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

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

While Israel Is Distracted on Two Fronts, Iran Is on the Verge of Building Nuclear Weapons

Iran recently announced its plans to install over 1,000 new advanced centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear facility. Once they are up and running, the Institute for Science and International Security assesses, Fordow will be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for three nuclear bombs in a mere ten days. The U.S. has remained indifferent. Jacob Nagel writes:

For more than two decades, Iran has continued its efforts to enhance its nuclear-weapons capability—mainly by enriching uranium—causing Israel and the world to concentrate on the fissile material. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed that Iran has a huge stockpile of uranium enriched to 60 percent, as well as more enriched to 20 percent, and the IAEA board of governors adopted the E3 (France, Germany, UK) proposed resolution to censure Iran for the violations and lack of cooperation with the agency. The Biden administration tried to block it, but joined the resolution when it understood its efforts to block it had failed.

To clarify, enrichment of uranium above 20 percent is unnecessary for most civilian purposes, and transforming 20-percent-enriched uranium to the 90-percent-enriched product necessary for producing weapons is a relatively small step. Washington’s reluctance even to express concern about this development appears to stem from an unwillingness to acknowledge the failures of President Obama’s nuclear policy. Worse, writes Nagel, it is turning a blind eye to efforts at weaponization. But Israel has no such luxury:

Israel must adopt a totally new approach, concentrating mainly on two main efforts: [halting] Iran’s weaponization actions and weakening the regime hoping it will lead to its replacement. Israel should continue the fight against Iran’s enrichment facilities (especially against the new deep underground facility being built near Natanz) and uranium stockpiles, but it should not be the only goal, and for sure not the priority.

The biggest danger threatening Israel’s existence remains the nuclear program. It would be better to confront this threat with Washington, but Israel also must be fully prepared to do it alone.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy