Irish parliamentarians are being warned of “potentially massive losses” if they approve a Bill that criminalises trade with Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
The warning was issued by Ireland Israel Alliance in its submission to the Select Committee of the Irish Parliament for Foreign Affairs, which is scrutinising the Bill.
An annexed memorandum by the New York based Lawfare Project draws attention to “potentially massive losses of US tax benefits for US companies with subsidiaries in Ireland… which could lead to major names relocating their operations”.
Following scrutiny by the Committee, a final decision will be made as to whether the Bill requires a “money message” from the Irish government on the grounds that it would increase government expenditure.
The government has said it will refuse to provide a “money message” if it is required.
“I don’t think people realise the full extent of what this Bill would mean for Irish citizens, especially Christian pilgrims visiting the Holy Land,” said Jackie Goodall of the Ireland Israel Alliance.
“If this Bill is passed into law, buying a souvenir from a Jewish trader or taking a tour with a Jewish tour guide could land you with a criminal record and punishments befitting that of a class A drugs smuggler. That is how crazy this Bill is.”
UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) helped prepare the submission. Chief executive Jonathan Turner said this was to “correct some of the misinformation about Israeli businesses in East Jerusalem and [the West Bank] and to draw attention to the serious legal problems that will ensue if the Bill is passed”.