Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism in modern Ireland

Antisemitism thru the ages

Antisemitism time travels so well

A very interesting and rather shocking article appeared in The Commentator last week dealing with antisemitism in modern Ireland: “The perfect liberal state: ‘Progressive’, European and Jew-hating” by Bernard McCabe, a London-based Irish writer.

The article addresses the phenomenon of antisemitism in Ireland dating from the early 1900s until today, encompassing all the varying forms of this moral virus.

In 1904, Limerick’s Jewish community was devastated by an infamous pogrom that saw them largely driven from the city. The words that catalysed this pogrom come as no surprise to anyone: the Jews, said Father John Creagh (who kick-started the activity), are usurers, freemasons, Christ-killers.

But okay, that was 1904. Things have moved on, right? Certainly, modern Ireland is more accepting of homosexuals and has liberalised attitudes towards women. It’s not quite the same story for one group though. That’s right, the Jews. The JC reports that in a new study by sociologist-priest Father Micheál Mac Gréil, twenty-five percent of Irish people wouldn’t allow Israelis to become Irish citizens, and eleven percent of Irish men and women wouldn’t allow any Jew from taking up citizenship. Forty percent of Irish people wouldn’t allow a Jew into their family.

It’s hardly even worth saying that young people are more anti-Israel. Anti-Israel activity on British campuses has already been well documented, but at least in the United Kingdom we have some sort of history of (at least marginal) support for Israel. In the past, however, as in the present, Ireland has been vehemently anti-Israel politically and culturally. Indeed, it is the only issue other than appetite for more accession of sovereignty to the EU that truly unites the vast majority of Irish politicians. Ireland, for example, was the last EU country to grant permission for an Israeli embassy – in 1993.

Where does all this hatred come from? Are my compatriots Nazi sympathisers? Has Ireland been taken over by a radical Islam that makes Ian Paisley look as harmless as Christine Bleakley? No, the truth is that anti-Semitism in Ireland has a long history.

In the old days, it came from (as it did across Europe) an extreme Catholicism. Latterly, anti-Semitism has found its provenance from Ireland’s consistently pro-Palestinian position. Ireland was of course for 800 years oppressed by the evil hand of British rule (that brought us roads, education, some form of civilisation), and the fight to ‘free’ her could take as many lives as possible.

As slaves to history, and in the great Irish tradition of storytelling, they (or I should say, we) look to the Middle East and localize that situation and apply the same logic. The Jews are just like the Brits, you see. Forget the actual Holocaust, they imply, the real Holocaust is actually carried out by the Israelis.

Mr. McCabe nails the entire issue with this following sentence:

Fr Mac Gréil’s study is of course shocking. But is it really surprising? Judaeophobia is the hatred en vogue of the bien-pensants.

Pro-Palestinian anti-Israel Irish activists

In a similar fashion, the Irish journalist Kevin Myers writes about modern anti-Israel hatred, and like Bernard McCabe, wonders where the hatred comes from. His article appears in the Irish Independent, entitled “How can do-gooders possibly think that Gaza is the primary centre of injustice in Middle East?”.

What is it about Israel that prompts such a widespread departure from common sense, reason and moral reality? As another insane flotilla prepares to butt across the Mediterranean bringing “aid” to the “beleaguered” people of Gaza, in its midst travelling the MV Saoirse, does it never occur to all the hysterical anti-Israeli activists in Ireland that this is like worrying about the steaks being burnt on the barbecue, as a forest fire sweeps towards your back garden?

I took part in a discussion about the Middle East last weekend in the Dalkey Books Festival. It was surreal. Not merely was I the only pro-Israeli person in the panel of four, but the chairwoman of the session, Olivia O’Leary, also felt obliged to throw in her three-ha’pence worth.

Israel — and its sole defender on the panel (is mise) — were then roundly attacked by members of the audience. But what was most striking about the audience’s contributions was the raw emotion: they seemed to loathe Israel.

But how can anyone possibly think that Gaza is the primary centre of injustice in the Middle East? According to Mathilde Redmatn, deputy director of the International Red Cross in Gaza, there is in fact no humanitarian crisis there at all. But by God, there is one in Syria, where possibly thousands have died in the past month.

However, I notice that none of the Irish do-gooders are sending an aid-ship to Latakia. Why? Is it because they know that the Syrians do not deal with dissenting vessels by lads with truncheons abseiling down from helicopters, but with belt-fed machine guns, right from the start?

…really, by any decent measure, it is simply not possible to gaze upon the entire region, reaching from Casablanca to Yemen, and then to point indignantly and say: “Ah yes, Gaza: that’s where the one great injustice lies.”

Now another convoy is under way, and again with an utterly disingenuous plan to bring “assistance” to the “beleaguered Gazans”, some of who, funnily enough, can now cross into Egypt any time they like, and buy their explosives and their Kalashnikovs in the local arms-bazaar.

And as for human-rights abuses: why, nothing that Israel has done in the 63 years of its existence can possibly compare with the mass-murders of Fatah members by Hamas firing-squads over the past five years.

The colossal western intellectual dissonance between evidence and perception on the subject of Israel at this point in history can perhaps only be explained by anthropologists.

This dissonance is perhaps at its most acute in Ireland, where no empirical proof seems capable of changing people’s minds. Israel, just about the only country in the entire region where Arabs are not rising up against their rulers, is also the only country that the Irish chattering classes unite in condemning. Rather pathetic, really.

I applaud both Bernard McCabe’s and Kevin Myers’ refreshingly honest assessments of their country’s attitude towards Jews and Israel. My only caveat would be that Kevin Myers seems to think that unreasoning anti-Israel hatred is the major province of the Irish, whereas I would claim that it is an equal-opportunity hatred, shared in and relished by every extreme-left, radical chic pseudo-socialist organization in the world, regardless of nationality.

