Irish Teachers Union Calls for Academic Boycott of Israel


Boycott IsraelIn what has nearly become a perverse, recurring rite of spring, and yet more evidence that universities have become, as Abigail Thernstrom has described them, “islands of repression in a sea of freedom,” the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI), which represents some 14,500 members, voted in early April “to cease all cultural and academic collaboration with Israel, including the exchange of scientists, students and academic personalities, as well as cooperation in research programmes [sic].”

Why employ academic boycotts against Israeli academic institutions? Because, its union members say, the union should “step up its campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against the apartheid state of Israel until it lifts its illegal siege of Gaza and its illegal occupation of the West Bank, and agrees to abide by International law and all UN Resolutions against it.”

But facts and history are not the concern of the morally-elevated, self-righteous professoriate. Based on this politically-charged, biased language, the boycotters expose that they have, with the breathtaking certainty that only the very sanctimonious and intellectually elite can do, framed the 65 year-old Israeli/Palestinian conflict in such a way that they have determined precisely which side is worthy of opprobrium and which, by virtue of its perennial victimhood, is worthy of complete moral support.

Then, in a disingenuous moral inversion in which academics are forced to assume personal responsibility for a state’s politics and diplomacy, all Israeli scholars are made culpable for the perceived sins of the Jewish state. “BDS is a noble non-violent method of resisting Israeli militarism, occupation and apartheid, and there is no question that Israel is implementing apartheid policies against the Palestinians,” said Jim Roche, a lecturer in the DIT School of Architecture and member of the TUI Dublin Colleges Union branch who proposed the boycott motion. “Indeed, many veterans of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa have said that it’s worse than what was experienced there.”

Reciting this list of Israel’s continuing human rights abuses against the long-suffering Palestinians is, of course, a favorite pastime of the academic Left, in the U.S., Britain, and Ireland (not to mention, ironically, inside of Israel’s own universities), so it is no surprise that the litany of Marxist-tainted protests against the victim group of the moment show themselves here as justification for the shunning of Israel scholars from campuses worldwide. The problem, however, is that this view of Israel is the result of a long campaign of historical distortion, outright lies, and propaganda on the part of the Arab world and their apologists and fellow travelers in the West.

That academics so carelessly throw about politically-loaded, and inaccurate, terms when discussing Israel and sanctifying the Palestinians, words like “apartheid,” “occupation,” and “militarism,” indicates exactly why a boycott that seeks to make absolute moral judgments is bound to be perilous—especially for academics who give the pretense of standing for values of academic freedom, scholarly inquiry, a respect for history and law, and open debate over a complex geopolitical problem.

A boycott barring all Israeli academics from participating in Irish academic endeavors is also defective because it necessarily must assume that all Israeli scholars—regardless of their political orientation and social values—are painted with the same moral brush and deserve to be condemned and excluded merely because of the perceived political sins of the nation in which they live.

Critics of the called-for boycott, and there are many who have voiced immediate and thunderous opposition, both of the current Irish version and also of similar academic boycotts in Britain, wondered aloud why, of all countries on earth—countries where actual and chronic repression, genocide, occupation, militarism, and subjugation do exist—was Israel being singled out for the academics’ disdain. Many, of course, ascribe the obsession with Israeli faults as being symptomatic, and an outgrowth of, a more serious concern:  Europe’s long sickness of anti-Semitism.

Assuming that the Irish union is actually innocent of this pernicious hatred, and that their sanctimonious effort to right the perceived wrongs done to the Palestinians is, though misconceived, sincere, what is the just cause or set of values they purport to defend with their boycott? If they take the outrageous first step of denying Israeli academics any discourse at all in what is usually called “the academic marketplace of ideas,” of banishing them from the world of dialogue, research, and learning, have not they already struck a fatal blow to the core guiding principle of the academy? Since when has it been the responsibility of the university to control the actions of the state, or for its members to share culpability for the political decisions of a nation?

