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Labelling of Israeli settlement goods is a welcome step, but EU should ban these goods – Crowe

11 May, 2013 - by Seán Crowe TD

Sinn Féin’s Foreign Affairs, Trade and Diaspora spokesperson, Seán Crowe TD, has welcomed Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore’s statement yesterday that goods from illegal Israeli settlement colonials in the West Bank should be clearly labelled in all EU countries.

This would give consumers the choice of whether they want to buy them or boycott. However Crowe believes the EU needs to go further and ban the produce from these illegal settlements altogether.

Deputy Crowe said;

“Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal and therefore the produce of those settlements or colonies should be treated as illegal, not only throughout the European Union, but throughout the world.

“The EU's High Representative, Catherine Ashton, has already circulated a proposal for the labelling of those goods so consumers could, in effect, boycott these goods and I have no doubt Irish people would overwhelmingly refuse to buy these products.

“The Israeli government has come under huge international pressure over its controversial proposals and plans to build another 3,000 settlements in the important E-1 zone, but seems determined to ignore international opinion.

“If the settlements are built in the E-1 zone it would effectively partition Palestinians in East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank, and eliminate the possibility of a two state solution in the region.

“Many people in Ireland had hoped that this Government would use Ireland's Presidency of the EU, now in its 5th month to make some significant moves on this issue.

“I have repeatedly asked the Tánaiste to introduce a ban on importing these goods to Ireland, and press to implement a ban throughout the EU, as have other members of the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee.

“Politically I believe a ban would have the most effective impact on Israeli policy as it would send a strong message to Israel that it cannot continue to ignore international law. It would also raise greater awareness and consciousness around the issue.

“Ireland and the EU have repeatedly condemned Israel’s settlement building in the West Bank, but it needs to follow through on the logic of this position by not only introducing specific labels for these products, but by introducing an outright ban on the sale of these settlement goods.”


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