

The Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, revealed the plan in a letter to the chairman of the Irish parliament’s Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade (PDF).

In a letter obtained by Haaretz, dated November 2, Gilmore wrote that during a meeting of EU foreign ministers in October, he declared that Ireland will give rise to discussions and support a comprehensive EU boycott of goods from settlements.

In an interview with the Jerusalem Post Gilmore explains he supports the move on moral grounds:

Ireland supports a ban on West Bank settlement products even though the European Union is unlikely to impose one, its Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore stated.

“Ireland would support a ban at EU level, and put it forward as an option the Council might consider,” Gilmore said.

He wrote this opinion earlier this month in a letter to the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, the text of which was posted on the web Friday by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

Gilmore said he supported a settlement products ban on moral, not legal grounds.

He explained that while settlements were illegal under international law, the people that lived in them and the products they produced were not.

“I believe there is a moral case for banning settlement products, and I agree it could have a symbolic,” Gilmore wrote.

It would be consistent with EU values and positions to exclude settlement products from the EU, he wrote.

Gilmore cautioned, however, that he didn’t fool himself into thinking that such a ban would make an economic impact.

“I am somewhat concerned that attention is being focused excessively on the issue of settlement products, which form only one aspect, and a comparatively small one, of the problem. The key issue is settlements themselves and their relentless expansion,” he said.

29 Responses

  1. seafoid
    November 9, 2012, 11:43 am

    Hasbara is dead in Ireland. Same in Scotland

    Germany will derail the proposal but Israel is slowly bleeding goy support in Europe and the Germans can’t shaft the Palestinians for what their grandparents did to the Jews forever.

    • Antidote
      November 9, 2012, 3:23 pm

      “the Germans can’t shaft the Palestinians for what their grandparents did to the Jews forever”

      How often will you repeat this nonsense, seafoid?

      • seafoid
        November 9, 2012, 5:08 pm

        Nonsense is the notion that the Holocaust excuses Zionist nihilism in 2012.

      • Citizen
        November 10, 2012, 7:23 am

        @ Antidote: How is what seafoid said “nonsense?”

      • Antidote
        November 11, 2012, 6:14 pm

        citizen: why is it nonsense?

        It is both anachronistic and ideologically and conceptually off the mark to relate Zionism and the I/P conflict to the Holocaust

        Weizmann, 1917:

        “We have never based the Zionist movement on Jewish suffering in Russia or in any other land. These suffering have never been the mainspring of Zionism. The foundation of Zionism was, and continues to be to this day, the yearning of the Jewish people for its homeland, for a national center and a national life.”

        If persecution was the raison d’tetat for Israel, Helen Thomas would not have been attacked for telling Jews to “go home” to countries where anti-semitic persecution no longer exists

      • gamal
        November 12, 2012, 12:01 am

        i see Jews come from “Yearning”, where is that, clearly not in the vicinity of “discerning” judging by your Helen Thomas paragraph, what do you mean?

        you are a cool and subtle satirist assuming that raison d’tetat is similar to raison d’etat =a purely political reason for action on the part of a ruler or government, especially where a departure from openness, justice, or honesty is involved.

        when does yearning become coveting, when you just gotta have that ox? perhaps Marc Ellis could tell us when the fruits of pillage are past their sell by date, though ever so sweet.

        makes me think of Isaiah 33.9:
        “The country grieves and wastes away. Lebanon is ashamed and is decaying. Sharon has become like a wilderness. Bashan and Carmel are shaken.” same old samo.

      • MHughes976
        November 12, 2012, 6:10 am

        It’s quite true, Antidote, that Zionism was not caused by those bad events but by a sense of entitlement based on the Bible, as it still is. But surely Seafoid was not talking about the causes of Zionism but about the causes of post-war guilt, which exists in but is not confined to Germany, and which Zionists have certainly encouraged. If you mean that all of us Euros, not just Germans, are being drawn beyond guilt at what happened in the past towards complicity in what is happening in the present I’d very much agree with that.

      • seafoid
        November 12, 2012, 12:27 pm

        That is nonsense, Antidote. In 1938 the vast majority of European Jews were not Zionist. The Zionists were extremists.

        Even in 1945 post war the Zionists were a minority. It was only subsequently that they slowly captured the Zeitgeist.