And if the union members in fact feel that academics shape and influence national policy and political behavior, their choice of the Palestinians, with their legacy of homicidal aggression against Israel, seems a bit troublesome. What should not be lost on observers is that in the Union’s decision to condemn and boycott Israeli academics, they therefore affirm the perceived ideological superiority of the Palestinian side of the moral equation. They have embraced ‘Palestinianism’ completely as their choice of a cause to defend—with the genocidal terrorism, rabid anti-Semitism, political truculence, internecine violence, and general despair that has defined the Palestinian cause since it was minted in the 1960s as a political tool against Israel.

Roche himself openly declared his allegiance to the Palestinian cause, confirming, if there was any doubt, that “The unanimous passage of this motion that shows that the Palestinian struggle for freedom, of which academic freedom is a key part, resonates with TUI members and sends a strong message of solidarity to their counterparts in Palestine.” That message of solidarity sounds very benign, and possibly helps Mr. Roche and his fellow union members feel good about themselves, but their academic “counterparts in Palestine,” as he calls them, have continued to practice the perverse indoctrination and teaching of terror in their “struggle for freedom.” When Hamas formed its cabinet after being voted into office, for example, 13 of its ministers had been teachers at either at the Islamic University in Gaza or at the Al-Najah National University in Nablus.

In fact, says Matthew Levitt,  director of The Washington Institute’s Stein Program on Terrorism, Intelligence, and Policy, with some 11,000 students, Al-Najah is the largest university in the territories and “the terrorist recruitment, indoctrination and radicalization of students for which al-Najah is known typically take place via various student groups,” among them the Hamas-affiliated Islamic Bloc. “Of the thirteen members of Al-Najah’s 2004 student council, eight,” he says—“including the chairperson—belong to Hamas’s Islamic Bloc.”

Perhaps TUI members have forgotten that sometimes Palestinian students take their ideological lead from college administrators who are not hesitant to make their political feelings known. In fact, Sari Nusseibeh, president of Al-Quds University, took the opportunity during a 2002 appearance on Al-Jazeera to congratulate the mother of a suicide bomber with whom he appeared by rhapsodizing, “When I hear the words of Umm Nidal, I recall the verse [from the Koran] stating that ‘Paradise lies under the feet of mothers.’ All respect is due to this mother; it is due to every Palestinian mother and every female Palestinian who is a Jihad fighter on this land.”

The Irish boycotters may be frustrated that Israeli academics have not been influenced by their own government’s oppressive actions, but the same cannot be said of students at Bir Zeit University, when they actively participated in student government activities. “During student elections at Bir Zeit University in 2003,” Leavitt recounts, “Hamas candidates reenacted suicide bombings by blowing up models of Israeli buses. In one Bir Zeit campus debate, a Hamas candidate taunted his Fatah challenger by boasting, ‘Hamas activists in this University killed 135 Zionists. How many did Fatah activists from Bir Zeit kill?’”

But even the tranquility of the university setting, where this ideological stew can normally boil unmolested, was shattered with the 2007 internecine violence in Gaza between factions of Hamas and Fatah. Though the Irish lecturers excoriated Israel because, as one of their complaints went, it causes “disruption under checkpoint, closure and curfew regimes, and arrests, [and] beatings and killing of both students and teachers,” the “sanctity” of the Palestinian college setting was forgotten in 2007 when PA forces, believing it was being used as a staging area for Hamas rocket launches, stormed the 17,000-student Islamic University in Gaza, setting the entire campus ablaze, destroying books in its library , and gutting offices, classrooms, and the student center. Apparently the concept of academic freedom had to be revoked here, since virtually every leading figure of Hamas has taught or studied at Islamic University.

The notion that universities ought to facilitate a range of opinions and ways of thinking about complex issues should be at the core of academic freedom and a university’s overall mission.  It requires, though, that campuses allow many different views and perspectives, and do not try to exclude unpopular thought from being heard in the proverbial marketplace of ideas. Concern for the long-suffering Palestinians may be a commendable effort, but the isolation and demonization of Israeli scholars as a tool for seeking social justice for that one group “represents a profound betrayal of the cardinal principle of intellectual endeavour,” observes commentator Melanie Phillips, “which is freedom of speech and debate,” something universities should never stop diligently defending.

