Ireland’s Anti-Israel Bias


Ireland was one of the European Union states that voted Yes on November 29, 2012 in support of Palestinian non-member observer state status at the UN.  Irish Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore stated “Ireland has long championed the cause of Palestinian statehood, as well as the vital importance for the entire Middle East region of a comprehensive peace settlement based on two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security.” He added, that the vote “represents an important step for the Palestinian people on their path towards full statehood, as well as for all those who look forward to the day when Palestine can rightfully take its place as a full member of the United Nations.”

Earlier in November, Foreign Minister Gilmore had announced that Ireland would initiate a boycott of Israeli products made by Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.  This move came in advance of Ireland assuming the presidency of the European Union in January 2013. Ireland, in recent years, has become one of the most anti-Israel countries in Europe; with regular boycott initiatives and harsh expressions of anti-Israel sentiment in the press, government, etc. that border on anti-Semitism.

In his book, Ireland and the Palestine Question (2005), Rory Miller presents Ireland’s consistent anti-Israel positions. A few examples of which include condemnation by the Irish government of Israel’s bombing of Iraq’s nuclear facility near Baghdad, in 1981.  And, in 2003, Ireland’s strongly opposed Israel’s building of the security fence or, as Rory Miller called it, the life-saving Israeli wall.

According to Miller, the populist Fianna Fail (FF) party-led Irish governments were pro-Palestinian throughout the 1980s and have been since. The Fine Gael (FG) center-right governments were somewhat better in the treatment of Israel, while the center-left Labor party has been much worse.

Miller asserts that the Irish taxpayer has been forced to send money to the Palestinians through the UN since 1959, and directly since the 1980s, with that support continuing today. He states that some of the money given to the Palestinians has been used to pay for hate-filled textbooks that promote jihad and Islamic terror.

Ireland was the last EU country to grant permission (in 1993) for an Israeli embassy. And while Ireland invited PLO terrorist dictator leader Yasser Arafat for an official visit to Ireland in 1993, it did not invite the democratically elected Israeli prime minister until 1996.  Ireland, while led by Prime Minister Jack Lynch of the FF party, secretly trained Egyptian Air Force pilots in 1978, a disgraceful breach of Irish neutrality.  Foreign Minister Brian Lenihan, of the same FF party, claimed in 1980 that the PLO was no longer a terrorist organization, and described Arafat as a “moderate.”

In an Irish Times (August 15, 2006) article titled Arab Crimes Against Palestinians Overlooked, Rory Miller and Alan Shatter pointed out that while Irish criticism of and demonstration against Israel are endless, there is silence on a far greater reality of non-Israeli killers of Palestinians. We see not only a pro-Palestinian bias in the Irish government, but a harshly anti-Israel posture taken by the Irish media.

Writing for the Irish Independent in a story titled Israeli Voices Unheard in Irish Media (September 30, 2001), Eilis O’Hanlon asks why the pro-Palestinian Middle East commentator Robert Fisk “rarely asks why bombings happen, and, most of his published encounters with Israelis paint them in a less than glowing light. Like the kindly rabbi who suddenly compares Palestinians to ‘vermin’ and the young Israeli soldier who pauses while shooting at Palestinians to reveal that he came to the Holy Land from Brooklyn because it was more ‘fun.”

O’Hanlon continues, “The quarrel about Fisk’s ubiquity, though, is not ultimately a quarrel with him. The quarrel is with the Irish media. If he is, as even Emily O’Reilly conceded on The Sunday Show, “emotionally engaged “with the Palestinian cause, then time needs to be given to those who are equally “emotionally engaged” with the Israeli cause.

Declan McCormack in a piece published in the Independent under the title How Truth is the Second Casualty of War (April 7, 2002), argues that the Irish media’s coverage of the Israeli-Arab (Palestinian) conflict “has stirred the spectre of anti-Israel feelings.” He goes on to say that “You may be forgiven for believing that every Palestinian woman was either dead or left for dead while callous Israeli troops blocked Red Crescent ambulances. One may also be surprised to learn that Aisha (a Palestinian woman) received her kidney from an Israeli Jew, the late Zeev Vidor. And you might be a little taken aback to discover that Zeev Vidor was one of the 26 Jewish victims of the Passover Massacre in Netanya, the suicide bombing which was carried out to provoke the maximum retaliation from Israel.”