        Without the Shoah there would never have been Israel. The whole idea that the Jews could return to Palestine was and still is insane.
        How many more wars before the penny drops ?

      • MHughes976
        November 13, 2012, 12:15 pm

        Still the causes of the triumph of Zionism are different from the causes of Zionism. As to the causes of Zionism I think Antidote’s quotation from Weizmann is fairly apt.

      • Citizen
        November 14, 2012, 5:41 am

        @ Antidote
        Would the state of Israel exist today if there had been no Holocaust? Would Israel be able to do what’s it’s been doing to the Palestinians (both inside and outside the green line, respectively) if there had been no Holocaust? What other country has the post 1945, post-Nuremberg (and Geneva progeny)West allowed to do what Israel has done, is doing to the non-Jewish natives of the former Mandate land? Is the Holocaust not constantly trotted out (directly or indirectly) by Western and Israeli politicians as default justification for Israel’s deeds?

        While it’s good to know the history of Zionism and it’s ideology as expressed by it’s founders, it’s not nonsense to realize the guilt-tripping support for Israel’s blank check endorsed by the West.

      • Citizen
        November 14, 2012, 7:18 am

        In a nutshell, Zionism is Jewish nationalism. Things are not black and white, as Antidote imagines. It’s instructive to read CSPAN’s BookTV’s interview of the author of The Transfer Agreement, upon its 25th anniversary a few years ago–here’s part 1 of 5 available on YouTube or at CSPAN:

      • Citizen
        November 14, 2012, 7:23 am

        Here are more video clips suggesting directly why one cannot now separate Zionism, Holocaust (& Israel): link to gilad.co.uk

      • Antidote
        November 17, 2012, 2:26 pm

        gamal:

        I meant ‘raison d’etat’, in your definition, going back to Machiavelli who also coined the phrase “New World Order”, first used by Bush sr during the Gulf war. But I do have to wonder why chancellor Merkel’s address to the Knesset in 2008, in celebration of Israel’s 60th anniversary (one year older than her German state) reads “Israel’s security is part of Germany’s raison d’etre” (as posted in the English trl on the Knesset website) when the German version she actually delivered reads “Staatsräson” (raison d’etat), as posted on the German government website.

        Do you think they can’t affort a competent trl in either Israel or Germany?
        Merkel also admits that her electorate does not support her unconditional support for Israel. L’etat, c’est moi?

        You ask:

        “when does yearning become coveting, when you just gotta have that ox?”

        The Poles were yearning for a restoration of a Polish state since the 18th century, and were coveting East Prussia long before they were thrown out of Eastern Poland to be resettled in East Prussia by Stalin at the end of WW II.

        No German chancellor from Adenauer to Merkel could, with a straight face, take the side of the victims of ethnic cleansing and genocide, UNLESS they were Jews or other victims of Germany. Not to support Israel, or questioning Israel’s legitimacy and arguing for a right of return, would be like not supporting their next door neighbor: Poland (among others). All hell would break loose in the EU

        Read this, also the comments. It is amazing how people can justify even the worst crimes against humanity by saying, for instance: The Germans voted for Hitler, so all Germans, including those who didn’t vote for Hitler and those who were not even citizens of Germany and therefore had no vote when Hitler won the election, and even babies and children – they all DESERVE being thrown out of their homes, their homeland, being killed, tortured, starved to death and raped . One commenter defines this as the logical consequence of democracy. So the Palestinians voted for Hamas, not all of them, of course, but that doesn’t matter, according to that logic

        What if that logic was applied to the citizens of the country who voted 3 times for FDR, and 3 times for 2 Bushes?

        No, I don’t get it either

        link to chronicle.com

  2. Krauss
    November 9, 2012, 11:58 am

    It is indeed sad to see the sheer amount of vitriolic anti-Semitism coming out from even the highest echelons of European power. The continent has indeed not changed much in the last 70 years.

    Where is the European Sheldon Adelson when you need him? He needs to buy all the papers. Maybe he can initiate some settlement construction in the heart of EU, just to show them who’s boss.