In fact, Phillips, in speaking about a similar boycott initiated in 2006 by the British teacher’s union, lamented how, in that instance, British academics, with a long tradition of learning, had incredulously shamed that legacy and that their action, as she put it, “represents a profound betrayal of the cardinal principle of intellectual endeavour, which is freedom of speech and debate.” The act of condemning Israel’s universities, of excluding them from the fellowship of the international academic community, was, Phillips thought, a disgraceful calumny that contradicted all those values that the university should, and usually does, hold dear. Instead, the boycotters have begun to behave in a repressive, unethical, and morally-questionable way.

“Censorship, suppression of ideas and intellectual intimidation are associated with totalitarian regimes,” Phillips said, “which attempt to coerce people into the approved way of thinking.”  As Hamas shuts downs internet cafes, promotes genocidal incitement against Jews, murders its political foes, and begins introducing Islamic law in Gaza, one wonders if the Irish Union, in their misguided quest to make academic inquiry and unfettered learning flourish in the Levant, perhaps has chosen the wrong horse to ride.

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  • stern

    the problem isn't just with the academics. It's in what they teach. This is one of the saddest pieces I have ever read – the experiences of an Israeli (JPost columnist) in a small town in Ireland. http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Another-T

    Not surprisingly, Ms. Honig was viciously attacked in the media for daring to write this column.

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  • Looking4Sanity

    Irish teachers boycotting Israeli scientists is tantamount to cutting off your nose to spite your face! How many Nobel prize winners hail from Ireland?

  • olive

    This vote was pro humanity and anti racism. Well done Ireland.

    • stern

      Anti-Semitism isn't racism?

      • AdamS

        Antisemitism *is* racism. It is racism towards Jews.
        Nowadays there exists a new flavor of antisemitism called "the New Antisemitism. The New Antisemite hate Jews just as the old ones. However they disguise their hate of Jews (their antisemism) as a virtuous anti-Israelism. I believe their do exist some Israel haters who are not antisemite. But it's rare. Why hate Israel for imaginary apartheid and atrocities and say nothing about countries like Sudan who have been genociding their own citizens in Darfour and South Sudan? Why is Palestinians independence is so dear to these antisemites while they nothing about the right of the Kurdish people to independence? Why are they indifferent to numerous mass slaughters of Kurds by Irak, Turkey and Iran? Why do these antisemite call "refugees" the *grandchildren* of Palestinian refugees but ignore the 1948 Jewish refugees who fled Arab countries in 1948 and 1950's who *outnumber* the Palestinian refugees? Do these antisemites disguised as virtuous anti-Israel ever mention the grandchildren of the Armenian Genocide

        • Adam Silver

          OOPS!
          Antisemitism *is* racism. It is racism towards Jews.
          Nowadays there exists a new flavor of antisemitism called "the New Antisemitism. The New Antisemite hate Jews just as the old ones. However they disguise their hate of Jews (their antisemism) as a virtuous anti-Israelism. I believe their do exist some Israel haters who are not antisemite. But it's rare. Why hate Israel for imaginary apartheid and atrocities and say nothing about countries like Sudan who have been genociding their own citizens in Darfour and South Sudan? Why is Palestinians independence is so dear to these antisemites while they nothing about the right of the Kurdish people to independence? Why are they indifferent to numerous mass slaughters of Kurds by Irak, Turkey and Iran? Why do these antisemite call "refugees" the *grandchildren* of Palestinian refugees but ignore the 1948 Jewish refugees who fled Arab countries in 1948 and 1950's who *outnumber* the Palestinian refugees? Do these antisemites disguised as virtuous anti-Israel ever mention the grandchildren of the Armenian Genocide survirors?

          • Adam Silver

            During and after World War I the Ottoman government systematically exterminated (committed genocide of) its minority Armenian subjects from their historic homeland in the territory constituting the present-day Republic of Turkey. The total number of Armenian people murdered as a result has been estimated at between 1 and 1.5 million. The Assyrians, the Greeks and other minority groups were similarly targeted for extermination by the Ottoman government, and their treatment is considered by many historians to be part of the same genocidal policy.