The anti-Israel institutions thus include the government, the media, and not to be undone, academia as well. On September 16, 2006, 61 Irish academics signed a petition from a wide variety of disciplines published in the Irish Times which called for a moratorium on EU support of Israeli academic institutions until Israel abides by UN resolutions and ends the occupation of Palestinian territories.  The petition concludes with a call for a moratorium on any further support to Israeli academic institutions, at both national and European levels. “We urge our fellow academics to support this moratorium by refraining, where possible, from further joint collaborations with Israeli academic institutions. Such a moratorium should continue until Israel abides by UN resolutions and ends the occupation of Palestinian territories.”

Nicky Larkin, an Irish artist who produced a film on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict wrote on March 11, 2012 in the Independent, “An Irish artist is supposed to sign boycotts, wear a PLO scarf, and remonstrate loudly about The Occupation. But it’s not just artists who are supposed to hate Israel. Being anti-Israel is supposed to be part of our Irish identity, the same way we are supposed to resent the English. ”

A study by the Irish priest Michael McGreal, published one and a half years ago, found that approximately one fifth of the Irish population would be against Israelis becoming Irish citizens. Eleven percent would extend this objection to any Jews being awarded Irish citizenship, and not just Israelis. Forty six percent of the youth between the ages of 18-25 said that they would not want to see a Jew as a member of their family, and forty percent of the general population would prefer not to have a Jew as a family member.

In the past, the Irish shared with Israeli-Jews a common struggle for independence from Britain.  In the last 25 years however, the Irish public has become increasingly more hostile to Israel. In the minds of the Irish public, if Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland were able to reach a settlement that appeared seemingly impossible, why can’t Israelis and Palestinians do the same?  The Irish media has consistently blamed Israel for not making enough of an effort to reach an agreement, and moreover, that Israel has been an obstacle to reaching an agreement.

During WWII, Ireland refused to open its doors to Jewish refugees, and today the anti-Israel bias has transformed into growing anti-Semitism, particularly among the younger generation.  The only conclusion one can draw is that the Irish have their mind made up and that they refuse to be burdened with the facts and the truth about the triumphalist and murderous nature of the Palestinian side.

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  • Tan

    It's no surprise that Ireland supports the Palestinians. The IRA, as far as I'm aware, has a history of having sympathy with the PLO back sometime during the late 20th century.

    • Mary Sue

      yes, this is completely linear. Terrorism produces strange bedfellows. Though I'd have to imagine the PLO was pretty eager to have sympathy for the IRA in a sense. If only for political expediency.

    • UCSPanther

      I also heard that the IRA also accepted some support from Nazi Germany during WWII as well…

      • Ed27

        They did, but the British elites steadily appeased Hitler throughout the 30s, making many deals with him. Does that make every Brit a racist?

        • Ennis

          Wrongly appeasing Hitler to prevent an outbreak of war isn't exactly on par to receiving help in killing as many Britons as they pleased.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "Wrongly appeasing Hitler to prevent an outbreak of war isn't exactly on par to receiving help in killing as many Britons as they pleased."

            According to moral relativism, none of it matters since none of us are perfect yet. That's what he's trying to show, our imperfections "similar" to theirs.

            Just go along with their Utopian plans and nobody gets hurt (in public).

        • objectivefactsmatter

          "They did, but the British elites steadily appeased Hitler throughout the 30s, making many deals with him. Does that make every Brit a racist?"

          Why do you equate all criticism with racism? It's very strange and ignorant.

          The point that I see is that the Irish are aligned with enemies of the West, with no sufficient reason to break those ties. Obviously many Irish are anti-Western in the same sense as the leftists are, and even further back to the Jacobite rebels. The Islamic imperialists have you beat though. They have almost 14 centuries of ignorant bigotry.

          In a sense, Ireland is the front of the war between Catholicism and the reformers the way that Israel is now the front of the war between the lies of Islam and those who prove them to be liars by their very existence. I'm sure some sane Irish people are on the right side, but those aligned with leftist fascism and fantasies about the past are subject to the delusions of Islamic lies as well.

    • http://twitter.com/Conormel @Conormel

      First of all, 'The IRA' does not equal 'Ireland.'

