Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Ireland: Senators slammed for anti-Israel bias

Via Jerusalem Post (written by Benjamin Weinthal):
Irish senators attacked Israel with accusations of apartheid during a parliamentary debate in late November about the closure of the bank account of a BDS group, prompting criticism on Friday from the Jewish state and the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
“What has happened with Bank of Ireland is very sinister. We have a foreign apartheid state interfering directly to pressurise a bank that was bailed out by our taxpayers to close an account to try to undermine this organization,” said Sen. Paul Gavan, from the Sinn Féin party.
Israel’s embassy told The Jerusalem Post on Friday: “Regarding the debate in the Irish Senate a few weeks ago in which only a very small number of senators participated, it was unfortunate to see such one-sided bias against Israel and a number of inaccurate accusations made about Israel.”
The members of the Irish upper house are not directly elected, and the legislative body has considerably less lawmaking power than the lower house, the Assembly.
The Senate debate was initiated by Sen. David Norris, an independent lawmaker, who said he was contacted by the Dublin-based Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign because the Bank of Ireland pulled the plug on the group’s accounts.
IPSC advocates for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement targeting Israel.
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