            After the Greek-Turkish War (1921-1922), till 1928, nearly 850,000 Anatolian Greeks were deported to Greece. Adding this to the Greek Population of Turkish Thrace that was included to the 1923 Lausanne Exchange Treaty, the total number of Greeks deported from Turkey makes a sum of 1,170,000 (one million and a hundred-seventy thousand). The Turks deported from Greece were numbering 400,000.

            ***IF THE TEACHER'S UNION OF IRELAND*** vote to boycott Israeli academia were motivated by a genuine, bona fide sentiment of humanity and virtuousness, surely it would similarly call "refugees" the ***grandchildren*** of the Armenian genocide survivors, be they Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks or other minority groups as well as the grandchildren of the 1,170,000 Greek and 400,000 Turkish deportees. It would have shown *at least* some concern for all these (grandchildren of) refugees. Surely the racist, (new) *antisemitic* Teachers' Union of Ireland as well as other "new" antisemites would have boycotted all Turkish universities and academics until such time as the Republic of Turkey withdraws from Armenian historic homeland territories it occupies illegally, evacuate all Turkish settlers in these territories and hand over these territories to the Republic of Armenia.

    • stern

      And just to save you the trouble of denying it, let's consider:
      Double standards: Israel is held to standards these people apply to no other country. They do not boycott China, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan or anyone else – and those countries are guilty of far more egregious human rights violations than Israel.
      Demonization: Every Israeli attempt at self-defence is portrayed as apartheid or likened to the Nazis, even though the ratio of combatants to civilians killed in Israeli actions is better than that of any other army in the world. And even though Israel has to deal with people who delight in civilian death, whether Jewish or their own.
      Deligimitization: The attempt to make it appear that Israel does not have a right to exist – by boycotting her academics.

      This is the 3D test created by Natan Sharansky. These people fail on every count.

      • PhillipGaley

        No, in all of this, I would say that, Israel is not being "held to a double standard", but rather, to mere inventions in the way of a practically incoherent historicity, which is desired to be accepted as forming into some kind of a standard—ad hoc though it is—for any nation's deportment but to be applied only in the single instance of treatment of Israel.

    • Omar

      Actually the teachers union vote was anti-humanity, pro-racism and pro-genocide. What you support is Islamist totalitarianism and Sharia law.

    • defcon 4

      You're wrong Farid Al Fuqingstan.

      • Mary Sue

        DEFCON AKBAR!

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      olive, What is pro humanity and anti racist with supporting world wide islamofascism?

      Will the Irish Teachers Union start teaching sharia law, how to bomb gatherings of families?

      Hopefully people who oppose the bombing of the Boston marathon will boycott pro islamofascist socialist Ireland.

    • Adam Silver

      This vote has *pretended* to have been "pro humanity and anti racism". Considering reality and th truth, this vote is rather pro poor thinking, pro lies, pro calumny, pro terrorism, pro racism, pro antisemitism and genocide genocide. It is anti common sense, anti academic integrity, anti truth and and anti humanity.

    • Ron Millet

      Who will notice any difference from this epicentre of academic achievement and performance?

  • slickdemetrius

    Pretty frightening really. Will they also consider boycotting all/any muslim nations that are known supporters of terrorism as well? Some how I doubt it which indicates they are nothing more than Jew haters.

    • PhillipGaley

      "Pretty frightening"?

      Yes, . . . for Ireland; for that line which reads: "And no weapon forged against thee shall prosper.", and this one: "I will bless them who bless thee, and curse them who curse thee.", and for the fact that—as later, Germany also was to do—was it in the Ninth century—and Ireland, turning from their high point in knowledge of The One True G0D but, returning to the former pagan religions, could not but become a source for slave trade, and became a byword for degradation, . . . in many ways remaining in that poverty of spirit to this day?

      Yes, quite frightening, really, . . . must the Irish ever learn with such difficulty? Although I might not always find myself in agreement with G0D, I certainly would wish to not ever be found in such affront to Him and His interests, . . .

  • Paddy S

    Look I am an Irish secondary teacher – the trade unions like all of them in Ireland are politically correct leftwing trade unions whose general membership at executive level are left wing teachers who nobody knows and cares about. I guarantee you most teachers were prob never asked about this – and by the way most male teachers in Ireland are only members of union in case they get accused of anything, Loads hate them.

    • stern

      Thanks Paddy. Can you read the article I linked to above (http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Another-Tack-That-unwitting-indecency) and let me know what you think about it? And honestly, I do want to know – I'm not trying to provoke you.

      • Paddy S

        Yeah most Irish people that I know – and I mean in a non offensive way dont really care about Israel or Palestine, its only the politically orientated or history orientated generally who do. The article is pretty lazy tbh it takes random facts without going into why such and such a thing happened, De Valera was no anti semite when writing the Irish constituion in 1937 he classified Jewish religion as religion worthy of mention. Most of the politically orientated too lke all elites are lefties and so they hate Israel and pass it to their ilk, conservative dont hate Israel and do not make parallel betwen Northern Ireland and Israel/ Palestine….

        • stern

          Thanks Paddy, appreciated!

        • Omar

          Israel is a historical fact and reality. "Palestine" is an artificial invention. The so-called "Palestinians" are an invented people (Newt Gingrich is right). Palestine is the name of the Holy Land region that consists of Israel, Gaza, the West Bank and Jordan. Anyone who lives in the Holy Land region is a Palestinian, regardless of characteristics. The Israelis and Jordanians are Palestinians. That's the reality.

          • Adam Silver

            Omar, your definition of Palestine was correct and accurate before 1948. It is true that the so-called "Palestinians" are an invented people. However, things change with time. Since the Arab countries around Israel refused to accept as citizens the 1948 Arab refugees from Israel and forced them to live in refugee camps, and because all the Arab leaders have been indoctrinating their people as well as the Arab from Palestine to try and destroy Israel and push the Jews to the sea, the Palestinian people has become a reality. It was artificially invented but today it is an irreversible reality. By the way the Kingdom of Jordan is also an artificial invention. The majority of Jordan's citizens are Palestinians. So a Palestinian state already exists and is called Jordan. However Jordan undemocratic political power is in the hands of its minority Bedouin population. Thus the Palestinian demand for a state is actually a demand for a *second* Palestiinian state, since Jordan is already a Palestiniian state..

        • SCREW SOCIALISM

          Paddy, Irelands position in WW2, a Neutral, tarnishes Irelands reputation.

          The nazi de valera sent condolances to nazi germany on the death of socialist hitler.

          WW2 was coming to an end, with nazi germany about to be defeated, yet de valera felt it was important to send his heart felt sorrow.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89amon_de_Valera

          Why couldn't Ireland take a stand, and oppose fascism???

  • morticiaa

    Yup, a guy delivering wall board for a renovation, a strong Irish accent, just immigrated to western Canada, he and his family, after years of trying, tells of the extremist Islamics in Ireland and the serious problems, and the reasons for his family's mmigration…He is just one of many examples of residents who understand the pulse of their habitats….And, Sadly, it takes islamics just months, refugees, and other islamics to get into this country…
    and decent Christian/Jewish immigrants seem to be last on the lists. However our Conservative government attempts to make small changes…We have the best people in place for appropriate changes,
    with the Liberals we will sink back to the path leading to the destruction of Judeo/Christian values in this great country….No big surprise about any European country, they are long gone…

    • stern

      And with the Liberals under Justin Trudeau, it's going to be even worse. Just this week, he was lamenting "root causes" behind the Boston Massacre, because the poor murders must have felt "excluded". Heaven help us if this twit ever becomes Prime Minister.

      • stern

        sorry, should have been "poor murderers"

      • SCREW SOCIALISM

        root causes?

        World Wide Islamofascism.

      • Defcon 4

        Isn't it technically illegal to criticise islam in Canada now? I read on BNI that a Canadian man had not merely been arrested once for criticising Islam in public but TWICE.

      • Mary Sue

        Justin is his father's son. P.E.T. hung out with Fidel Castro like it ain't no thang.