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63 Responses to Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism in modern Ireland

  1. Osirak says:

    Maybe if Kevin Myers was a real journalist rather than an unthinking parrot of poor-quality Israeli government propaganda he would know that there is no such person as “Mathilde Redmatn” and no such post as “Deputy Director of the International Red Cross in Gaza”. I suppose being paid to spout propaganda is easier than actual journalism.

    • anneinpt says:

      Of course! … Head-slap… Why didn’t I think of it??? Of COURSE an Irish journalist will be in the pay of the Israelis! How could it be otherwise? How could anyone think that an Irishman could have something positive to say about Israel?

      /sarcasm…

  2. Osirak says:

    Hey, in thirty seconds with Google I found the real ICRC person Mathilde de Riedmatten. I suppose the reason the Israeli hasbara artists changed her name was to make it harder to spot that her opinion (and thus the real Red Cross position) on the situation in Gaza is not quite as they would like you to believe:
    http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/interview/2011/palestine-israel-interview-2011-05-19.htm

    So as well as being lazy and careless Myers expounds the opposite of the truth. So does this blog of course, but I’m assuming that unlke Myers you’re not paid for it.

    • anneinpt says:

      LOL! So you’ve never made spelling mistakes. What an idiot.

      If you don’t like my blog and think it’s telling lies, please leave. And don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  3. Osirak says:

    My point (which you’re clearly too stupid to grasp) is that exactly the same spelling mistake appears in hundreds of places on the Internet where the same fake story has been circulated by you and other Israeli government shills. The other point of course was that Mathilde (whatever her surname) says precisely the opposite of what you, Myers, and the other lying fools try to make out. how about actually reading the link?

    I think your blog is the funniest thing I’ve read for years. I know you’re telling lies. And however much you wish all those of us not addicted to Israeli government propaganda (bad fake propagada at that) would leave, no chance, sweetheart. You lie: we expose. that’s how it works in the real world outside your little bubble of taxpayer-funded hasbara.

    • anneinpt says:

      Now that’s very funny indeed because exactly one month earlier Ms Redmattn or Riedmatten or however she spells it said exactly what Myers reported she said: that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. I repeat: there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

      If you would like pictorial proof, go an look at this link if your eyes can possibly stand the cognitive dissonance.

      As for lying and exposing, I’m afraid your own propaganda has addled your brains and you have it the wrong way round. You lie, we expose. Please take a pill and lie down while you contemplate this anomaly.

      And tax funded hasbara? LMAO! Who is paying me? What tax breaks am I receiving? And from which government? You really are a funny thing to read on a Sunday morning.

    • Osirak … we’re “stupid”, eh? And you live where? What experience do you have to be so cock sure of yourself and your “truth”? Your “Gravatar” is bereft of information that might give a clue.

  4. realRightWinger says:

    Hey Osirak – take a look at this too – its great Arab hasbara !
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxKURh1SFVg&feature=player_embedded

    Also I guess from your name – Osirak – that you were once bombed in Iraq by Israel many many years ago. Just remember, G-d works with a “strong hand, and an outstretched arm” (Exodus 6) – usually on the behalf of Israel – we got u in June 1981 – so we can get you again …

  5. tara says:

    why we don’t sympathise with israel maybe its the fact that you guys steal our passports for one of your mossad hits.second of all being ant israeli is not anti semetic.palestinians are infact semites my dear.And if israel is so called homeland of the jewish people then why are actual orthodox practising jews against th very notion of a jewish homeland.its as ridiculous an idealogy as me an irish woman saying well we originate from basque region catalunya so i have the automatic right to live there.And indeed israel is the big bully here just look at the death toll on the palestinian side in comparison with the israeli side.And also why do so many jewish people reside in palestine and call themselves palestinians proudly.

    • anneinpt says:

      Before I start, a note to my readers: The above Tara is not the same Tara who sent me some interesting links which I posted here.

      And now to answer the tripe above:

      you guys steal our passports for one of your mossad hits

      Riight. How many passports have the Irish stolen? Do you get upset when the Russians steal your passports? Or only the Israelis?

      being ant israeli is not anti semetic.palestinians are infact semites

      Zzingg! Wrong! Being antisemitic is being anti-Jewish. The word antisemitism was coined by Wilhelm Marr over 100 years ago to provide a convenient euphemism for good old Jew-hatred. Being anti-Israeli is antisemitic because you are denying one nation, and one nation only – the Jews – the right to self-determination in their homeland, which is the definition of Zionism. If you’re not antisemitic you are at the very least racist.

      And you knew all that already didn’t you.

      And if israel is so called homeland of the jewish people then why are actual orthodox practising jews against th very notion of a jewish homeland

      There are crazies in every culture. You’re talking about the Neturei Karta who are a tiny fringe on the fringes of the extreme fundamentalists. The 99.99% rest of the Jews consider Israel their homeland.

      And you knew all that already too, didn’t you.

      its as ridiculous an idealogy as me an irish woman saying well we originate from basque region catalunya so i have the automatic right to live there

      Er no. It’s exactly the same as saying “you’re an Irish woman who has the right to live in Ireland”. You don’t deny that do you? A Jew has the right to live in his homeland, Israel.

      And indeed israel is the big bully here just look at the death toll on the palestinian side in comparison with the israeli side

      Oh please! Not that old canard again! Israel has a lesser death toll because she respects human life and keeps her civilian population safe in shelters, and does not make use of them as human shields. Hamas on the other hand places its missile launchers in hospitals, schools and playgrounds and surrounds its terrorists with women and children to maximise casualties.

      And you knew all that already too, didn’t you.

      And also why do so many jewish people reside in palestine and call themselves palestinians proudly.

