Israel’s recently-appointed ambassador to Ireland has slammed draft legislation targeting West Bank settlement produce as “the most extreme anti-Israel legislation in Europe”, reported Jewish News.
The bill, if it becomes law, will ban the entry of goods made in illegal Israeli settlements into the Irish marketplace.
Ambassador Ophir Kariv told the publication that the law – known as the Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018 – “won’t help Palestinians”.
According to Kariv, the legislation “criminalises people who trade with Israeli citizens in the place where the Jewish people were born”, a reference to the occupied West Bank.
“Settlements are part of final-status negotiations, but we should remember the historic aspect to this discussion. The Jewish people were born in the same area as the settlements,” Kariv added.
Jewish News noted that the ambassador’s suggestion that “boycotting settlements equates to denying the Jewish people the right to exist in their historic homeland” is “a controversial view given all the UN resolutions and the ’67 borders”.
The ambassador, however, doubled down on his position.
“This Bill denies or annuls any connection between these areas [the West Bank] and Jews living in these areas, the birthplace of the Jewish people. By criminalising trade contact, you say they have no right to live in this part of the world. It’s a terrible thing to say,” Kariv said.