      The author omits several factors which have helped to drive anti-Israeli sentiment in Ireland.

      Irish sympathy for the Palestinians stems from the easy (but by no means satisfactory) analogy to be drawn between the arrival of British settlers in Ulster during the 17th century, and the wave of Jewish emigration to Palestine during the late 19th/early 20th centuries which has led many Irish nationalists to see the ME conflict through the lens of the 'troubles'. The result is that not only do Irish nationalists generally identify with the Palestinian cause, but you will also find Ulster unionists to be deeply sympathetic to the Zionist cause.

      Irish soldiers on UN peace-keeping missions in southern Lebanon from the late 70s until 2001 brought home with them stories of terrible harassment at the hands of the Israel-sponsored SLA as well as the IDF itself. A number of soldiers were killed in separate incidents in which the IDF was often fingered (rightly or wrongly) as being in some way culpable. As Andrew Exum wrote, "It is very difficult to serve in southern Lebanon as part of UNIFIL and come away with a positive view of the IDF." (http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/06/on-the-irish-and-israel-contd/241219/)

      Finally, the use of false Irish passports by Mossad agents conducting overseas operations/assassinations in recent years has not gone down well with the Irish public and has only served to reinforce already hardened anti-Israel attitudes in Ireland.

      While I do not participate in or accept the anti-Israeli discourse prevalent in Irish society, it would have been nice if the author had given a fuller picture of the factors driving it, instead of trying to lazily attribute it to some sort of natural antisemitism on the part of the Irish.

      • Omar

        How are the so-called "Palestinians" indigenous? Jews have lived in the Holy Land continuously for over 3000 years. "Palestine" is a geographical region, not an ethnicity. As for Ulster unionists, the majority of the people of Northern Ireland wish for their province to remain part of the United Kingdom. One of many reasons why unionists in the UK support Israel is because the Islamists have often threatened to transform Britain into an Islamist country. Remember the terrorist attack in London in 2005? The truth is that Israel is a democratic state, while its Islamist adversaries want totalitarianism. That's the reality.

        • http://twitter.com/Conormel @Conormel

          I have no interest in debating these issues with you, although you may have noticed that I described the analogy as "easy (but by no means satisfactory)". My post was about perceptions of the ME conflict in Ireland, not my own personal views on the matter.

          • Omar

            Yes, and I too have posted about the Middle East Conflict from the British perspective as well. What Israel has allegedly done in regards to fake passports is nowhere near as bad as what the Islamists are trying to achieve in Britain. Israel is not trying to harm Ireland at all. Has Israel ever tried to destroy Ireland? No. Israel wants peace with the rest of the world. The Islamists, on the other hand have been trying to transform the UK into an Islamist country for quite some time. The Islamists have actually committed some violent acts in Britain. The London Underground bombing in 2005 is an example of Islamist aggression against the UK. In 2006, the British Home Office banned Yunis Al-Astal (a Hamas militant and cleric who claimed that Jews were brought to the Holy Land for the "great massacre through which Allah will 'Relieve Humanity of their Evil'" [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BF8jyNkSSM] and that Islam would "Conquer Rome and Rule the World" [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXxDAVshjgU]) from entering the country due to his extremist views. There is a huge difference between Israel and its Islamist adversaries. Israel wants peace, while the Islamists want totalitarianism and world domination. That's the reality.

          • http://twitter.com/Conormel @Conormel

            You do understand that Ireland and the UK are different countries, right? Whatever problems Islamists have caused/are causing in the UK have not (yet) been felt in Ireland – Islamism is not considered an issue in Ireland.

            And even if it was an issue, Irish people, who reject the conflation of 'Republicans' (militant nationalists) with 'Irish' – a conflation displayed in these comments more than once – will be quite likely to distinguish between 'Islamists' and 'Palestinians'.

