Israel threatens retaliatory measures if Ireland passes Bill to boycott Israeli goods

Israel may take retaliatory measures, including placing a tariff on Irish imports, if a bill boycotting goods manufactured in the occupied West Bank becomes law.

The warning by the Israeli government comes in the wake of the decision on Monday by members of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, to cancel a planned trip to Ireland in March in protest at the passing of the Bill in the Dáil last week.

The Knesset delegation was due to meet Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl and members of the Oireachtas foreign affairs and defence committees during the visit.

“It’s not surprising that Ireland is once again looking to hurt and boycott Israel,” Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said. “The law to boycott Judea and Samaria has serious repercussions for relations between the countries. Therefore, I instructed to cancel the MK delegation to Ireland that was meant to take place in March.”

Edelstein said many countries seek to visit the Knesset and invite Israeli lawmakers to their legislatures.

“We are happy to take the time to go to a country that wants to cooperate with all of Israel and not just parts of it, instead of wasting our time in a country that obsessively looks for ways to hurt us,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Dublin Broadcasting Branch of the National Union of Journalists has pledged to support any member who chooses to exercise a conscientious objection towards involvement in coverage of this year's Eurovision Song Contest, which is due to take place in May in Tel Aviv.

At a meeting held earlier this week, the branch condemned Israel's continued attacks on journalists and on freedom of expression, noting the fact that since April its forces have shot and killed two journalists reporting from Gaza's border and injured with live rounds at least 20 more.

The union expressed its support for the stance taken by RTÉ, enunciated by Director General Dee Forbes last September, that RTÉ would not bring any 'sanction' against anyone working for the station who declined to travel to Israel to cover the contest on conscientious grounds.

The Dublin Broadcasting Branch serves hundreds of journalists working for RTÉ.

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