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

Only Hamas’s Defeat Can Pave the Path to Peace

Opponents of the IDF’s campaign in Gaza often appeal to two related arguments: that Hamas is rooted in a set of ideas and thus cannot be defeated militarily, and that the destruction in Gaza only further radicalizes Palestinians, thus increasing the threat to Israel. Rejecting both lines of thinking, Ghaith al-Omar writes:

What makes Hamas and similar militant organizations effective is not their ideologies but their ability to act on them. For Hamas, the sustained capacity to use violence was key to helping it build political power. Back in the 1990s, Hamas’s popularity was at its lowest point, as most Palestinians believed that liberation could be achieved by peaceful and diplomatic means. Its use of violence derailed that concept, but it established Hamas as a political alternative.

Ever since, the use of force and violence has been an integral part of Hamas’s strategy. . . . Indeed, one lesson from October 7 is that while Hamas maintains its military and violent capabilities, it will remain capable of shaping the political reality. To be defeated, Hamas must be denied that. This can only be done through the use of force.

Any illusions that Palestinian and Israeli societies can now trust one another or even develop a level of coexistence anytime soon should be laid to rest. If it can ever be reached, such an outcome is at best a generational endeavor. . . . Hamas triggered war and still insists that it would do it all again given the chance, so it will be hard-pressed to garner a following from Palestinians in Gaza who suffered so horribly for its decision.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict