Brady expresses concern over government ‘lack of intent’ regarding Illegal Israeli Settlement Divestment Bill

Wicklow TD John Brady called out the government today regarding their percieved ‘lack of intent’ in relation to the Illegal Israeli Settlement Divestment Bill.

Last May, John Brady introduced the Illegal Israeli Settlement Divestment Bill in the Dáil, which is designed to compel the Irish Strategic Investment Fund to divest itself of holdings in companies currently listed on a UN database of businesses operating within the illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The legislation is seen as a natural succession to Brady’s 2021 motion on Annexation, when the Dáil became the first parliament to recognise that Israel’s illegal occupation was in fact de facto annexation, and therefore a war crime.

However, the Wicklow TD has issued concern in relation to the government’s percieved lack of intent with the regards to the bill, which would see the government divest itself of the €4.2 million investments in 11 companies on the United Nations database of business entities operating in the illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Minister Michael McGrath confirmed the figures today in the Dáil during questioning from the Sinn Féin spokesperson for Finance Pearse Doherty. The Minister further claimed that the government was investigating how it would divest itself of its current entanglement, which effectively criminalises the Irish people under international law.

Speaking today, Brady said: “While I welcome Minister McGrath’s announcement that the Government is actively seeking the means to divest itself of its holdings and investments in companies operating within the illegal settlements which have been included on the UN database, there is a need for urgency in the matter.

The truth of the matter is that every additional minute of involvement on the part of the Irish government with the Israeli illegal settlements, not only makes the Irish taxpayer complicit in war crimes, but aids and abets the Israeli war machine as it systematically reduces Gaza to rubble.

When the Bill was introduced, the government, using its numbers in the Dáil, forced an amendment that would delay the Bill for nine months, which would be up until February.

The reality is the failure of the international community, including Ireland, to hold Israel to account for its flagrant, and frequently brutal disregard for human rights has emboldened Israel in its current onslaught against the civilian population of Gaza.

Israel has been carrying out war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories for decades. It operates an apartheid policy which is designed to fragment, persecute, and disillusion the Palestinian people. It is currently carrying out war crimes against the people of Gaza on a daily, even hourly basis.

Thousands have been killed, the vast majority of whom are women and children. The lack of urgency by the government to divest itself of investments in the illegal settlements leaves the state complicit with the international community who continue to dither as Gaza is torn asunder by Israeli bombs.

The government had a moral and legal obligation to support the Bill when it was first introduced to the Dáil.

Instead, they opposed in an insidious and low handed manner by trying to kick it down the road in the hope that they could in some way bury it. Government support for the Bill has the potential to send a powerful and symbolic gesture to the EU and the wider international community.  

Yet, they continue to dither, to attempt to find ways around supporting the Bill. It is almost the case that in government eyes, that it has become the Bill, that they ‘cannot speak its name’.

Brady concluded: “The government needs to use its numbers in the Dáil to immediately pass the legislation. Which would represent one small step in attempting to hold Israel to account for its breaches of international law, and a powerful and symbolic gesture of support for the people of Gaza.

“Justice delayed is justice denied.” 

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