      I’m afraid you’ve completely lost me there. I don’t know any Jewish people who reside in Palestine – unless you mean Judea and Samaria – and call themselves Palestinians. You’ve been reading too much ISM propaganda.

      • Philip says:

        The difficulty lies, at least partly, in that people are defining ‘Zionism’ differently. You seem to deny it as the Jewish (perhaps more specifically Israeli?) right to self-determination in their homeland. This, you say, is supported by 99.99% of Jews. That’s clearly an exaggeration, though it might well be true of Israelis.

        However, a lot of people when they talk of being anti-Zionist are in fact saying, we accept Israel with the 1967 borders, but no further. We oppose the occupation and the notion of a ‘Greater Israel’ encompassing the West Bank and Gaza. Perhaps you might call this anti-turbo-charged-Zionism. Anyhow, my point is, I think that to be anti-Zionist in this second sense, you probably wouldn’t have much problem with that. Am I right?

        • anneinpt says:

          Anti-Zionism cannot be parsed down so precisely as you describe it. Zionism is the political expression of the Jewish aspiration and right of self-determination to live in the land of Israel. Opposing the “occupation” is not necessarily anti-Zionist as long as a Jewish state of Israel is accepted so I suppose I don’t have a technical opposition to it.

          However I have never seen an acceptable reason why the 1967 borders are “holy” and inviolable. They never WERE borders. They were simply a cease-fire line from 1949 when the fighting stopped after 5 Arab countries invaded Israel and captured territory that was assigned to Israel in the San Remo resolution on the British Mandate. Maps can be seen here.

          This territory captured in 1949 by the Arabs was held by a total of 19 meager years and then captured back by Israel in 1967. If the Arab conquest is considered “kosher”, when then in the Israeli recapture considered illegal?

          • Philip says:

            I don’t accept your arguments on the applicable borders, but that’s by the by. And we can agree to disagree. Though I think most people agree in at least some kind of land for peace deal, even if the details differ somewhat.

            As I said, I think the difficulty is the use of the terms Zionism and anti-Zionism. Often people are talking past each other. Though I do recognise that there are some people who declare themselves anti-Zionist who are indeed antisemitic, I do wonder whether this is even a large minority. Though I think it’s a minority for sure. I do think we just need to be clear what we mean each and every time we use these terms. To give you an example, Avi Shlaim is one of the go-to people if you want to make a case that Israeli policy in the last 50 years or so has been consistently aggressive. Put aside whether he’s right or wrong. He is accused by many of being anti-Zionist in a pejorative way. However, this can’t be accurate. He believes that Israel should and must exist in the 1967 borders. Whatever he might be, by any defintion, he is not anti-Zionist, and on this evidence surely can’t be called antisemitic.

            Finally, I would throw one more spanner in your works: to oppose nationalism is not antisemitic. There are plenty of ‘national groups’ that do not have their own states (eg, Scots, Catalans, Kurds, aboriginal Australians, etc.) Most political scientists would say that there are certain criteria that a national group should meet before they have a right to self-determination. So long as these criteria are objective and transparent, surely it can’t be racist against any given group to argue that they don’t meet the criteria. That’s just a right and wrong argument. Moreover, some people argue that nationalism itself is fundamentally wrong, and that it has no basis. Rights are accorded to individuals, not national groups. On this basis, to oppose Zionism, or any other form of nationalism surely cannot be categorised as racist.

            • anneinpt says:

              I would disagree with you that most anti-Zionists are not anti-semitic, but we can agree to disagree on that as we can do re the borders. There’s no way to measure it in any case because no one has ever done a comprehensive survey.

              Quoting Avi Shlaim is really not going to win you any Zionist friends because he is regarded as a revisionist historian, and most if not all of his writings have been thoroughly debunked. He may not technically be an anti-Zionist, but his revisionist writings are aimed at delegitimizing Israel, and therefore the state itself, which indeed makes him an anti-Zionist.

              And no, opposing nationalism is not antisemitic. But allowing nationalism for the Palestinians, who are not technically a nation since they are not separately recognizable from the surrounding Arab nations in culture, language or history, while not allowing nationalism for the Jews is biased and therefore antisemitic.

              • Philip says:

                I wasn’t quoting Avi Shlaim’s writing as a whole, just holding him up as an argument. I find your categorisation of him as odd. Why don’t you accept the man’s own statements that he is a Zionist? Can he not speak for himself? He is on the record time and again saying that he supports Israel within the 1967 borders. He has specifically said that the state of Israel was created legally. How can these statements be interpreted as delegitimising the state? What does that word even mean, in that case?

                You say, ‘allowing nationalism for the Palestinians, who are not technically a nation since they are not separately recognizable [from] the surrounding Arab nations in culture, language or history, while not allowing nationalism for the Jews is biased and therefore antisemitic’. There are many works about Palestinian nationalism. Let’s not get into this. The second part of your statement is broadly true. However, as I said in my previous comment, it might well be that the case for Palestinian statehood is greater than that of Israelis. It might well be that the case of the Kossacks is greater than that of the Palestinians. It might well be that the case of the Israelis is greater than that of the French. These are not racist arguments. Bring out the criteria, and evaluated transparently against those criteria.

                (I accept that there are people who, when making these arguments,are in fact being antisemitic. However, I should stress, the arguments themselves are not so.)

                Finally, you also say regarding the correlation of anti-Zionism and antisemitism, ‘There’s no way to measure it in any case because no one has ever done a comprehensive survey’. If that’s the case, how can you go around making claims about it? You’re saying, we don’t really know enough about this topic, but I’m going to pronounce on it anyway! It seems a little premature, at the very least!

