Saturday 19 November 2011


Protest scenes on Dublin's Grafton Street, (photos below) last weekend as the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign staged a mock Israeli checkpoint to highlight what the humiliation faced by Palestinians every day has, by error, blown into a full scale diplomatic incident. The protest was incorrectly reported by an Israeli website as having been sponsored by Dublin City Council. 

Below you find the report of the incident in Ynet which is followed by a response from the Dublin City Council.
The Israel Foreign Ministry accuses Irish government of inciting against Israel. Dublin City Council sponsors display presenting IDF soldiers as ‘Nazi troops’ abusing Palestinians
By Itamar Eichner
November 16, 2011

Hatred of Israel reaches new levels in Ireland: An outrageous anti-Israel display was held over the weekend on Dublin’s main pedestrian street, presenting IDF soldiers as Nazi troops.

As part of the display, sponsored by the Dublin City Council, a group of pro-Palestinian activists set up a model of the separation fence and an IDF roadblock.

The activists dressed up as soldiers and beat, humiliated and pointed their weapons at other activists dressed as Palestinians, in front of thousands of Irish citizens and tourists.

 Photographs: Fatin Al Tamimi/Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign

The display joins accusations voiced against Israel at the Irish parliament last week, on the backdrop of claims that Israel “kidnapped”, abused and undressed Irish nationals who took part in a Gaza-bound flotilla stopped by the Israeli army recently.

Israel has strongly denied the accusations.

But that’s not all. A Facebook group launched about two months ago called for heavy rocks to be thrown at the Israeli Embassy building in Dublin. Anti-Israel elements recently vandalized a Dublin auditorium slated to host a concert by Israeli singer Izhar Ashdot.

The Facebook accounts of Israeli Embassy officials have been attacked by Irish hackers and, in addition, anti-Israeli elements are attempting to disrupt an Israeli film festival organized by the embassy in Dublin next week.

“The Irish government is feeding its people with anti-Israel hatred,” an Israeli official argued. “What we are seeing here is clear anti-Semitism.”

Foreign Ministry sources said Ireland had undoubtedly become the most hostile country to Israel in the European Union, “pushing all of Europe’s countries to a radical and uncompromising approach.”

According to the sources, when Israeli Ambassador Boaz Modai arrived in Dublin, one of Ireland’s leading newspapers greeted him with an article titled, “Welcome to hell.”

The officials voiced their concern that the pressures would lead to the cancelation of the Israeli film festival.

Photograph: Fatin Al Tamimi/Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign


November 16, 2011

THE GOVERNMENT has strongly rejected reports, attributed to Israeli foreign ministry sources, describing Ireland as “the most hostile country to Israel in the European Union”.

Israel’s top-selling newspaper, Yediot Aharonot , quoted an unnamed official as claiming that the Irish administration was “feeding its people with anti-Israel hatred”. A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs yesterday rejected the reported comments as without foundation.

“The Government is critical of Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territories. It is not hostile to Israel and it is clearly wrong to suggest as much,” he said. “The notion that this Government is or would be trying to stoke up anti-Israeli feeling is untrue. We are not hostile to Israel. We are critical of policies, particularly in the occupied Palestinian territories. These are not the same things.”

Meanwhile, the Israeli news website reported that an “anti-Israel” demonstration had taken place in Dublin last weekend, claiming protesters wore Nazi uniforms - an assertion contradicted by all available evidence.

Dublin City Council was described in the same report as having “sponsored” the demonstration. This was rejected as untrue by the council yesterday. “Dublin City Council did not sponsor the event referred to in the article and has no knowledge of it,” a spokesman for the council said.
The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign held a demonstration on Grafton Street on Saturday, during which participants dressed as Israeli soldiers and pointed fake weapons at other participants representing Palestinians.

Kevin Squires, national co-ordinator of the campaign, denied participants had dressed as Nazis. “They wore olive-green combats and the accoutrements of the Israeli military. Our only intention was to portray the Israeli military . . . and to bring home the daily humiliation Palestinians suffer simply trying to get around their country.”

Mr. Squires said another point of the demonstration was to criticize building materials group Cement Roadstone Holdings, which has investment in Israel.

“CRH . . . holds a 25 per cent shareholding in a holding company called Mashav which, in turn, owns Nesher Cement. We do not control Nesher nor do we have any control over Nesher’s operations,” a spokesman for CRH said.

Israel’s ambassador to Ireland, Boaz Modai, distanced himself from claims of Irish anti-Semitism. “I don’t think Ireland is anti-Semitic, although there may be isolated anti-Semitic incidents. In my opinion, the silent majority here is either pro-Israel or indifferent,” Mar Modai told The Irish Times.

A source in Jerusalem complained of silence from officials in Dublin in the face of a “well- organized and well-funded anti-Israel smear campaign”, arguing that the line between legitimate criticism and incitement and hatred had been crossed frequently.

As an example, the official said there should have been a clear -cut denial from Government officials to claims made in the Dáil that Irish citizens in the flotilla had been mistreated and deliberately humiliated by Israeli authorities.

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