Ireland’s Boycott-Israel Bill Hurts Israelis, Irish, and Palestinians

Jan. 31 2019

Last week, the lower house of the Irish parliament passed a bill making it a crime to do business with Israelis living in the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. Clifford May comments:

You should know—as perhaps some Irish parliamentarians do not—that the Golan Heights came under Israeli control after Syrian attacks in the Six-Day War of 1967. No one who identifies as a Palestinian lived there then or lives there now. The implication that Israel should hand over the Golan—and the Druze population [that has lived there for centuries]—to Syria’s mass-murdering dictator Bashar al-Assad is ludicrous. . . .

Irish parliamentarians might want to play out the hand they are attempting to deal. Israel withdraws from the West Bank. Hamas takes over from Fatah. Missiles are launched at nearby Tel Aviv. Israelis defend themselves. Bloody battles take lives on both sides. Over time, the West Bank resembles Gaza—or Syria. Is this really the result Ireland wants to facilitate?

There is a chance that the legislation passed by the Irish parliament will fail to become law—though if so, probably not because the arguments I’ve made above have resonated. Ireland has attracted some of America’s largest companies, including Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook. They pay lots of taxes and provide lots of jobs. Obeying the Irish law would likely mean violating existing U.S. federal law that prohibits American firms from participating in foreign boycotts not endorsed by Washington. More than two-dozen state laws also penalize firms that engage in such boycotts.

The United States in 2017 accounted for two-thirds of all foreign direct investment in Ireland. So, in the end, this law could have a greater impact on Ireland’s economy than on anything happening in the Middle East.

Read more at Washington Times

More about: BDS, Golan Heights, Ireland, Israel & Zionism, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

The Right and Wrong Ways for the U.S. to Support the Palestinians

Sept. 29 2023

On Wednesday, Elliott Abrams testified before Congress about the Taylor Force Act, passed in 2018 to withhold U.S. funds from the Palestinian Authority (PA) so long as it continues to reward terrorists and their families with cash. Abrams cites several factors explaining the sharp increase in Palestinian terrorism this year, among them Iran’s attempt to wage proxy war on Israel; another is the “Palestinian Authority’s continuing refusal to fight terrorism.” (Video is available at the link below.)

As long as the “pay for slay” system continues, the message to Palestinians is that terrorists should be honored and rewarded. And indeed year after year, the PA honors individuals who have committed acts of terror by naming plazas or schools after them or announcing what heroes they are or were.

There are clear alternatives to “pay to slay.” It would be reasonable for the PA to say that, whatever the crime committed, the criminal’s family and children should not suffer for it. The PA could have implemented a welfare-based system, a system of family allowances based on the number of children—as one example. It has steadfastly refused to do so, precisely because such a system would no longer honor and reward terrorists based on the seriousness of their crimes.

These efforts, like the act itself, are not at all meant to diminish assistance to the Palestinian people. Rather, they are efforts to direct aid to the Palestinian people rather than to convicted terrorists. . . . [T]he Taylor Force Act does not stop U.S. assistance to Palestinians, but keeps it out of hands in the PA that are channels for paying rewards for terror.

[S]hould the United States continue to aid the Palestinian security forces? My answer is yes, and I note that it is also the answer of Israel and Jordan. As I’ve noted, PA efforts against Hamas or other groups may be self-interested—fights among rivals, not principled fights against terrorism. Yet they can have the same effect of lessening the Iranian-backed terrorism committed by Palestinian groups that Iran supports.

Read more at Council on Foreign Relations

More about: Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, U.S. Foreign policy