          • Omar

            Yeah, I know that Ireland and the UK are two separate countries. But the reason why I mentioned Britain is because you stated that "Ulster unionists are deeply sympathetic to the Zionist cause" as a reason why Irish nationalists support the so-called "Palestinian" cause. Zionism is not considered an issue in the UK. I already mentioned that Palestine is a geographical region, not an ethnicity nor a country. There is no country called Palestine. Palestine is not even an Arabic name. Palestine is a Latin name meaning Philistines, who were Greek sailors who had red hair (the Philistines are not Arabs). Anyone who lives in the former Palestine Mandate (Israel, Gaza, West Bank and Jordan) is a Palestinian, regardless of characteristics. The Israelis and Jordanians are Palestinians. The fact is that Islamism should be considered an important issue because it calls for world domination.

          • http://twitter.com/Conormel @Conormel

            I didn't claim that Irish nationalists supported the Palestinians because Ulster unionists support Israel – read it again. In any case, this habit of each side of the NI conflict identifying with a chosen side in the ME pre-dates the rise of Islamism amongst the Palestinians and in the UK. So, while your concerns about Islamism may well be valid, they are not relevant to the Irish case.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "You do understand that Ireland and the UK are different countries, right? Whatever problems Islamists have caused/are causing in the UK have not (yet) been felt in Ireland"

            Too busy feeling sorry for those "Palestinian war victims?"

            "Islamism is not considered an issue in Ireland. "

            Precisely the problem.

            "And even if it was an issue…"

            Oh, it's an issue alright. You suppose the Muslims are taking over England just because they want a single big Island? They'll just let you be because you provided cheerleaders during their grand jihad against the imperialists of England and that makes you lifelong allies with them? Wait till you see how short that life will be.

            LOL!!!!

            "Irish people, who reject the conflation of 'Republicans' (militant nationalists) with 'Irish' – a conflation displayed in these comments more than once"

            A conflation only in your mind. Ireland is not important enough to discuss in the detail you'd like us to. It's obvious to anyone that not all Irish are militants or even nationalists. Give me a break.

            "will be quite likely to distinguish between 'Islamists' and 'Palestinians'."

            Right. FYI, Palestinians are Islamists who live near enough to Israel to attack them. Ever hear the term, "Jihad?" It's cultural. You can consider almost any Palestinian to be militant Jihadi until they've proved otherwise. They're indoctrinated from the moment they learn how to say "momma" and "Allah" to be considered on the front lines of the most important global jihad in human history.

            But none of those facts matter relative to Irish people worrying about whether we know their excuses for supporting liars who want to kill all non-Muslims.

            Your facts are not wrong, just poorly selected.

          • Omar

            Good post, but there is an important fact missing. England is not a country. England is one of four internal divisions (along with Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) of the United Kingdom (or Britain). Calling the UK "England" is offensive to the people living in the other three internal divisions of the UK.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "Calling the UK "England" is offensive to the people living in the other three internal divisions of the UK."

            I meant England because that's where I know most about the problem with Muslim immigrants.

            I said; "You suppose the Muslims are taking over England just because they want a single big Island?"

            I see your point in my lack of clarity, leaving the possibility that I'm reinforcing the idea that the main Island is entirely England? I meant that England seems to be the launch point and the biggest weakness, and island hopping is more difficult than stopping at the shores. I some times assume a lot more knowledge on the part of the reader than I should.

            I have ancestors from Scotland, Ireland and France. I probably assume too much about what others do know, so I don't mind being reminded about clarity.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "I have no interest in debating these issues…"

            That was clear to me, which is why I didn't bother trying earlier.

            "My post was about perceptions of the ME conflict in Ireland, not my own personal views on the matter."

            You're not literally wrong, just wrong in the balance of your discussion. Believe it or not, a lot of us could easily engage in such nuanced discussions if there were no urgent matters more deserving of our attention, which there are.

            I guess if you want to be accepted purely as a partisan advocate, that's fine. That's how I took it. Not everyone is as kind as I am. I don't care if you publish anything you want. Some will object to your lack of priority on matters that should be more important to you, unless you're a dupe or jihadi. If you start apologizing for them, then I won't be as patient.

            The Irish are another relatively harmless pack of dupes, and their softness is probably more understandable than any other population of dupes.

      • Ennis

        "Irish soldiers on UN peace-keeping missions in southern Lebanon from the late 70s until 2001 brought home with them stories of terrible harassment at the hands of the Israel-sponsored SLA as well as the IDF itself."

        Eh I'm sorry, Why don't you ask the Lebanese how the PLO treated them when they were in charge of southern Lebanon?