    • Mondowise
      November 9, 2012, 10:14 pm

      O!M!G! – you can’t be serious!!!! you’re actually equating ILLEGAL settlements per INTERNATIONAL LAW with “vitriolic anti-semitism”?????….LOLLLLL!!! are you out of your mind? do you honestly believe Homo sapiens sapiens are that dull-witted that they can’t see the blatant idiocy of your reasoning? this is the most amusing hasbara imaginable. indeed, zionists have not changed…not one little bit…still trying to deceive with pathetic and pathological illogic. so, uhh, tell me, since WHEN does illegal automatically mean anti-semitism (it’s a rhetorical question)? LOLLLLLLL!!! next!

      • seafoid
        November 10, 2012, 5:37 am

        Krauss is right- virtually nobody in Europe understands that the land of Erez Israel is Jewish and that if the so-called “Palestinians” get their so- called “rights” scripture can not be fulfilled and Moshiach can’t come. This is vitriolic antisemitism that will lead to Shoah 2.0.

        The only thing to do is turn the “Palestinians” into Untermenschen and hope the world forgets them.

        Thank G-d for Likud.

        And we don’t want any women at the Kotel either. Is that clear?

  3. HarryLaw
    November 9, 2012, 12:45 pm

    Eamon Gilmore said “that while settlements were illegal under international law, the people that lived in them and the products they produced were not”. I disagree the settlers are all culpable to varying degrees, the leaders of Yesha more so than the individual settler who moved to occupied territory for financial reasons. All know, or should do article 49.6 of the Geneva Conventions. The sale of products is also problematical, minerals and water all stolen Palestinian resources without which most settlements could not exist. Also these products do not have any legal validity, for instance, in order to stop the German trade in occupied Europe the Allies, the US, UK and Dominions and the USSR amongst others, put together this Resolution at the International Law Conference in London in 1944, this is still in force, Yesh Din used it in their unsuccessful Israeli High Court action recently.

    (1) The rules governing the validity in third countries of the acts of belligerent occupants and of transfers of, or dealings with, property, rights and interests of any description whatsoever derived from such acts, are rules of international law the non observation of which entails international responsibility.

    Note: In courts of third States cases may be decided according to a variety of legal considerations, but the result must be in harmony with the rules of international law, the main contents of which are set out below. The Conference has not discussed the conditions under which a third State that does not give effect to the said rules is liable to pay damages to the injured party and/or his State.

    (2) The occupant does not succeed, even provisionally, to the status or rights of the sovereign whom he displaces. The occupant has at most, under international law, only limited rights or jurisdiction and administration; acts in excess of these limited rights are null and void in law and are not entitled to legal recognition in any country.

    (3) The rights of the occupant do not include any right to dispose of property, rights or interests for purposes other than the maintenance of public order and safety in the occupied territory. In particular, the occupant is not, in international law, vested with any power to transfer a title which will be valid outside that territory to any property, rights or interests which he purports to acquire or create or dispose of; this applies whether such property, rights or interests are those of the State or of private persons or bodies. This status of the occupant is not changed by the fact that the annexes by unilateral action the territory occupied by him.

    (4) The civil administration established in a country subject to belligerent occupation has no status in international law. Any rule of international law establishing the invalidity of transfers of, or dealings with, property, rights and interests effected by the occupant applies also to similar transfers and dealings carried out by any associate or agent of the occupant acting for him or in his interest.

    • Les
      November 9, 2012, 1:48 pm

      And how many of these settlers are racist exports of the US?

      • seafoid
        November 9, 2012, 5:10 pm

        Maybe 15%. Most of the settlers are lower middle class Sabras who were priced out of the housing market in Israel. Border policemen, dental hygienists, that sort of thing. And of course legions of Orthodox.

    • pabelmont
      November 9, 2012, 6:49 pm

      Note well: this 1944 legal writing (presented by HarryLaw) was made BEFORE the 4 Geneva Conventions (1949) and thus before most countries of the world undertook to ensure respect for G-4/49.6 (referred to by HarryLaw above).

      Today, I would argue, the signatories (if not indeed all countries) have either a treaty obligation or an international law obligation to take (unspecified) steps to ensure that Israel NOT place settlements and settlers in occupied territories. Trade sanctions on ALL Israeli goods would not be unreasonable for this stated purpose.

    • Mondowise
      November 9, 2012, 10:17 pm

      settlements being illegal makes all those who dwell within them equally culpable…period. and the more we tolerate, accept, remain silent about the terminology of “settlers” instead of calling them what they really are: illegal settlers/squatters/criminal immigrants, the more we contribute to normalizing this metastatic crime.

