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Galway town leads the way on Israeli boycott

The action by Kinvara follows calls by Trócaire for a ban on goods from settlements in the West Bank.

Image: photocall/Sam Boal

THE TOWN OF Kinvara in Co Galway has become the first in Ireland to bring in a complete ban of Israeli goods over military action in Gaza.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Vicky Donnelly, one of the organisers of the boycott, explained that the action being taken had grown out of a desire to take move as a collective:

We wanted to take it a step further than individual actions. When doing it as individual consumers that is important, but we wanted to see if the community would come together to stop the slaughter.

“The national government are being really silent on this. To see local shops, local business support us. That is indicative of the kind of ground swell support that there is for this kind of action up and down the country.”

According to the 2006 census, Kinvara had a population of 1,160.

The move comes after a call by Trócaire for a boycott on Israeli goods produced in settlements.

The organisation have said that such a move would be the first step towards ending the cycle of violence between Israel and Hamas. This call to action comes in the wake of the Seanad debate yesterday. On the boycott of West Bank settlements, executive director of Trócaire Éamonn Meehan said:

The Irish government believes the settlements to be illigal yet continues to economically incentivise their continued expansion by trading with them.

Since the Oslo peace process came into affect in 1992, the number of Israeli settlers in the West Bank has more than doubled. Over 500,000 settlers now live on occupied Palestinian land. The area of the West Bank allocated for settlements has grown to 42%.

Trade between the EU and Israeli settlements is estimated to be around €96 million a year. Last month, the Irish government issued advice to individuals and businesses not to carry out economic relations with Israeli settlements.

israel picture Source: Irish Gov

In 2013, trade between Israel and Europe amounted to €29.5 billion in goods trade. Of this €17 billion were EU exports. There was a further €7.8 billion of trade in services.

In 2012, current Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan called Trócaire “biased and partisan” organisation and described their campaign to boycott Israeli goods at the time as being “beyond their remit”.

READ: Here’s Charlie Flanagan’s explanation of why Ireland won’t be throwing out Israel’s ambassador

READ: “We must take action”… Senators call for Ireland to strengthen stance on Gaza

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