        • http://twitter.com/Conormel @Conormel

          Eh, because this article is about Irish perceptions of Israel, not Lebanese perceptions of the PLO.

          • Ennis

            Well this guy is going on about how "evil" Israel for not living up to his standards with regards to Lebanon and how Irish people are justified in hating Israel for it, and yet the PLO treated its populace far more heinously but for some reason you don't quite this level of vitriol towards the Palestinians in Ireland do you?

          • http://twitter.com/Conormel @Conormel

            Which guy are you talking about?

            I haven't said anything about Israel being "evil", or justified hatred of Israel. I am simply talking about how negative perceptions of Israel, whether right or wrong, have been generated in Ireland. Irish troops in southern Lebanon had far more contact with the SLA and through them the IDF than they did with the PLO, and that contact left a negative impression which they then related on their return to Ireland.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "I haven't said anything about Israel being "evil", or justified hatred of Israel. I am simply talking about how negative perceptions of Israel, whether right or wrong, have been generated in Ireland."

            You're trying to justify irrational positions. That makes you an apologist, You're more careful than most, but you're doing the same thing. So what you say is fine, but why aren't you talking about the rational reasons for the Irish to realize the salient facts about the conflict which would hopefully reverse their support if they had any loyalty to Western values, or to the Christianity many of them claim?

            I already know you don't want to discuss it. That's what I inferred immediately, and read shortly after. My question is why you don't want to discuss it since it's now clear you aren't all that short on time.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          "Irish…brought home with them stories"

          That's what's driving all of this cultural treason: a bunch of stupid stories. Almost all of them are lies.

          "Why don't you ask the Lebanese how the PLO treated them when they were in charge of southern Lebanon?"

          Because those stories don't serve their evil agendas.

    • Ed27

      So now you are confusing the IRA with the Irish people? Obviously you have not done much research into the matter.

  • SF2OAK

    Why do you suppose the purported Israeli hit squad in Dubai used Irish passports?

    • Guest

      What's your take on it?

    • Raymond in DC

      Why do CIA and MI6 operatives use passports other than those of their own country? Do you seriously think they've never used Irish passports, or do you just hold Israel to special rules? Apropos, Mabhouh – the fellow hit in Dubai – was also traveling under a phones passport.

  • objectivefactsmatter

    Foreign Minister Brian Lenihan, of the same FF party, claimed in 1980 that the PLO was no longer a terrorist organization, and described Arafat as a “moderate.”

    I never realized those lies were that old.

  • Stephan

    One should not try to overdo the propaganda.

  • Delores

    My brit husband says the Irish are considered the rednecks of Europe. All the Europeans look down on them. The Irish look down on Jews to try to make themselves feel superior. Too bad it's a sham, the Irish have far less to brag about than the Jews. Irish are mostly alcoholics with bad genes.

    • Ed27

      This is crude racism. The Irish in fact are popular all over the world, including Europe. St. Patrick's day is celebrated internationally often by non-irish people. Opposition to Israeli policies is not the same as anti-semitism.

      • Mary Sue

        Except that the Palestinians won't be satisfied until all the Jews everywhere are murdered, including Palestine, so…

      • Conormel

        “St. Patrick’s day is celebrated internationally often by non-irish people.”

        Including in Israel, where I’ve spent two Paddy’s Days in Tel Aviv.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        "This is crude racism. "

        Questions: If a population is observed to have high consumption rates, do we gather statistics about "racial identity" or ask questions about cultural values and behaviors? What racial theory do you like to apply when analyzing statistics on alcohol consumption?

        "St. Patrick's day is celebrated internationally often by non-irish people."

        LOL. Hang on to those bragging rights. It has nothing to do with Catholicism at all.

        "Opposition to Israeli policies is not the same as anti-semitism."

        In theory you could be right. In practice, and in Ireland, you're 100% wrong. How to discern the difference between legitimate criticism and anti-Semitism? Well, legitimate critics avoid lying.

        How often does that happen when "critics" discuss Israel, especially in public? Very close to never. And I don't exaggerate in how rare this is. Virtually every critic of Israel uses lies. That's a very easy way to clearly and confidently say that they are bigots and anti-Semites.

        I'm just an observer with no personal interests, other than a wish to see evil be destroyed before it further erodes the good in Western culture. What does that make you but a dupe?