  • Omar

    There are so many things wrong with the Irish teachers union's claims against Israel. First of all, there is no apartheid in Israel at all. Arabs living in Israel have more rights and liberties as Israeli citizens than people living in other countries in the Middle East. Israel is nothing like what South Africa used to be, and the Likud Party is nothing what the former National Party of South Africa was. There is no apartheid in Israel. Period. Second, Israel has tried repeatedly to make peace with its neighbors in the region and with other countries around the world for over 6 decades. However, Israel's neighbors don't want peace in the region. Israel's Islamist adversaries want the destruction of the state of Israel, kill all the Jews, and install Islamist totalitarianism all over the world. Hamas and Hezbollah are Nazi parties dedicated to Jew-hatred, genocide and totalitarianism with Sharia Law. The only illegal occupations of Gaza and the West Bank were from Naser's Egypt and the Kingdom of Jordan between 1949 and 1967, when Israel rightfully won those territories in the Six Day War. Instead of condemning democratic Israel (where all of its people are treated equally under the rule of law, regardless of characteristics), why don't the teachers Unions in Ireland condemn countries where real oppression is happening. Why don't the teachers unions condemn the Assad family dictatorship in Syria, for its merciless war against its own people. Why don't the teachers unions condemn the oppression and genocide of black African Christians in Sudan. Sudan has a racist, sexist, Islamist dictatorship that behaves worse than South Africa's former apartheid regime (where are the calls for boycotts, divestments and sanctions for Islamist/Apartheid Sudan? Even the former apartheid regime in South Africa didn't try to exterminate its non-white population). Why don't the teachers unions condemn human rights violations in Communist Cuba, which has the only dictatorship in the Western Hemisphere. Why don't the teachers unions condemn Communist Cuba's puppet, Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela? Maduro stole an election for President of Venezuela this past Sunday and is engaged in a merciless crackdown on peaceful, pro-democracy protesters in the streets of Caracas (the capital of Venezuela). Why don't the teachers unions condemn the ongoing genocide of Tibetans in Tibet at the hands of Communist China? Tibet was a sovereign country until Communist China (with support from the former Soviet Union) invaded the Tibet and forcefully annexed the country (Over 1.2 million Tibetans died as a result of the Communist occupation and oppressive policies). Communist China is also guilty of massive human rights violations against its own people in different parts of China (Remember Tiananmen Square?) Why don't the teachers unions condemn the Kim family dictatorship in North Korea? The Kim regime has threatened to invade and nuke other countries and is engaged in repressing its own people who are screaming for democracy and reunification of Korea under Seoul's democratic government. Why don't the teachers unions in Ireland condemn the Iranian mullahs, who constantly scream for the destruction of Israel, and who often deny the Holocaust. And why don't the teachers unions condemn the United Nations' hypocrisy over its members in the Human Rights Councils? The main reason why the Irish teachers union do not condemn the regimes I mentioned is because they support all of the above. The teachers unions view all the regimes above as "progressive", "promoters of equality" and supporters of so-called "social justice". The teachers unions in Ireland are clearly anti-democratic, anti-Western, anti-Israel, anti-Semitic and pro-Islamist, pro-Communist, pro-oppression and pro-totalitarianism. The teachers unions in Ireland have no morals whatsoever.

    • Neils60

      Far left academics are dismissive of fact and can't and won't be dissuaded from their irrational beliefs. It's the same all over the world, too. Unfortunately, these academics are the absolute darlings of the "beautiful people" here in the USA.

      • Defcon 4

        UCLA left a bad taste in my mouth — a bad taste of the dissemination of islamofascist propaganda as fact. UCI in its present disgusts me, as it allows the islamofascists to spout their lies about Israel while allowing the islamofascists to prevent any meaningful rebuttal.

  • Questions

    Ireland has never really been able to offer a classical liberal alternative to Catholic traditionalism. Those who break with Church authoritarianism tend to move way to the Left. Even if they're not IRA, they identify with "victims" of the world as symbolic rebels. (e.g., former UN Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson). The strange love of the Palestinians, without understanding the corrupt nature of the leadership and the cause, won't penetrate the Irish mind. Many are still wonderful people, but their political thinking caps aren't on right.