  4. Theo
    November 9, 2012, 1:15 pm

    Krauss

    Calling a spade a spade is not a crime and criticising Israel´s brutal occupation is not anti-semitism.
    Living in Europe I do not see any “vitriolic anti-semitism” anyplace, as matter of fact less than against turks, blacks, gypsies and moslems in general.
    It is time that Europe lives up to its democratic values and speaks up again genocide and apartheid at its borders.
    Erin go brah, ( I hope I got it right)!

  5. pabelmont
    November 9, 2012, 5:15 pm

    Banning imports from the settlements themselves is STEP 1.
    Banning imports from Israel (itself) is STEP 2, and follows (or could be said to be allowed to follow) as a step by any country in fulfilling its undertaking to “ensure respect” for the Fourth Geneva convention “in all circumstances”, the BAN ON IMPORTS to last until the settlements and wall (and settlers) are removed (or the occupation ended).

    • Citizen
      November 10, 2012, 7:29 am

      How legal under international law is USA’s increasingly heavy duty myriad of economic sanctions on Iran?

  6. HarryLaw
    November 9, 2012, 7:53 pm

    The resolution above was not signed by the Irish Government at the time, they being neutral of course, but they would agree about them now, and probably did then also. It would not do Gilmore any harm to remind the British what they signed up to, and the Germans about their settlements in France and Poland [or as the German,s said at the time “The former Polish state”] and how reviled they were.

  7. Ellen
    November 10, 2012, 4:58 am

    the dynamics o the Palestinian occupation, where the worst of both the occupiers and the occupied becomes “normal” is deeply understood in Ireland.

    they know how this stuff works on both sides.

    where a territorial and nationalistic attempt at colonizing a people is painted to the outside world as a religious conflict, were physical embargos are used under the guise of security, education is supressed with bureuracracy, where a resistance can morph into criminal gangs terrorizing their own and occupying troops roam seeking revenge onto a civilian population. This horrible history is long and is deep in the collective memory, and Irish see the sript playing out in the Middle East once again.

    so much so that the language of both Israeli and many US lawmakers is errily similar to that of 19th and early 20th British Parliment.

    the Irish have acheived a peace, resolution and reconciliation. They have experience in how this can play out. Maybe their call for a ban could be an important tool on the way to reconciliation and settlement of this wasteful and tragic conflict.

  8. amigo
    November 10, 2012, 8:15 am

    Well done Minister Gilmore, but watch your back.

    Allan Shatter the Minister for Defense and Justice and Ireland,s leading Zionist apologist, (he is a Zionist–imagine how antisimetic Ireland is–eh) will have his
    claws out for you.

    But you will be on the right side of History and Shatter and co will be the losers in the long run.

    Best of luck with your goal.

  9. Citizen
    November 11, 2012, 11:44 am

    On a somewhat related note, here’s the latest world poll (by country) ranking Israel’s reputation: link to jpost.com

  10. peacenow
    December 28, 2012, 3:50 pm

    Dear All

    May I respectfully draw your attention to the following please.

    * The UN view of the Palestinian Territories can be seen at the following URL: link to unispal.un.org.

    * The West Bank and East Jerusalem is occupied Palestine (bilaterally recognised by 132 nations in the world including India, China, Russia, Brazil, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Iceland).

    * Palestine is a non-member State and recognised by the UN. 138 nations supported Palestine last month in its successful bid for statehood. Only 1 EU country opposed Palestine’s bid and that was the Czech Republic (who qualified that they still support Palestine’s statehood claim but through negotiations first).

    * Palestine is still illegally held and sadly Israel has ignored the ruling of the International Court of Justice (subsequently supported by the UN and EU) with respect to the “separation barrier”. This “wall” is 3 times the length of the Berlin Wall.

    * UNESCO’s recognition of Palestine last year was supported by France, Spain, Ireland, Belgium, Norway, Greece and other European nations.

    * Please also see UNSC Resolution 478 concerning Jerusalem. The 4th Geneva Convention is applicable to all the Palestinian Territories.

    * International law and UN Resolutions (over which there are over 150) are ignored by Israel.

    * UN Resolutions specify Israel’s illegal hold of the Palestinian Territories to be a violation of the 4th Geneva Convention and as such is a War Crime under international law. More so now, that settlements are being placed in another nation.

