The Irish Parliament was poised last week to pass a major piece of legislation that would make it crime to engage in trade with Israelis. The bill, which was seen as part of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, or BDS, would have imprisoned Irish citizens who purchased souvenirs in Israel for a maximum of five years and subjected them to a fine of more than $310,000.
Upon learning of the effort, senior Trump administration officials in
the State Department are said to have scrambled to open up channels to
Irish leaders in a bid to scuttle the bill and avoid a standoff with the
Irish government over the measure.
Trump administration officials are said to have made clear to Irish
leaders that passage of the bill would put them starkly at odds with the United States and subject them to inclusion on a list of countries supporting boycotts of the Jewish state.