                • anneinpt says:

                  Philip, we’re getting into circular arguments here. We are never going to agree but I thank you for the civilized discussion anyway. Now I have a wedding to plan so the Middle East will have to solve its problems without my help for a while. :-)

  6. Pingback: Israeli FM: Ireland is the most hostile country in Europe | Anne's Opinions

  7. tosul says:

    Get real, we are anti-semitic. It is not the Irish people murdering and destroying the Palestinian people. Zionism is an evil racist ideology, yet they get too call us names. People need to see this for what it is, a smokescreen to distact us from what Israel do. Long live Palestine.

    • anneinpt says:

      Well, at least you’re honest. You are definitely antisemitic.

      As to the rest of your ridiculous comment, the Irish are certainly helping Palestinians get murdered and destroyed by supporting evil terrorists like Hamas and Hezbollah.

      Zionism is not evil or racist or even an ideology. Who are the “they” who get to call you names? Which names?

      What is a smokescreen, and for what actions? If Israel has been murderding so many Palestinians, how is it that their numbers have multiplied 10-fold since 1948?

      You’re just an evil sad little bigot. Your comment can stay up so people can see what true antisemitism looks like. In case they didn’t know.

  8. avi15 says:

    The trouble is, dear anneipt, – and this is what I find – that as soon as you deal with all the codswallop spouted by the Pro-Palestinian brigade, another jew-hating (no, sorry – Israeli-hating) bigot pops up. No matter how many times they lose the argument – and they will always lose the argument – because anti-semitism isn’t exactly rational, is it? – these twerps will keep coming. In fact, there seems to be an endless supply of ignorant little twerps screaming drivel about Israel who need to be dealt with. I wish we could invent some kind of machine to process all their rubbish automatically into the dustbin of history and then just save us all this bother. Grrr !

    • anneinpt says:

      Thank you for your comment avi15 and welcome to my blog.

      Yes, you are quite right about the persistence of the anti-semitic trolls. Take a look at my post from yesterday about the Guardian’s reporting and read the comments for a prime example of what you say.

      I too wish for some magic machine but I fear the twerps are here to stay. We just have to stay on our guard and keep on hammering the truth at them.

  9. nameisrichard says:

    Hey Anne, glad I stumbled across this blog. I’m pro-Israel myself, though not Jewish. I have some Irish ancestry so the phenomenon of Irish antisemitism I’ve become more aware of with increased reading and research, perplexes and disturbs me, especially in light of the Holocaust study I’ve done intermittently throughout my life. I live in Canada but I used to assume countries like Ireland, at least on the whole, held values similar to ours. Hostility to Israel unfortunately seems to be the rule there rather than the exception but at least there are those few eloquent exceptions like Myers and McCabe.
    Richard

    • anneinpt says:

      Hello nameisrichard (can I call you Richard? :-) ). Thank you for your kind comment and welcome to my blog.

      I can well understand how Ireland’s anti-Israel attitude perplexes you. It has that effect on most people and is rather depressing. However if you read through my other articles on Ireland you will see that anti-Zionism is not endemic throughout the Irish people themselves and there are some true heroes.

      I hope you come back to visit my blog again soon. Thank you for the “like” and the follow.

  10. As a non-Irish Jew I can confirm that anti-Semitism is alive and doing well in Ireland.

    I have experienced antisemitic and racist comments on at least three occasions in the last four years. On one such occasion I was introduced to a friend of my partners. He shook my hand and said “So you’re that Jew, I heard a lot about you. I hate Israel and everything it stands for.” I stood in stunned silence for a few awkward moments before I just turned away.

    Another time it was an old man starring at my Star of David necklace on Friday night before walking over to me confirming that it was the Star of David and that I was a Jew before stating that in that case he has no respect for me as I can’t be an observant Jew being out on a Friday night.

    The last incidence just happened a few weeks back after returning to Ireland in Dublin on a Friday night. Walking down a busy street there were two guys walking behind me stating how disgusted they wear to see somebody wear “an Israeli hat” as they called it.

    A truly despicable Irish man I met through my partner continuously tries to convince others, including my partner, that he is not anti-Semitic, but regularly insults Israel, Israelis, comparing Israel with the former German Nazi state and Israelis with Nazis, referring to the Palestinian territory as a concentration camp, calling the Palestinian conflict Israel’s Holocaust insulting the memory of millions of Holocaust victims.

    • anneinpt says:

      Oy vey! Those incidents are horrifying! We are so used to the sly “anti-Zionism” which claims that it’s not antisemitc and some of our best friends are Jews (like your last example) that it’s shocking to confront real out-and-out antisemitism – and in such an overt fashion.

      I hope you are taking care of yourself IDFsoldiergirl. And welcome to my blog!

  11. Colin Stephenson says:

    Anne – I was first made aware of your blog by an incidental link from Richard Millet’s blog which I came across when eager to learn how HaBimah’s version of the Merchant had gone at the Globe. Since then I have enjoyed perusing through various entries. Not entirely to my tastes but interesting enough & I certainly agree with much about the demonisation of Israel by BDS et al & indeed the above entry .

    HOWEVER the example of how many Irish might take none too well to a Jew becoming part of their family is perverse. How many families in Petah Tikva would welcome a practicing Irish Catholic? And were a Jew to move to Ireland you Anne would wish for them to remain practicing or expressing their Judaism in some way so don’t say it is not the same thing. Nor that should an Irish Catholic convert (to Judaism) they would be welcome. A Celt I may be though one that identifies with Ulster & not Eire & I was I thank the good Lord never a Papist but with a name like Stephenson I know what I am taking about. The Jew does not accept the alien or stranger with any great enthusiasm. I could tell you stories but I shall refrain if only so as they won’t be picked up by anti-semites scouring the blogosphere in the hope of picking up ammunition.

    And of the Merchant – I finally got to see it in Tel Aviv yesterday. A truly great production & I can tell – I travel to Stratford & London’s west End regularly. One of the more outstanding takes on a work of Shakespeare’s that I have seen. One that does the Jewish nation proud – “twice blessed” – in the giving & in the taking!