    Yours sincerely
    Anthony Aloysious

    *** UN Security Council Resolution 478 (1980) of 20 August 1980 – BINDING
    The Security Council, recalling its resolution 476 (1980); reaffirming again that the acquisition of territory by force is inadmissible; deeply concerned over the enactment of a “basic law” in the Israeli Knesset proclaiming a change in the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, with its implications for peace and security; noting that Israel has not complied with resolution 476 (1980); reaffirming its determination to examine practical ways and means, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, to secure the full implementation of its resolution 476 (1980), in the event of non-compliance by Israel ; Censures in the strongest terms the enactment by Israel of the “basic law” on Jerusalem and the refusal to comply with relevant Security Council resolutions;

    link to unispal.un.org

    *** Resolution 694 (1991) – BINDING
    Adopted by the Security Council at its 2989th meeting on 24 May 1991

    The Security Council,
    Reaffirming its resolution 681 (1990),
    Having learned with deep concern and consternation that Israel has, in violation of its obliga-tions under the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and acting in opposition to relevant Security Council resolutions, and to the detriment of efforts to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, deported four Palestinian civilians on 18 May 1991,
    1. Declares that the action of the Israeli authorities of deporting four Palestinians on 18 May is in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, which is applicable to all the Pales-tinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem;
    2. Deplores this action and reiterates that Israel, the occupying Power, refrain from deporting any Palestinian civilian from the occupied territories and ensure the save and immediate return of all those deported;
    3. Decides to keep the situation under review.

    *** Resolution 672 (1990) – BINDING
    Adopted by the Security Council at its 2948th meeting on 12 October 1990
    The Security Council,
    Recalling its resolutions 476 (1980) and 478 (1980),
    Reaffirming that a just and lasting solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict must be based on its resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) through an active negotiating process which takes into account the right to security for all States in the region, including Israel, as well as the legitimate political rights of the Palestinian people,
    Taking into consideration the statement of the Secretary-General relative to the purpose of the mission he is sending to the region and conveyed to the Council by the President on 12 October 1990,
    1. Expresses alarm at the violence which took place on 8 October at the Al Haram al Shareef and other Holy Places of Jerusalem resulting in over twenty Palestinian deaths and to the in-jury of more than one hundred and fifty people, including Palestinian civilians and innocent worshippers;
    2. Condemns especially the acts of violence committed by the Israeli security forces resulting in injuries and loss of human life;
    3. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention, which is applicable to all the territories occupied by Israel since 1967;
    4. Requests, in connection with the decision of the Secretary-General to send a mission to the region, which the Council welcomes, that he submit a report to it before the end of October 1990 containing his findings and conclusions and that he use as appropriate all the resources of the United Nations in the region in carrying out the mission.

    24th April 2012 – UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said:
    “I strongly condemn the Israeli government’s decision yesterday to turn three illegal outposts in the West Bank into settlements. I urged the Israeli government in my statement on 5 April to remove – not legalise – outposts across the West Bank”.

    Furthermore, I would like to refer you to specific serious concerns raised by the International Court of Justice (2004) – with relevance to the ‘security barrier’ – which was viewed with alarm by the international community. Incidentally the reference to the illegality of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem was also reinforced when the International Court of Justice also found the following (indeed the EU supported the UN vote pertaining to the ‘security barrier’):

    * That the separation barrier is intended to assist the settlements, the establishment of which violates Article 49 of the Convention. Also, the court pointed out that the restrictions placed on the local population located between the barrier and the Green Line are liable to lead to abandonment of the land, which also constitutes a violation of Article 49. In addition, the opinion stated that taking control of private land to build the barrier injured private property owners, and thus violated Articles 46 and 52 of the Hague Regulations of 1907 and of Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

    * The illegality of the barrier under international human rights law. In this context, the court stated unequivocally, and contrary to the position held by Israel, that international human rights law applies in its entirety in occupied territory, along with humanitarian law. The court ruled that the separation barrier violates rights set forth in conventions to which Israel is party. The court mentioned the rights to freedom of movement and the right against invasion of privacy of home and family, which are enshrined in Articles 12 and 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the right to work, to an adequate standard of living, health, and education, which are enshrined in Articles 6, 11, 12, and 13 of the International covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights.

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