  • Demetrius M

    @ SF2OAK: Yeah, a little "in your face" there!

  • Ed27

    The article makes selective use of historical facts and is deeply hypocritical, in its attempt to whip up anti-Irish feeling, under the guise of fighting racism. Southern Ireland, as opposed to the bitter and divided British part in the North, is a very tolerant and cosmopolitan place, with a large and growing international community.Judaism is simply not an issue for most people.

    Opposition to Israeli policy is obviously an issue for political elites, however, in Ireland as elsewhere; this is not to be confused with anti-semitism.

    • Ennis

      I'm an Irishman and I completely agree with this article. I mean I'm actually surprised this guy didn't mention the election of the most Anti-American and Anti-Israeli president in the western world, Michael D Higgins. I mean have you seen the Treatment of Israel in our newspapers? The way it gets called an apartheid states or it being compared to Nazi Germany, you don't think theres a little hint of anti-semitism there?

      "Southern Ireland, as opposed to the bitter and divided British part in the North, is a very tolerant and cosmopolitan place, with a large and growing international community.Judaism is simply not an issue for most people. "

      You are joking aren't you? If I had a penny for all the bigotry I've seen around me and heard about towards minorites around here…my God.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        Thank you Ennis. You strengthen my faith in my belief that sane people can exist in any population.

    • logdon

      During WW2 Irish elements sided with Nazi Germany in preparation for a joint attack on the North.

      As it happens the Germans judged the IRA as incompetents and the enterprise was shelved.

      I've been to Ireland both north and south many times and know the hospitality

      I also know the old saying of they'll kiss you then curse you.

      • http://twitter.com/Conormel @Conormel

        'Irish elements' also volunteered for service in the British army in order to fight fascism – why not mention that?

  • Ed27

    Here is a quote from the Irish Jewish Community's website:

    'We are a small but unique Jewish community with a rich past, a vibrant present and an exciting future. Ireland is renowned for the warm welcome given to visitors, expressed in the Irish expression, Céad Mile Fáilte – A hundred thousand welcomes! and in the Jewish community this is no different.'
    http://www.jewishireland.org/

    And remember these are Jews who actually live in Ireland, as opposed to Hibernophobes looking for excuses to express their venom.

    • RonL

      Court Jews know better than to call out antisemtism.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "And remember these are Jews who actually live in Ireland, "

      Using diplomacy to keep the bigots away. It doesn't work, but they have few options.

  • Ed27

    Here's another quote, from Jews who actually live in Ireland:

    'CHANUKAH LIGHTING CEREMONY 2012
    A cold December chill in Dublin City Centre last Monday night didn’t prove too much of a deterrent to a significant number of members from the community, who were present for the lighting of the Menorah at the Mansion House. This event has become an annual feature of the Dublin Civic and Jewish calendar, with the presence and support of Dublin’s first citizen, the Lord Mayor, Mr Naoise Ó’ Muiri. Those in attendance included the Minister for Justice and Defence Mr Alan Shatter…'
    http://www.jewishireland.org/

    So how is this evidence of the raging anti-Semitism that allegedly disfigures Irish life?

    • cassandra

      Yes and our president Barrak Hussein Obama also had a Hanuka dinner at the white house and he certainly doe not like Israel . This is all hypocrisy on the part of the leaders.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        "Yes and our president Barrak Hussein Obama also had a Hanuka dinner at the white house and he certainly doe not like Israel . This is all hypocrisy on the part of the leaders."

        Politicians lying and religious organizations publishing articles that promote an optimistic view? When did all of this start happening?

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "So how is this evidence of the raging anti-Semitism that allegedly disfigures Irish life?"

      That's evidence of good public relations. Who said that was evidence of anything other than you?

      You're just too silly.

