April 5, 2024
Government must stop obstructing Sinn Féin legislation that would end Ireland’s investments in Israeli companies operating in occupied Palestine – John Brady TD

Sinn Féin TD John Brady has said that today’s announcement by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) to divest from Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) investments in six Israeli companies operating in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is a welcome first step but does not go anywhere near far enough.

Deputy Brady called on the government to end its obstruction of his Illegal Israeli Settlements Divestment Bill, and immediately audit the NTMA’s entire portfolio to ensure that all of Ireland’s shareholdings in businesses in Israel’s illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian land are divested from.

Teachta Brady said:

“After 10 months of obstacles by government to obstruct Sinn Féin’s Illegal Israeli Settlements Divestment Bill, it is welcome that they have announced that they are to divest Irish taxpayers’ money from six companies supporting illegal Israeli occupation and settlement expansion in the West Bank.

“Sinn Féin has pushed the government this far, but today’s announcement does not go anywhere near far enough and must only be the start.

“Today’s announcement begs the question, why is the government continuing to suppress legislation that would end this practice entirely?

“30,000 people have already been killed in Gaza in the past five months. Ireland should have no role in supporting such barbarism and violations of International Law.

“The Illegal Israeli Settlements Divestment Bill would mandate the Irish Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) to divest itself of all current assets, and to prohibit future investments in any companies which operate in the illegal Israeli settlements, and which are included on the UN Database of companies.

“Yet since this Bill came before the Dáil at second stage last May, the government has attempted to obstruct its progress at every single turn.

“Initially, they delayed its passage for nine months. After that time had passed, they then insisted on pre-legislative scrutiny at the Finance Committee despite its chair, Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness, requesting a waiver to allow the bill to pass more quickly.

“I am calling on the government today to end its obstruction of this bill, to commit to enacting it, and to initiate an immediate audit of the entire portfolio held by NTMA to ensure that all shareholdings in businesses that support and make illegal settlements viable are also divested from.

“The government can and must do so much more to hold Israel accountable for its crimes. That includes committing to passing this legislation as well as making a meaningful declaration in the ICJ Genocide case against Israel without further delay, expelling the Israeli ambassador, enacting the Occupied Territories Bill, increasing pressure to suspend the EU-Israel association agreement, and by recognising the state of Palestine.”

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