    • anneinpt says:

      Colin, I apologize if I or anyone else here offended you with generalizations. Certainly that was never my intention. In fact in my article above, although I talk about Irish anti-semitism and anti-Zionism, I also talk about those righteous Irishmen who are not cowed into silence and bravely speak out in support of Israel. As always, the picture is not black and white, but with many shades of grey.

      You’re right that an Irish Catholic or any other non-Jew would be regarded with suspicion if trying to be accepted into an average Israeli family, although that was not the subject of this article. I think you might be referring to IDFsoldiergirl’s comments above. However, those only reflect her own experiences which truly are revolting. She also tells of reactions to her by just strangers in the street, not from a family to which she is thinking of joining. I would like to think that if a non-Jew was spotted walking down any street in Israel they would not be accosted with such bigotry. As you yourself live here, don’t you agree with my assessment? I am very sad if you found yourself, or friends of yours, on the wrong end of bigotry in Israel. Surely you know that that is not the true face of Israel.

      And back to the play – it’s great that you got to see it, and to enjoy it so much. I’m quite jealous of you. It’s years since I’ve been to the theatre here.

  12. As a German-Canadian I have lived in quite a few countries, including Ireland for the last four years. Like many Irish, I temporary work abroad due to Ireland’s continuing poor economic conditions. I love Ireland and the Irish people; my partner is Irish. My intention was not to generalize or offend anybody with the above stated incidents. However, the fact is that European anti-Semitism is alive, active, and virulent and that includes Ireland; it would be naive to think otherwise. These were isolated incidents that happened to me, a Jew, in Ireland. I merely gave these personal examples to show that Ireland is not immune to anti-Semitism. I don’t believe that these particular Irish men represent the general Irish attitude towards Jews, otherwise I wouldn’t feel the way I feel about the Irish and Ireland.

  13. Colin Stephenson says:

    You Anne need apologise for nothing – you have only shown utmost courtesy & indeed generosity. I referred to my observances & experience sojourning with the Jewish people as I have now for over a quarter of a century. Not a climate of warmth towards non-Jews & attitudes that I have observed towards converts have in the main been harsh. Occasionally one hears heart rendering stories, most recently of a girl in first grade who came away shocked after a Rabbi spoke in class & displayed a hostile attitude towards non-Jews, but had the family not recently arrived from Britain I doubt she might have reacted as she did & I doubt others did. As per previous post I do not want to go into detail.

    The attitude of “We don’t want a Jew in the family” is clearly anti-semitic. But if a wish to preserve ethnicity among Jews is acceptable to us we should be aware that until recently Ireland was a very traditional Catholic country & seeking a same faith partner & desiring children to marry within the fold comes into play. This example though was not yours but came from a survey & overall I am very much in agreement with sentiments you express.

    And of theatre again – yes I am most lucky & should always remember it. Israel has excellent theatre & Shakespeare which is very much my thing has had some outstanding productions in recent years – the Cameri’s Hamlet toured internationally to great acclaim. In the Jerusalem area there a number of English speaking theatre groups that generally put on high standard entertainment – you should do a feature on them for your Good News Friday spot!

    • anneinpt says:

      Thanks for your reply Colin. I’m really saddened that your experience has not been positive. I guess I’m quite shocked.

      Thanks for the tip about the theatre. I might very well do a post on it. Good idea!

  14. pola says:

    Anti-Semitism is stronger and more insidious in Ireland than even what I’ve read here. I reunited with a friend from Dublin I hadn’t seen in 34 years. We once loved each other. Even after 30 years I had strong feelings for him, the way you have for someone who has been important in your youth and has remained a strong part of your history. The last time I saw him, three decades ago, when we spoke of Israel it was cordial if on his side not of burning interest as he is a lapsed Catholic. He knew I was Jewish and my parents Holocaust survivors. When I came to Dublin recently to visit him the subject of Israel came up and I have never seen or heard so much hatred as what came from his lips. He made all those odious comparisons, that Israel is an Apartheid nation, rogue nation, concentration camps, etc. I came to realize he equated the Israelis with the Brits and the Palestinians were the poor Irish as mentioned above. I do not understand this comparison of course. There was no way to have a sober or reasonable discussion but when his anti-Israel ranting turned to Holocaust denying – yes the Irish are Holocaust deniers – our relationship was over. I told him I never wanted to hear or see him again. He doesn’t understand how I think; I find his anti-Semitism odious. He of course thinks all Jews take any criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic. He doesn’t even know the difference between criticizing policies of a governent, which Americans do all the time, to abject hatred as he does of Israel.

    But also most worrying, my former friend and boyfriend had turned into a Holocaust denier. He kept saying, when I asked him, that he believed “some” Jewish died, just as some “Communists died, gypsys died,” during World War II but he actually denied the number of 6 million Jews dead, and this he told me, a person whose parents are Holocaust survivors. I terminated my relationship with him. But the scary part is, if someone who claims to love you cannot even have an open mind and so hates Israel even when they know how it distresses you, than there is no hope for the rest of the Irish.

    They need someone to hate, especially since they are basically a country under siege economically, so they may as well hate Jews and Israelis. By the way, they really cannot distinguish between Jews and Israelis and these posts above convey. It is heartbreaking to me since I have always admired Irish culture and am a lover of the writings of Samuel Beckett and James Joyce. Now the country and everything about it just brings me pain. Ireland is a profoundly anti-Semitic country. There is no hope for it. They don’t even see the irony of it in celebrating Blooms Day, which they do with great relish. Basically it is a story of a Jew in Dublin. There would be no “Ulysses” without Bloom, a Jew who felt like an outsider living in Dublin.

