Ciaran Tierney writes in The Electronic Intifida:
A prominent US politician has lobbied Irish lawmakers to reject a proposed ban on imports from Israel’s illegal settlements.
Peter King, a member of Congress for New York, is among those who have opposed a bill being debated in Dublin.
Although the bill – aimed at forbidding goods from Israel’s settlements in the occupied West Bank – seeks to uphold international law, King has depicted it as subversive.
King has tried to convince Fianna Fáil, one of Ireland’s largest parties, to withdraw its support for the proposed ban.
“It is critical that countries and leaders interested in facilitating a lasting peace amongst Israelis and Palestinians not serve to empower the most radical, who have no interest in seeking peace,” King stated in an email message addressed to Fianna Fáil’s team in the Oireachtas, Ireland’s national parliament.
He argued that the proposed ban on settlement goods “does just that by undercutting Palestinians truly interested in peace and empowering Hamas terrorists and recalcitrant Palestinians who refuse even to approach negotiations.”
King’s appeal was made in July and has not been previously reported.
Despite his strong connections with Ireland’s politicians, King could not persuade Fianna Fáil to change its stance. The party’s lawmakers have twice voted in favor of the Occupied Territories Bill, as the proposed ban on settlement goods is known.
Niall Collins, Fianna Fáil’s spokesperson on foreign affairs, confirmed that King had been in contact with the party. Collins added that staff from the US embassy in Dublin had visited him “a couple of times,” urging him to oppose the bill.