House Dems meet with Irish lawmaker over ‘Occupied Territories Bill’

An Irish lawmaker who advanced a bill to ban Israeli exports made in West Bank settlements met with progressive Democratic members of the House this week, posting on Twitter pictures with Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) who support  the global Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

Just back from brilliant meetings in Washington on Occupied Territories Bill + much more. Thank you @IlhanMN @RashidaTlaib @BettyMcCollum04 @MarkPocan for the warm welcome & brave work for justice & human rights. Taking inspiration from US Congress back to Leinster House ?????? pic.twitter.com/nM6R10lurb— Frances Black (@frances_black) March 29, 2019

Ireland’s “Occupied Territories Bill” would make it illegal for the country to import or sell Israeli products made in areas designated occupied, such as the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. The bill passed a key phase of Ireland’s parliament in January but faces at least three more votes to become law. Some Irish lawmakers expressed the bill runs counter to European Union law which controls external imports, the Irish Times reported, and leading figures in the government are against the bill.

“I do not agree that the Bill is the right way forward now,” Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveny, said on behalf of the government during debate of the bill in January. “…The Bill before us will not significantly impact on Israeli settlements. Conversely, it will place Ireland in breach of EU law.”

James Zogby, co-founder and president of the Washington think-tank, the Arab American Institute, also tweeted about meeting with U.S. representatives to discuss the Irish bill and support.

“A good day on Capitol Hill discussing Senator @frances_black’s legislation to ban Irish imports of products made in Israeli settlements. Here we are w/ ⁦@RashidaTlaib⁩. We found great support. Folks get it – if settlements are illegal, what they produce should be too,” he wrote.

Reps. Tlaib, Omar, Pocan (D-WI) and McCollum (DFL-MN) did not immediately respond to request for comment from Jewish Insider.  

Laura Kelly is the Capitol Hill Reporter for Jewish Insider. Follow her @HelloLauraKelly

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