    • anneinpt says:

      Thank you for your comment Pola and welcome to my blog. What a distressing experience you had!

      However we must remember, as Colin reminds us above, and as mentioned in my post, that not all the Irish are antisemites and there are many good people amongst them, even if the general trend is getting worse.

      • Pola, you need to be careful here. I would not generalise from this guy. Just keep this in mind. The youth and workers in Ireland are going to go to socialism for an answer, and they are right in this because the crisis is a capitalist crisis, and this is as plain as a day dawning over Connemara. However keep in mind that there is NO left, truly socialist, truly Marxist, truly Leninist or Trotskyist party or lead of any kind in that respect.

        There IS time. There is always time even though the hour is late.

        If you say there is NO time then you accept defeat already.

        I repeat the Irish youth seek a socialist message because they know it is the capitalist crisis that destroys their lives.

        The Irish youth will NOT flock behind any party or even individual who is capitalist. THAT is the crisis of Israel Hasbara in Ireland and generally.

        I can see though that there is a Fascist Stalinist set of pro Muslim killers afoot in Ireland who are linked to Sinn Fein. A true socialist party will have to employ bodyguards to defend their public meetings. That is the way it is, that is reality.

  15. Seosamh O Stiofain says:

    What can you say; God bless you Anne. Well done

  16. Read the following especially in relation to the cowardice and moral depravity of Britain, including Churchill, towards the Jews

    http://4international.me/the-land-of-israel-and-palestine-under-international-law/

  17. Philip wrote:

    However, a lot of people when they talk of being anti-Zionist are in fact saying, we accept Israel with the 1967 borders, but no further. We oppose the occupation and the notion of a ‘Greater Israel’ encompassing the West Bank and Gaza. Perhaps you might call this anti-turbo-charged-Zionism. Anyhow, my point is, I think that to be anti-Zionist in this second sense, you probably wouldn’t have much problem with that. Am I right?

    I answer to this:

    The problem with Christians including the Catholics of Ireland, and certainly all forms of European Christianity is that they do not see Jews as being real body and blood human beings, who have been iced around by aforesaid for 2000 years plus, but also have the ability to be powerful, proud, vengeful and all the other human qualities.

    THAT is what disturbs the Irish Catholic.

    What also disturbs the catholics of Ireland greatly is that Israel has maybe 2000 plus nukes, and just one tiny tiny little one of those nukes would deal forever with Irish Antisemitism.

    Philip can weave his little word games all day long but tis issue will be decided by power. Not argumentation. Power.

    And your great saviour Obama unless he can get a miniature teleprompter installed in his brain by some German surgeon in time for his next Romney debate cannot help any more.

  18. If any of you here are Jews and are serious about this issue of Irish Antisemitism then you need to start on the Jews in Ireland who are non Jews, and who are Jewish Antisemites, because if you ever speak anywhere RTE will wheel in one of those low/life and if you have not done the work in exposing them you are stranded.

  19. McCabe’s analysis is as superficial as it can get but without time or space here to deal with it fully here I will quote this paragraph which is especially disgraceful:

    “In the old days, it came from (as it did across Europe) an extreme Catholicism. Latterly, anti-Semitism has found its provenance from Ireland’s consistently pro-Palestinian position. Ireland was of course for 800 years oppressed by the evil hand of British rule (that brought us roads, education, some form of civilisation), and the fight to ‘free’ her could take as many lives as possible.”
    (end of paragraph)

    That brought “US” all those good things according to McCabe and who exactly is “US”?

    Here at one swipe McCabe distorts the reality of British Imperialism and Ireland, its very original colony, and it was Britain which brought us all of our sorrows.

    And he also removes the real possible unity between Jews and Irish.

  20. The kindliness of the Irish is not in question. But it is precisely that quality that was tapped with fiendish insight by the “Palestinian Narrative”. But there is another aspect to this which is touched on at the end of the following article, and which points to the way forward, but a way forward that can only be traversed by very devoted people, not just talkers but doers also.

    http://trotskyism.wordpress.com/the-jews-in-palestine-were-robbed-by-the-british-definitive-articles-by-belman-and-grief/

    • anneinpt says:

      Felix, thank you for the above link with those 2 very interesting and informative articles. I have read several items by both Belman and Grief, and in fact I have a video made by Grief in my sidebar under “Resources”. I have bookmarked your links for future reference and I’m sure they will prove to be extremely useful to me.

      My only caveat is your claim that Trotskyism is what will help the Jews in the end. (Unless I misunderstand you, and you are simply quoting Trotskyites from the past.) True, Trotsky himself may have been supportive of the nation-state of Israel, but Trotskyism today has a bad name, having “embraced the Palestinian narrative” as the noted scholar Robert S Wistrich writes.

      I do not wish to enter into an argument about Trotskyism and its rights or wrongs vis a vis capitalism, Israel, Zionism, the Jews etc. since I know very little about it. All I do know is that Trotskyites today tend to be anti-Israel, as I pointed out above.

      So I just wanted to remark on your odd belief in Trotskyism when you are obviously such an ardent supporter of Israel.

      Thank you again for your very informative comments.

  21. Anne
    It goes without saying I have nothing in common with any of these but thanks all the same.

    I wrote to Cohen in the past and I got back a terse little note if I remember rightly, and I thought he can’t be THAT busy. I have noted Kessler a few months ago in an article I wrote pointing to the contradiction to what he was saying about Israel and the WSWS who was hosting him which is bitterly anti-Israel. Kessler also has bought into the Palestinian Arab Narrative lies.

    The key point is that which the brilliant Isaac Herzog made in that visit to The Vatican in 1942 I think. The Irish are kindly in the extreme, and on a personal level my grandmother was such an example of Irish hospitality, pure and total kindness, with an understanding of the harshness of Irish life, which that generation lived through.