  • olive

    you guys are so deluded it's hard to know where to start… so I won't.
    One simple fact is true however: stealing someone's land and home and livelihood is wrong whether you are a Jewish state or a Buddhist state. If it makes you feel better to think I, or anyone else with such a view, is anti semitic then you go ahead. This charge gets bandied around so often that is has lost all meaning.

    • Softly Bob

      You're right, stealing land is wrong but the Jews never stole anyone's land. If you check your history you will find this to be true. You are the deluded one I'm afraid.

    • defcon 4

      Arabic muslimes already have homelands in the Mid-East Fatima Al Fuqtard, it's called the rest of the Mid-East and N. Africa. Please stick you head in a bucket of fresh, healthy, camel urine — prophet recommended.

    • stern

      No, I won't accuse you of anti-Semitism, if you are prepared to take another look at the history. Start with the San Remo Conference of 1921 and the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine. Read Chapter 80 of the UN Charter. Then take a look at some other, real historians (not Benny Morris and most definitely not Ilan Pappe). I would suggest Efraim Karsh for one. A good place to start is his book "Palestine Betrayed". Check the footnotes, which very carefully detail the substantiation for every conclusion he reaches.

      If you are in the slightest bit honest, you will get the point. You have been fed a bunch of propaganda and lies and you have chosen to believe it. If you now choose to close your mind and continue believing the lies, then I will have no hesitation in labelling you. You will have earned it.

    • PhillipGaley

      "stealing someone's land"?

      What a laugh! And, much to the contrary, "To the victor belong the spoils.". And could things be otherwise?

      In the Conference at Sanremo (1923), what had been under Ottoman rule, was divied up by the conquerors.

      Later, in war which broke out late in 1947, the Egyptians advised the Arabs in Palestine, to leave their houses and homes, that, in but a few days, Israel would be "pushed into the sea", leaving all to be reclaimed, with much booty.

      If the word of the conquerors in the Conference at Sanremo were not enough, why then, in such abandonment at the moment of contest, then, in conquest carried by the Israelis, those Arabs lost all claim, forever.

      To justifiably claim that, present holding of that land somehow falls as prize under the suspect effects of covertness, as having been "stolen", it were necessary to reconfigure the largest parts of history and logic as applied to social relations for times of war and following.

      And for similar reasoning, of course, nor also, was the land of North America "stolen", rather, it fell under simple conquest, . . . an inferior culture being overcome by its superior, . . . in love, and in war all things are fair, and: "To the victor belong the spoils.". If that's a new idea to our dear "olive", . . . she might think about getting used to it, . . . because, that's just the way things work, . . .

      • defcon 4

        In a typical case of muslime mendacious hypocrisy, muslimes were selling their properties to Jews in the newly founded state of Israel. Why? Because they figured they would be getting the properties back once the Jews were pushed into the sea.

      • Adam Silver

        If the "stolen" land refers to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 aka the West Bank and Gaza Strip, then it's a non-issue: Israel has already unilaterally withdrawn from the Gaza Strip which is now fully independent. It is ruled by Hamas, a terrorist organization. As to the West Bank, Israel has withrawn from large parts of it which are ruled by the PA (Palestinian Authority, aka the State of Palestine). Israel has repeatedly declared that it desires to make peace with the Palestinians that would include the withdrawal of Israel from all the West Bank territories, except for minor border modifications based on mutual territory exchange. It is the Palestinian leadership that has avoided to come over and negotiate a piece treaty. To summarize: Israel never "stole" these territories. Nevertheless it has withrawn from a big chunk of these territories and it is prepared to withdraw from all the remainder of the occupied territories, except for some minor mutual border modifications. This latter withdrawal, Israel will do once it signs a pieace treaty with the Palestinian Srate. Regretfully it is the Palestinian leadership that refuses to negociate a piece treaty with Israel.

    • Lan Astaslem

      you've bought into the invented paleostonian narrative well – did they give you a biscuit for being such an obedient dog?

