Sein Fein’s anti-Israel stance is echoed by numerous pressure groups in Ireland calling for the Ambassador’s expulsion, an absolute boycott of Israeli products and companies, and the shunning of Israeli artists and academics. The Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) is the biggest pro-Palestinian group in Ireland. They have offices on one of the most expensive streets in Ireland (Dame Street). The IPSC was founded in November 2001 and has had considerable success. Besides featuring “Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide by Ben White (Signed)” their online store features such items as Christmas cards of Madonna and Child in a Palestinian flag (rewriting history yet again) and the three wise men being blocked by the “Apartheid Wall.”
The IPSC has been accused of anti-Semitism many times. They cover their backs with a single line on their website: “The IPSC condemns all forms of racism including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.” Like many anti-Israeli organisations, basic observation of their behaviour betrays a different sensibility. For example, a World Cup qualifier match between Israel and Ireland in 2005 led to very unpleasant scenes in Dublin. The IPSC organised a protest that was supposed to be “peaceful” but wasn’t: “Mostly it was a tame affair … Until the baying crowd scented their blood: passing Israeli fans.” Sadly, this is one of many examples of the hate filled aggression that Israeli fans and athletes confront when they visit Europe. By contrast, when Ireland faced Israel in Tel Aviv, many Irish fans enthused about the exceptional welcome.
One of the few pro-Israel journalists in Ireland reported his own experiences of such protests:
[O]n the night of Israel’s 60th birthday party — everyone attending, according to the people we had to go through, were “filthy Jews” and more than one protestor made hissing sounds, the international shorthand for the noise of the gas chambers.
Unsurprisingly, the IPSC supports extremist Palestinian groups like Hamas and Hizbullah whose flags have been seen at numerous protests. In 2009, during Operation Cast Lead, children dressed as Hamas soldiers led an IPSC protest in Dublin aping what goes on in Gaza.
The intimidation doesn’t only occur at protests. There are a number of small pro-Israel groups in Ireland such as Irish Christian Friends of Israel. The largest group is Irish Friends of Israel. These groups seem to keep a low profile due to threatening behaviour. In 2007, a well known pro-Israel supporter received several days of threatening emails and phone calls after publishing a rather moderate critique of the IPSC in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
The IPSC spread their hate on Irish leftist site Indymedia which is probably the principal pro-Palestinian site in Ireland. Its moderators usually ban those who offer quite mild support for Israel as “trolls,” “Israeli hasbara” “Zio-Nazi’s” etc., if initially they can’t be abusively shouted down à la CIF (Comment is Free) etc.
While Ireland isn’t exceptional in terms of international Jewish/Israeli hatred, it is worth describing some of these humanitarians. One of the most high profile pro-Palestinian campaigners in Ireland is Raymond Deane. He is a state-funded composer, as well as a founding member of the IPSC, a former chairman, and “Arts, Cultural and Sports Boycott Officer.” He wrote a letter to a prominent newspaper claiming the Israeli medical team landed in Haiti to take pictures for the purposes of propaganda and promptly went home. Like many pro-Palestinians, Deane has an extraordinary capacity to sling mud at anyone who dares defend Israel, but objects strenuously to its return. Historian Dermot Meleady challenged his assertions in the letters pages of the Irish Times newspaper, which led to Deane threatening libel.
A quote from Deane in 2008 shows how extreme he really is – perhaps even supporting a nuclear assault: “President Ahmadinejad has repeatedly expressed hopes for an end to the Zionist regime, a hope shared worldwide – including within Israel – by people of more impeccable democratic credentials than the Iranian president. “The provision of training and logistical support to Hamas” – nominally, the democratically elected government of the Palestinian people – is to be welcomed as a small counterbalance to US and EU support for the murderous Israeli regime.”
Deane has also compared the defence of Israel with the defence of paedophilia:
However, I’ve problems with the concept of “People who genuinely support Israel.” Of course there are such people, just as there are people who genuinely support paedophilia. Israel is a criminal state in every respect, a state that exists in a suspension of international law enabled by its US (and now EU) protector(s).
In a perhaps deliberately confused article called “Dissident Jews: Unwanted in Germany?” he discussed anti-Israeli Jews, such as Ilan Pappe and Norman Finkelstein, who attempted to speak in Germany, but had difficulty obtaining venues of prestige because some objected. Double-standards are a characteristic of the pro-Palestinian movement in many ways, but I suppose we have to believe pro-Palestinians wouldn’t dream of objecting to pro-Israel campaigners. The objections were by a Zionist “anti-German movement” which supposedly rejects German nationalism but are in fact “more thoroughly German” in a fascistic sense. He tried to establish that the Germany of today is quite similar to the conditions in the 1930s for Jews. He likened Zionism to a form of Jewish hatred akin to the anti-Semitism of the Third Reich: “The antics of the anti-Germans and their ilk whip up racial tensions that can only lead to a climate reminiscent of the 1930s.” So, I guess the poor old Jews are bringing it on themselves. The “Jewish” speakers he was defending are most probably self-hating, as they knowingly peddle lies about Israel. This, in turn, has given and continues to give a great deal of ammunition to folks like Deane, who wish to see the Jewish State annihilated.
Presently, David Landy, a sociology lecturer at Trinity College Dublin, holds the chair at the IPSC. Mr. Landy is one of a very small number of Jewish people living in Ireland. In his 2005 master’s thesis at Trinity, he made explicit reference to using his Jewish ethnicity for the political purpose of harming Israel. Apparently, he interviewed a number of people in the Jewish community for the thesis before he came out as a pro-Palestinian. While any Jewish person critical of Israel is not necessarily self-hating, for Landy to assert that he will use his ethnicity to harm Israel must surely indicate a strong dislike of his own identity and a rather baleful attitude toward his own race. If he felt he should use his identity to aid Palestinians, he could have appealed to the sense of justice that many Jewish people possess around the globe, instead of using it with such odious ill-intent.