Israel asks Irish ambassador to explain legislators’ calls for a West Bank boycott


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Irish ambassador to Israel was summoned for a “clarification meeting” over a legislative initiative in Ireland calling for a boycott of trade in West Bank settlements.

The summons to meet with officials of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday came at the order of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who in a statement Tuesday condemned the initiative.

“The initiative gives backing to those who seek to boycott Israel and completely contravenes the guiding principles of free trade and justice,” Netanyahu said.

The Irish Senate postponed voting on the bill hours after Netanyahu’s statement. A new date for considering the initiative has not been announced.

The ambassador told Foreign Ministry officials that the initiative was raised by independent representatives in the Irish Senate and that the Irish government is opposed to the measure. The ambassador also said the proposed legislation is not a BDS initiative and that the Irish government opposes the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel, the ministry said in a statement.

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