Thursday, 3 June 2021
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment
94. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment his views on whether the plan to set up IDA offices in Israel should be cancelled given Israel's international crimes against the Palestinian people; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29734/21]
IDA Ireland has decided to tender for a part-time Israel based Business Development Consultant. This person will represent IDA to support its efforts to win new investment. This is a model used across many territories. The Business Development Consultant will be expected to identify Israeli-headquartered target companies with potential for investing in Ireland, engage with senior decision-makers in these companies, and present Ireland’s value proposition as an investment location.
IDA Ireland operates an evaluation and due diligence process across all regions and considers a variety of factors that could be associated with investment activities prior to accepting a client into its portfolio.
I am advised that IDA Ireland will not target any Israeli company included on the database of enterprises involved in certain activities relating to settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory as published by the UN in February 2020.
IDA Ireland is represented on the Implementation Group for the National Plan on Business and Human Rights; this is a multi-stakeholder group, comprising government, business and civil society representatives. The Guidance on Business and Human Rights for Business Enterprises was developed by the Implementation Group under the National Plan, and formally launched by my colleague, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, in April.
IDA Ireland has advised my Department that they will be guided by all aspects of this guidance when appointing a business development consultant in any territory.
As an Agency of my Department, I expect IDA Ireland to align with Ireland's well-known position on the illegality of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory, which informs our engagement with the State of Israel across a range of bilateral issues, including trade. Ireland distinguishes between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.
UN Security Council Resolution 2334, adopted on 23 December 2016, calls on all States to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967. This Resolution reflected the position already held by Ireland, the EU and the UN for many years.
Ireland consistently raises human rights issues in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory at the highest international levels, including most recently at the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council.
Ireland remains steadfast in its support for a comprehensive two state solution which protects the future of both the Palestinian and Israeli peoples.