The Roots of Ireland’s Anti-Semitism Problem

In May, the lower house of the Irish parliament voted unanimously to advance a motion to endorse boycotting, divesting from, and sanctioning Israel (BDS)—following what Lawrence Franklin describes as “an avalanche of vituperative anti-Israel and anti-Semitic diatribes” by various parliamentarians. A simultaneous bill to expel Israel diplomats failed to pass, but did garner the support of one third of the house’s members. As Franklin explains, these votes reflect powerful anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiments in Ireland’s public life:

Sinn Fein, a democratic socialist party that won the most [first-preference] votes in Ireland’s 2020 parliamentary elections, has been spearheading the increasingly anti-Israel orientation of Ireland’s foreign policy. Unfortunately, there has been virtually no push-back from Ireland’s general public or civil-society institutions. This lack of support for Israel is distressing, as much of the pro-Palestinian rhetoric and criticism of Israel are not only unjust but have morphed into blatant anti-Semitism. . . . One legislator, Catherine Connolly, raised the anti-Semitic theme of “Jewish supremacy.”

[But] there is little evidence that the bulk of Irish citizenry supports this prejudicial assault on Israel, much less the poisonous anti-Jewish rhetoric. . . . In Ireland, Jew-hatred does not well up from the general public but seems clearly driven from the top down. These Goebbels-like attacks on Israel include salvos from several Sinn Fein members of parliament. One of them, Martin Browne, represents Tipperary and claims, falsely, that Israel created Islamic State. Another, Matt Carthy, representing Cavan-Monahan, has stated that Israel is the worst human-rights offender on earth—presumably dwarfing China, North Korea, Venezuela, and Iran.

The behind-the-scenes launch pad for much of this anti-Semitic rhetoric might be the outsized influence enjoyed by Ireland’s Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Islamic Cultural Center. . . . Another impetus for the appearance of Jew-hate in the Irish parliament is the full-time activism of pro-Palestinian propagandists on Ireland’s college campuses. This campus activism is spearheaded by Palestinian students who have been granted scholarships to study in Ireland. . . . There also exists an apparent tacit alliance of convenience between pro-Palestinian politicians, academics, and Sinn Fein leftists, on the one hand, and right-wing, racist, Holocaust deniers [on the other].

Perhaps also contributing to the problem is the long history of cooperation of the Irish Republican Army—of which the Sinn Fein is a branch—with Hizballah, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and other Middle Eastern terrorist groups.

Read more at Gatestone

More about: Anti-Semitism, BDS, Ireland, Muslim Brotherhood


The Right and Wrong Ways for the U.S. to Support the Palestinians

Sept. 29 2023

On Wednesday, Elliott Abrams testified before Congress about the Taylor Force Act, passed in 2018 to withhold U.S. funds from the Palestinian Authority (PA) so long as it continues to reward terrorists and their families with cash. Abrams cites several factors explaining the sharp increase in Palestinian terrorism this year, among them Iran’s attempt to wage proxy war on Israel; another is the “Palestinian Authority’s continuing refusal to fight terrorism.” (Video is available at the link below.)

As long as the “pay for slay” system continues, the message to Palestinians is that terrorists should be honored and rewarded. And indeed year after year, the PA honors individuals who have committed acts of terror by naming plazas or schools after them or announcing what heroes they are or were.

There are clear alternatives to “pay to slay.” It would be reasonable for the PA to say that, whatever the crime committed, the criminal’s family and children should not suffer for it. The PA could have implemented a welfare-based system, a system of family allowances based on the number of children—as one example. It has steadfastly refused to do so, precisely because such a system would no longer honor and reward terrorists based on the seriousness of their crimes.

These efforts, like the act itself, are not at all meant to diminish assistance to the Palestinian people. Rather, they are efforts to direct aid to the Palestinian people rather than to convicted terrorists. . . . [T]he Taylor Force Act does not stop U.S. assistance to Palestinians, but keeps it out of hands in the PA that are channels for paying rewards for terror.

[S]hould the United States continue to aid the Palestinian security forces? My answer is yes, and I note that it is also the answer of Israel and Jordan. As I’ve noted, PA efforts against Hamas or other groups may be self-interested—fights among rivals, not principled fights against terrorism. Yet they can have the same effect of lessening the Iranian-backed terrorism committed by Palestinian groups that Iran supports.

Read more at Council on Foreign Relations

More about: Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, U.S. Foreign policy