    • philfromboston

      olive–why this simplistic, repeated nonsense about the Jews "stealing" Arab lands? a little history: the Jewish heritage and continued presence in the land of israel goes back to Abraham, 1948 b.c. The Arab presence began after Mohammed's conquest in the 7th century. Many of the Arabs in Israel and the west bank (Judea and Samaria) today came from adjacent regions as immigrants, seeking work opportunities resulting from Zionist and Britgish mandate efforts to modernize and make the land productive. It is only since roughly 1967 that the Arabs in this area began to thinkof themselves as Palestinians, before, they were part of the large Arab nation (umma) which rules 22 countries and hundreds of thousands of square miles of territory, oil wealth, etc– compared to some 8000 sq. miles which Israel, the only Jewish state in the world, possesses. Enough therefore of your accusation of "stolen"– if you persist in the face of these not so complex facts, you are what others here are more or less calling you: an antisemitic Irish bitch…

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      olive, Jews were in Israel two thousand years BEFORE the bandit prophet mohammed came on the scene.

    • Defcon 4

      What about the fact your own holey prophet of doom took all the lands and properties of the Jews in Soddy Barbaria while slaughtering and enslaving them — and your own holey books of hate make it clear he did!

    • Mary Sue

      stealing someone's land is wrong if you're Muslim Conquerors, too.

    • Omar

      So stealing land is okay for an Islamist state? Jews were in the Holy Land for much longer than Arabs and Muslims. Quit repeating leftist/Islamist propaganda and learn from facts.

  • Rev. Roy

    The Teachers Union of Ireland have placed their country in dire straights. They are in for a world of hurt because of their actions toward the Chosen People of the Almighty God. Obadiah 1:15 declares "For the day of the Lord upon all nations is near: as you have done (to Israel), it shall be done to you". Whether you believe it or not will not stay the Hand of the " Lion of the Tribe of Judah" !! Judgement is coming and Ireland is now in God's line of fire.
    Wake up ! Look around the world and open your eyes. "As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the Son of Man".Mathew 24:37.
    Rev. Roy….<><

  • Parenthetical Phrase

    I can't help but feel that being hated by the Irish teachers is a lot like being hated by a village of mountain people in northwest Bulgaria. It may sound bad when you look at it under a microscope but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter much. Ireland's economy is VERY bad. It hasn't and probably will never produce too many noteworthy scientists, doctors, or entrepreneurs. It is kind of mired in a prior century and lives off the "charm" of a culture that is mostly the product of the memories and family stories of Americans of Irish descent. Many Irish continue to make excuses for there sad state by blaming the UK, and anyone who has done better with less in a shorter time, like Israel.

  • Defcon 4

    Academia is just as bad in the US, it's a close minded circle jerk of supercilious spodes, who don't tolerate views contrary to their propaganda. I remember at UCLA I had a professor desperate to paint Israel as an apartheid state and liked to facilitate the viewpoint that Israel was just as bad as the Arabs that neither party had the moral high ground, when I pointed out, perhaps erroneously, that Nasser had publicly threatened to push the Jews into the sea he wasn't at all happy that I had upset his apple cart of islamofascist lies.

    • Ex-saint

      During my junior year of college I had an education professor (who also happens to be a Catholic priest) go on some rant alleging that US sanctions caused 25,000 Iraqi children to die each year. Strange he didn't mention how many children, minorities, etc were killed by Saddam Hussein's regime.

  • Antoin Mac Faloin

    I'm Irish, in my seventies, and I am so embarrassed by the continuing anti Semetism of my native land. I remember a few years ago Ireland were playing Israel in a world cup qualifying match, and all around the ground the Irish fans were waving Palestenian flags, I was so happy when Ireland lost! Be assured Israel that not all Irish people are like these teachers. There are many of us who support you and know all about the prophecies in the old Testament predicting your return to your native land in these latter days. Welcome home! Shalom.

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  • Dr. K

    I am a Jewish American Scientist and was planning on going to Ireland to a Scientific Meeting in Septemtber. After reading about this vote by the Irish Teachers Union. I am probably not going to go. The fact that the Teachers singled our Isreal and mentioned no other country in the world to boycott certainly seems like anti-semitism to me. Don't get me wrong, I believe Israel bears some of the blame for the suffering of palestinians, however, to blame them entirely and give palestinians and the rest of the arab world a free pass, is a gross misreading of the current situation and history.