Irish village's traders unite to boycott Israeli products
A GALWAY seaside village has become the first place in Ireland where businesses are collectively boycotting Israeli goods.
Retailers, cafés, restaurants and a pharmacy in Kinvara agreed this week to operate a boycott of Israeli goods in protest against the "ongoing bombardment" of Gaza.
According to the Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC), Kinvara is the first and only town in Ireland, to take this collective action.
"As far as I know this is the first town to do this. Maybe there are other towns that have done it and haven't told us but it is likely they would. We salute and congratulate the people of Kinvara for taking this stand for justice for Palestinians. We hope other towns and villages around the country will take a similar stand," said Kevin Squires, co-ordinator of the IPSC.
Mr Squires also described boycotting Israeli products as "an effective and peaceful way to bring pressure to bear on the Israeli state to end its occupation of Palestine, and persistent violations of International law."
Vicky Donnelly is one of the people behind the Israeli boycott in Kinvara. She along with John Griffin and Frank Naughton approached business people in the village on Monday and on Tuesday afternoon they announced that they had received support for the action from everyone they contacted.
"We were ashamed when Ireland abstained from UN's Human Rights committee's vote to investigate the Israeli army's actions in Gaza, and ashamed that the Irish government has not applied stronger diplomatic pressure to help end the slaughter of children, women and men, but we're proud that Kinvara has chosen to support this international campaign," Vicky said.
Seádhna Tobin owns a pharmacy in the village which sold a line of Israeli cosmetic products. Mr Tobin said he "has no hesitation destocking it as an act of protest".
"We are also looking at the origins of the medicines we are buying because we often have choices between companies. If we identify a particular line that has origins in the State of Israel we will look at destocking it and finding an alternative. This is not a clear cut process because often companies own companies but we are looking at the initial origins of our pharmaceuticals," he added.
"To me I am incensed at the pulverising of the Gaza strip and its people. Would the bombarding of Dublin be acceptable to the civilised world in the same way as the bombarding of Gaza and its people can be seen to be accepted by the EU and the United States at the moment?" he asked.
Mr Naughton said the response of the community in Kinvara as "heartening".
"On our own we can feel helpless. We all feel the need to do something, rather than watching the television, feeling angry. These small actions all contribute to change, and I'd like to thank the people of Kinvara for their support for a peaceful resolution for all parties," he said.