    And…Herzog really did nail it. It was not about kindliness. It was about that 2000 years of Catholic teaching, sometimes subtle teaching and sometimes not, that the Jews killed Jesus.

    The way forward for us in Ireland is at that deep fundamental level.

    Lenin and Trotsky with all of their contemporaries knew nothing about this, and especially also they knew nothing about Islam and its pernicious role in history

    Russia as you know was a very backward country 1900 to 1920. The Russian working class was very modern in key respects but still emerging in a backward country. (You are probably aware that Lenin continually despaired of Russian workers but held up the Jews as being absolutely brillian people…yet he is accused of Antisemitism)

    With Lenin dead, Trotsky did begin to make up for some lost ground in the late 20s and 30s. How he was changing is best seen in his interview with a Russian Palestine Zionist lady in I think 1938…it is a very emotional situation, in that Mexico interview…at least I found it emotional…all this has been hidden deliberately.

    Soon Irish Jews in Ireland will be no more. On the circumcision issue I just do not understand how a Jew would actually live in Germany. I am not a Jew but I myself would NOT live in Germany, under any condition.

    Trotsky was the greatest Jew by far who ever lived and at the end of his life he realised that he was indeed a Jew. Not in the prayer people of this world, but in the revolutionary working class, urged on by the crisis of capitalism, knowing and accepting that that is the future and the future also for the Jewish people. I stand on the position that Jews must live alone, unmolested by Antisemitism, because Jews are responsible for not the tiniest little atom of Antisemitism, ever. A non Jew can live in Israel for sure, but only as a GUEST.

  22. There is another article which is very pertinent to what we are discussing, and ties in with a new generation of Irish youth, or generally Irish people, coming to terms with this. It deals with this idea of who was Jesus, and the possibility that the Jewish elite at the time were the agents of the Romans and against the Jewish national movement, a bit like say Fine Gael, and they collaborated with the Romans, but it was the Romans who cruciified Jesus, along with thousands of other Jews. And the national Jewish people also perhaps did steal from this (Jewish) elite and so were also called “robbers” hence the story of two robbers crucified with Jesus. I am not saying this article by Belman is the be all and end all nor would he have meant it to be, but at least it is a start.

    http://www.israpundit.com/2008/?page_id=21763

  23. Andrea says:

    If I can come in there, I found all the above very interesting. Trotsky is one of the most fascinating comunist and influenced not only today Trotskyst. It is not a secret that some neo conservatives were Trotskyst during their youth and I can say that many of my Young Comunist friends in the 70’s are now supporting Israel in blogs quite closer to THIS Israeli PM blaming historical Labours, like Meir and Dayan for everyhing. Life is full of surprise…I started by reading Marx and Bauer on jewish identity and now I am focused on Zabotinsky legacy. There are really Jews everywhere in any single corner of the world with strong tendency to the extreme political wings.

    Coming to another Jew i think it is really time for me to finally deal with Jesus of Nazareth- the historical one I mean. There was a time in my teens I liked to say it was not sure he really came to birth or he was most probably the son of a Roman – Ben Pantera. Well I admit I was not that smart and since then I was reluctant to come back to this issue. Who killed Jesus ? We have not any serious evidence of his life or death so accusing someone is not easy. For sure we know who mastered Palestine in those years and therefore were responsable for executions – nobody could be executed if not by Romans. The Jews ? They were so deeply divided in those years that it is almost impossible to see them as a whole structured nation responsable for its own politics.
    At least this is my opinion now…

    • anneinpt says:

      Andrea, thanks for your very interesting insight. I know next to nothing about Trotskyism, Leninism or most other -isms so I’m always happy to be educated. I had always thought that Trotsky was an antisemite, without having ever read about him. You and Felix Quigley have certainly enlightened me!

      As for the Jesus question – I’m going to leave that one completely alone, even though the repercussions of his life and death still influence politics today.

  24. Anne and Andrea

    Andrea the NeoCons were out and out US imperialists, not Jews either like Richard Perle, and the claim made they were Trotskyists is really a severe attack on Trotsky, like would come out of the mouth of real haters of socialism, such as Stalinists, who still exist.

    Basically as you know people can claim to be anything.

    It is interesting you raise Jabotinsky…Both Jabotinsky and Trotsky were telling Jews to leave Europe and make for Palestine as the Nazi wolves gathered.

    But although they came from the same town in Russia there the similarity ends. Trotsky understood Fascism like no other and he saw it as emerging from a capitalist system in crisis. That way of thinking was foreign to Jabotinsky

    (James the Brother of Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls I [Paperback]
    Robert Eisenman (Author))

    Based on this discussion I am going to order this book, it is available on Amazon at a good price, about 11 sterling.

    Eisenman seems to be the key and he is lauded by Ted Belman in the article above which I refer to.

    Ted makes the key point that what dominated among the Jews was their nationalism.

    I have always, since i began thinking on this and questioning the leftist “Palestinian” narrative, because anybody left in Ireland will have to start there (that is as thinking the Palestinians got a raw deal), thought exactly this, that Judaism was the form, but the content of Judaism was the Jews as a nation.

    Ted makes a very valuable point: all we know about Jesus for sure is that he had many siblings and he was crucified.

    So…the focus has to shift to James his brother, and it was the execution of James that led to the revolt which ended in the destruction of the Temple.

    Of course Jews have a big role to play in contemporary politics. But the massive role will be played by the working class, with emphasis as always on the “energetic ones”, the youth, and I cannot emphasise enough to you people the importance of this kind of learning.

    How important? Well I can answer this by pointing out to you that I doubt that there is one young person in Ireland who has ever had the chance to learn these things in school, college or university.

    So to follow up that thought, why blame the poor Irish people, how could they know this stuff, they have never had the chance…

  25. Andrea says:

    hi Felix,

    Thank you for answering.

