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Boylan urges boycott of Israeli goods

5 May, 2017 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan today launched a shopping bag reminding consumers how they can do their bit for Palestinian human rights by boycotting Israeli goods.

The ‘I check the label. Do you?’ bag urges customers to use their purchasing power by avoiding goods from Israel and its illegal colonial settlements in Palestine.

The Dublin MEP is calling on the Irish Government to sign up to the international and increasingly successful Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Campaign against Israel. She also urges the Government to fulfil its pledge to formally recognise the State of Palestine.

Ms Boylan said:

“Today is a very important date for Irish republicans, marking the anniversary of the death of Bobby Sands, one of ten hunger strikers who died to secure the rights of Irish political prisoners.

“As we mark that painful anniversary, up to 1,600 Palestinians imprisoned in Israeli jails are on hunger strike to protest Israel’s inhumane treatment of its political prisoners and its vindictive prisons policy. Some are reported to have lost as much as ten kilos already.

“This hunger strike is a desperate act to protest an all-encompassing and systematic repression imposed by Israel on the Palestinian people. Israel is responsible for extra-judicial state killings, torture, imprisonment of children, large-scale internment, house demolitions, and systematic racial discrimination on a scale not seen since the days of Apartheid South Africa.

“The increased expansion of illegal Israeli settlements on land stolen from Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is an insult to any notion that the Israelis are interested in finding a just accommodation with those they oppress.

“Thousands more homes for illegal settlers on Palestinian land have been given the green light by Israeli authorities. Talk is not enough – we need action, courageous and principled action. A simple way to make a real difference would be for the Irish Government to sign up to the BDS Campaign. The BDS movement is building an economic boycott of Israel and developing effective campaigns against companies that participate in Israel’s oppression of Palestinians. Consumers are already supporting this campaign by choosing not to buy products from Israel or from illegal Israeli colonial settlements.

“BDS campaign leaders report that the boycott is having a significant economic impact on Israel. This cultural, academic and economic boycott of Israel is the most effective peaceful way of securing change, as happened with the South African Apartheid regime.

“The Irish Government needs to send a clear message to the Israeli Government that our country will not stand for the catalogue of human rights abuses currently taking place in occupied Palestine. It can do that by putting urgent pressure on the Israeli Government to end its punitive ill-treatment of Palestinian prisoners. Moreover, the Government must act to give effect to Sinn Féin’s Dáil motion calling for official recognition of the State of Palestine, which was unanimously passed by the Dáil on 10 December 2014.”

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