Ireland’s leading retail magazine ‘Retail Times’ has announced its regret in allowing a right to reply to the Israeli Ambassador, Boaz Modai, to an article by Trócaire (an Irish-based international charity) about boycotting goods from illegal Israeli settlements.
While Trócaire doesn’t endorse complete Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions it does make the feature’s readers aware that under European and International law the goods they find in their shops are not ethically sourced.
As explained by the previous Tánaiste, Eamonn Gilmore:
“The settlements in the West Bank are illegal and therefore the products from those settlements should be treated as illegal in the European Union.”
According to the European Commission:
“Israeli settlements in the occupied territories are illegal and cannot be regarded as a part of the territory of Israel. Therefore, goods produced in these settlements by Israeli companies cannot be regarded as goods originating in Israel.”
In his reply the Ambassador immediately refers to Nazis, antisemitism and the holocaust:
“We know well where this policy of boycotting Jews led: to the murder of one-third – six million – of our people.”
Before raising Limerick’s 1904 boycott of Jewish businesses. He continues by accusing Eamon Meehan, Trócaire’s Executive Director, of “untruths” and “anti-Israel propaganda” before educating Retail Times’ 20,000 readers about how the Palestinians working in settlements earn more than they can in the refugee camps they are forced to live in.
We asked the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign for comment on the episode:
“That the Retail Times has openly regretted allowing the Israeli Ambassador access to its pages shows that the latest criminal assault on Gaza has cut straight through Israeli propaganda about desiring peace. Reading Mr. Modai’s piece one could come away with the impression that Israel was a benevolent big brother looking out for it’s Palestinian sibling, instead of an apartheid state born of ethnic cleansing which has militarily occupied the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem for almost five decades.
The current slaughter in Gaza is just the latest manifestation of Israel’s criminal and ruthless policies against the Palestinian people. Regardless of what Mr. Modai would have people believe, all Israeli settlements are held to be illegal under international law. The only country that refuses to recognise this fact is Israel”