May 17, 2023
Government adopts argument of the oppressor to obstruct Illegal Israeli Settlements Divestment Bill – John Brady TD

Sinn Féin TD John Brady has criticised the government following its failure to support his Illegal Israeli Settlement Divestment Bill and instead introduce an amendment to kick the issue down the road for nine months.

The Wicklow TD accused the government of parroting the arguments of the oppressor in their rationale for doing so, and of repeating the same attempts to obstruct, delay and frustrate used before with the Occupied Territories Bill.

Teachta Brady said:

“Fearing the reaction of the Irish people, the government is attempting to portray support for this legislation in principle while simultaneously parroting the same arguments made by the Israeli government to attack the UN Human Rights Council Database on which the bill is premised.

“The Irish government has adopted the arguments of the oppressor.

“The passing of the amendment in the name of the Minister for Finance means that, for the next nine months at least, the government has ensured 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.

“One of the main arguments put forward by government rests on what they argue is the limited number of companies on the database even though they are fully aware that this is a measure of the degree of scrutiny the UN undertakes in maintaining the database.

“The reality is that Palestinian and international human rights organisations are making regular submissions to the UN database and there is a team working there reviewing the content on an ongoing basis to ensure that it is updated.

“It has taken the UN Human Rights Council four years to compile the database, and to issue their 2020 report into companies operating within the illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

“The UN team investigated 307 companies, subsequently whittled down to 112, for which there was clear evidence of them operating within the illegal Israeli settlements.

“Rather than support the Sinn Féin bill, the government has opted to bring forward an amendment in an attempt to kick it down the road for nine months.

“I remain determined to pursue the government on the principles contained in this Bill, and will be seeking a meeting with the Minister at the earliest opportunity to ensure that the legislation is enacted as quickly as possible, so that the embroilment of the Irish taxpayer as stakeholders in war crimes is ended through the divestment of ISIF interests in companies operating in the illegal settlements.”

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