Sinn Féin TD John Brady has expressed his concern at reports that the Irish Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) has indicated it will not be selling its stakes in Israeli banks, which are linked to the illegal Israeli Settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt), unless forced to do so by law.
Last month, Teachta Brady introduced legislation in the Dáil designed to compel ISIF to divest itself of holdings in companies currently listed on a UN database of businesses operating within the illegal Israeli settlements.
The legislation offered a natural progression to Sinn Féin’s 2021 motion on Annexation, when the Dáil became the first parliament in the EU to recognise that Israel’s illegal occupation was in reality de facto annexation, and therefore a war crime.
Teachta Brady said:
“Following claims by ISIF that they are operating within the legislative framework set by the government, I am calling on Minister Michael McGrath to immediately clarify the government’s position on the ISIF stance.
“Last month I introduced legislation before the Dáil that called for the ISIF to divest itself of its investments in businesses and banks linked to the illegal Israeli settlements in the oPt. The decision by the ISIF to continue with its investments is a direct consequence of the government’s actions.
“At the time, the government claimed to support the legislation in principle but introduced a motion kicking the Bill back nine months to allow for a review.
“The government’s actions mean that the Irish taxpayer will remain mired in the mix of war crimes being committed through the Irish Strategic Investment Fund involvement in companies operating in the illegal settlements.
“The four Israeli banks linked to the illegal Israeli settlements with which the ISIF has invested have been flagged by the UN for their role is providing ‘services and utilities which support the maintenance and existence of the settlements.
“These banks are essential to illegal plans to continue the ongoing and accelerated annexation of Palestinian territories and the expansion of existing illegal settlements, through the provision of loans for homes and the development of business.
“I am calling on the Minister to insist that the ISIF divests itself of all of investments of Irish taxpayer monies in all businesses and financial institutions operating within the illegal Israeli settlements.”