  • Ed27

    'On Monday January 30th the President of Ireland Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabena joined members of the community as well as other dignitaries in the Terenure Synagogue to mark the beginning of his term as Ireland’s new President. The evening was very well attended and included the Minister for Justice and Defence Alan Shatter TD, The Attorney General Ms. Marie Whelan S.C. as well as H.E. Mr Boaz Modai the Ambassador of Israel to Ireland. The President spoke of the enormous contribution that the community had made to Ireland in the fields of arts, literature, politics and law. He received a copy of a book about Jewish life in Dublin during the past 50 years and was also presented with a framed certificate of trees that were planted in Israel in honour of the occasion. Maurice Cohen Chairman of the Jewish Representative Council spoke of Ireland being the land of our birth, but that the land of Israel held a special significance for Jewish people all over the world, as their spiritual home. In presenting this certificate signifying the planting of the trees he hoped that as trees grow and become stronger so to would the relationship between Israel and Ireland. The President remained on afterward to meet members of the community and posed for photographs afterwards.' http://www.jewishireland.org/

    So how does this support the view of Ireland as a centre of anti-Semitism?

    • Ennis

      Oh of course I mean Higgins never held a candle light vigil for the Jew killing terrorist mastermind Yasser Arafat, did he?

    • Stern

      did you read the article? You can provide all the "positive" stuff possible, but did you read the article? Can you refute any of it?

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "So how does this support the view of Ireland as a centre of anti-Semitism?"

      That doesn't support anything relevant to the discussion.

  • Raymond in DC

    So some Irish want to end collaboration with Israeli academia? They'd only be hurting themselves. Israel has three universities recently ranked among the top 100, three more among the top 200. Israelis have won ten Nobel prizes, including four in Chemistry and two in Economics in the last ten years. The Irish, over many more years, have won just seven – one in Physics, the rest in Literature or "Peace". So who's got more to learn from the other?

    • Ed27

      1/University rankings often tell you more about the people doing the rankings than anything else

      2/The Nobel prize is only one indicator of achievement

      3/Ireland has a very small population, in a country which for many years was asset stripped by the Briitsh, so it was hard to build up a scientific base; if you included the Irish diaspora, as people often do when assessing Jewish achievement the figures you quote would be much higher

      • reader

        You realize that bait and switch you're doing here is easily detected by regulars of this site, don't you?

        "if you included the Irish diaspora, as people often do when assessing Jewish achievement the figures you quote would be much higher"

        The post you're replying too does not talk about Jewish diaspora. It talks about Israeli universities. How smaller than that can you go?

  • Herb Benty

    The sad reason for Irish and European anti-semitism is Roman Catholicism. Rome has hated Israel for thousands of years, Note: from designating Israel's name as Palestina simply to humiliate the Jewish people, the Vatican- led Crusades whose armies slaughtered Jews wherever they were found, the Inquisition which destroyed Jewish lives and livelyhoods all over Europe right up to the 19th century… Rome's hand is obvious. Finally, the almost exclusive Catholicism of Hitler and his gang, shows the true source of the evil of anti-semitism. Rome claims the title of "the eternal city", but the true eternal city is Jerusalem as the Bible says. Rome's priests, with knives drawn call Jews " Christ- killers". The truth is God the Father had His Son killed " in the house of His friends"- The Jewish People. God loves the Jewish people and will save them in one day…..soon.

    • crypticguise

      Herb, I suggest you get up to date on the Catholic Church's opinions on Jews and Judaism. You're showing yourself to be pretty much an IDIOT.

      • Christian West

        I agree that Herb is an IDIOT, but nevertheless Ireland's anti-Israeli bias is a fact.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        "Herb, I suggest you get up to date on the Catholic Church's opinions on Jews and Judaism. You're showing yourself to be pretty much an IDIOT."

        An idi ot for a typo? He should have said, "A sad reason for Irish and European anti-semitism is Roman Catholicism."

        Then you wouldn't have anything to gripe about because you're correct that it's not the only reason. It's just the oldest one.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        "Herb, I suggest you get up to date on the Catholic Church's opinions on Jews and Judaism. You're showing yourself to be pretty much an IDIOT."

        What is the present position of the Vatican on "Palestinian" statehood, and Jerusalem? Compare what the pope(s) say(s) about Islam and or "Palestine" vs. what he or they says about Israel.

        You're blissfully deluded. I would be careful about performing due diligence before trying to argue these points further. You've been warned.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "Note: from designating Israel's name as Palestina simply to humiliate the Jewish people, the Vatican- led Crusades whose armies slaughtered Jews wherever they were found, the Inquisition which destroyed Jewish lives and livelyhoods all over Europe right up to the 19th century… Rome's hand is
      obvious."

      Few people understand the historical links between Roman Paganism and the Roman Catholic Church. It's a lot to digest all at once for any believer.

      "Finally, the almost exclusive Catholicism of Hitler and his gang"

      I'm don't agree that is a fair point to make in your argument. You must remember that few believers know much about the church they sort of follow according to cultural tradition. The RCC has a hard time being as coercive as it was for most of its history. Don't fall in to the trap of the collectivist ideas.

  • Ed27

    Same old Anti-Catholic rhetoric, Herb.

    • stern

      I see your game. You comment on posts you don't like, without providing any counter-argument or any evidence to disprove them. Perhaps that's because you can't?

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "Same old Anti-Catholic rhetoric, Herb"

      rhet·o·ric
      /ˈretərik/
      Noun
      The art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing.
      Language designed to have a persuasive or impressive effect on its audience, but often regarded as lacking in sincerity or meaningful…

      The question is whether there is any basis for the claim? Yes there is. It's not an indictment of all Catholics. It's an indictment of a church that claims to have apostolic authority, and was a force for evil more than once. Denial of those facts may not be on the same level as jihad, but it's a step in the wrong direction.

      Then again, facts don't matter much to you unless you can use random irrelevant ones to try to deceive people. Show me all of the wonderful "Jew-loving" speeches from popes over the years and you'll assume your case is closed. But wait, the pope is an apostle, right?

  • Ghostwriter

    Well,we in America have Jewish citizens and allow Israelis to become American citizens. Why can't the Irish do that?

  • Herb Benty

    Dear Ed27, the words I wrote were true facts, not rhetoric. Opposition to Israeli policy not to be confused with anti-semitism? Typical fallback position for Jew hatered….. Israeli policy is survival and the world hates them for it. Also, Obama has his cadre of leftist Jewish elites same as Dublin, but these should not be confused with the remnant from the Diaspora that God Almighty brought back to Israel, " in the latter days". ALL Arabs in Israel want to wipe the Jews out completely, ie., GENOCIDE. And all you do is go tsk, tsk….shame on you!! Hitler murdered 6 million Jewish men, women and children and now the Arabs living in Israel want the other 6 million- how do you expect to escape judgement???

  • http://twitter.com/angry_lips @angry_lips

    Herb Benty: "Hitler murdered 6 million Jewish men"
    What does this have to do with Ireland's policy on Israel? You're clearly confusing that policy with anti-semitism if you're able to find an opportunity to dig that one up in this discussion.

  • James Murphy

    Nobody in Ireland hates Israel. The problem is simply that Israel acts unjustly towards the Palestinians; and seems unwilling to act in reasonable and kindly manner. Sanctions against Israel are a way to remind its people that their state, like all states, is accountable for its actions and that it must strive to become more humane, more conscious of rights; less hostile and less militant. People in Ireland pray for peace between the two peoples; but also expect that Israel, who has the power, will act in a responsible, humane and progressive manner.

  • Frank Bright

    I am afraid that the Southern Irish liked and have emulated Nazis. When Hitler committed suicide the then Irish President de Valera sent his his condolences to the short-lived successor Nazi regime, every decent being rejoiced. Those of their own people who volunteered to fight the Germans in the Allied armies were very harshly treated after the war to the point of expelling them. Once a Nazi always a Nazi and that goes for the Irish as well.

  • Ed

    Still amazed at the crude racism of the comment about Irish as drunken rednecks from people accusing the Irish of racism. That really is thepot calling the kettle black. And what happened to moderation of racist comments? LOL.

    And yes it is possible to criticise Israeli policy without being a racist. My daughter is Jewish, through her mother, and a number of my best university tutors were Jewish, and I have met many Jews who were critical of Israel. Does that make them or me anti-semitic?

    Many Irish Catholics fought in WW2 against Hitler, including diaspora Irish Catholics from across the world and yes I would say that British appeasement of Hitler throughout the thirties was far more serious than De Valera signing a condolence book: appeasement paved the way for the Holocaust; and during WW2 Ireland leaned towards the British side, even though it was technically neutral.

  • Jason

    as a Jew and Zionist, my wife and I just visited Ireland (Dublin and west coast.) We loved it! Great place.