    Jabotinsky did not understand very well nature of Fascism – right – but this was a very common mistakes among people of his time. He was Russian but he always claimed – with a lot of exaggeration – that Italian culture influenced his Zyionism more than any other culture ( including the same Jewish culture itself whom was not very familiar with at the beginning of his life ).
    He passed some very important years in Italy over his youth and really he was enthusiast of Italian romantic patriotism to the point he was blind in front of Mussolini. ( I am a bit simplifying here – some readers will remark )
    In his mind probably Italian cause ( a nation who loose her freedom easily obverhelmed by strongest enemy but with heritage from ancient history ) looked like the Jewish cause. He had illusion that Fascism could help Zyionist struggle in Middle east . Maybe racial laws disillusioned him at last stage of his life…..

    I will read more carefully what you have written about James . Xstianism, Gnosticism and Essens would deserve tons of pages and commentaries but I am not at that level and maybe better chance to deal with this in the future (ideally the day when Jews will allowed to express their view on others’ religion without any consequence )

  26. Pingback: L’antisémitisme et l’anti-sionisme dans l’Irlande moderne | Magen.fr

  27. I am perplexed by this blog. I am Irish and have never been accused of being anti-Semitic in my life. I wonder why you are spreading this illusion that Irish people are anti-Semitic. We have had many prominent Jewish public representatives including mayors and a current minister for justice Alan Shatter. I and my friends and family have never had a single negative discussion about Israel. Ireland is a country that has freed itself from religious interference in our affairs, we are a progressive society that has welcomed people from all over the world to come and work and live here and practice their faith in anyway they choose. I work with people from Poland, Israel, Spain and America we all get on there’s no problem. We are also a young country only in existence since 1922 before that we were an enforced colony of Great Britain, we have mended fences and now have a good relationship with our neighbour. Why on earth would you want to point a finger at a country that has known misery and suffering as the Israeli people have. You are wrong to think of Ireland as anti-Semitic, if you choose to believe that so be it theres not much else I can do. I just wonder why you have so much hatred for us.

    • anneinpt says:

      This blog is not anti-Irish and nor am I personally. I have never been to Ireland but I know from the Irish commenters on this blog that certainly not all Irishmen are antisemitic. That should be obvious and goes without saying.

      This post was merely pointing out the levels anti-Israel feeling and action in Ireland today, and showing how much stronger this sentiment is in Ireland than in most other European countries. This opinion is backed up with both anecdotes and news items as you can see in my post.

      I am glad that you personally are not anti-Semitic and that you enjoy good relationships with people of all nationalities. I am sure if you visited Israel you would have a very enjoyable time since this country’s citizens are from hundreds of nationalities. I’m also sure there are thousands of other Irish people like you, and we in Israel certainly appreciate this.

      All this does not detract sadly from the official position of the Irish government or Irish NGOs.

      • Thank you for your reply Anne.
        I was until today unaware that there was an impression among the citizens of Israel that we Irish were some how against them. I can only say I have never experienced this, however that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist on some level.
        I have worked in various parts of the world and have come up against untrue Irish stereo-types on many occasions. I know how concepts in-bed themselves in the minds of people and are very hard to shift. I hope this impression of Irish people has not gone this far in the minds of the Israeli people. We are not a people who have a wide spread dislike for any nation in particular. We understand the benefits of dialogue and as your blog enables this I wish you well. My feeling is that we are closer to a friend to Israel than anything else, that’s my humble opinion anyway.
        Kind regards,
        Bart Gillane

        • anneinpt says:

          Thank you for your kind comment Bart. You give me great hope that relations between our two countries can improve and grow with the goodwill of good people on both sides.

          I hope you visit my blog again. I’m sure we can both learn from each other.

  28. Rob Harris says:

    “I am Irish and have never been accused of being anti-Semitic in my life. I wonder why you are spreading this illusion that Irish people are anti-Semitic. We have had many prominent Jewish public representatives including mayors and a current minister for justice Alan Shatter.”

    That assertion is somewhat incorrect. Alan Shatter is the only Jewish TD (MP) in the Irish State. As far as I know, there are no Jewish officials in the Seannad (upper house). I do not know of many Jewish mayors either. There were a small number of famous ones in the past however.

    I for one think the issue of the Irish being anti-Semitic is more complex than a simple either/or matter but perceptions of Jews have worsened due to intensive pro-Palestinian campaigning.

  29. Irish admirer says:

    What a great Blog! My boyfriend is a great Irishman. Not very much exposed to Jews as a youth or really even as an adult. I think he was a bit unfamiliar with Jews when we met, but he’s no hater, has an open mind and realizes Ireland, in some important ways is a one way, Pro-PLO propaganda nation. There is no doubt at all, and this goes for non-Irish Jew haters as well, that this mask of concern for the Arabs, who outnumber and have outKILLED the Jews exponentially in number, is a facade for their Jew Hatred. Why are these same alleged ‘do-gooders’ not out there screaming their lungs out for the people in Darfur or better yet for the 50 percent of the Israeli Jewish population who are of arab descent and were massacred out of their ARAB homes to the tune of 850,000. THEIR homes before Mohammed was even an embryo. There are no Jews left in the so called peace loving arab Muslim world. Just look at the very FIRST event of the arab so-called spring: marching on one of the only synagogues left in Tunisia, the home of maybe 500 elderly Jews!

    • anneinpt says:

      Welcome to my blog Irish Admirer and thank you for your comment.

      You are 100% correct in pointing out the double standards of all those who call themselves “anti-Zionists” who are not out there loudly protesting the violence in the Arab world and the antisemitism found there.

      Also, it’s great that your boyfriend has an open mind and is prepared to see the truth as it is.

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