Meet an amazing young woman being treated like dirt for choosing to be on the right side of history.

Cliona CampbellA 19-year-old Cork student who volunteered for the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) says she has become the victim of a hate campaign.

Cliona Campbell, who has just returned from two months working with the IDF, says she has received public abuse, emails and messages telling her to “keep her head down” after writing a piece for the local paper on her experiences.

“I came back after two months and wrote a piece on my experiences. Now I am getting hate mail and being targeted. I went into a clothes shop where I live and the security guard came up to me abusing me. My Facebook page link was posted online in a forum and I started getting emails telling me to keep my head down from now on. My friends started getting abusive emails soon after that too.”

Campbell says she is upset at the personal insults that have also been sent to her.

“There were guys online as well saying that I was ‘rough’ in terms of my looks and bringing it all to a new, personal level as well. If I was a man coming back from being in the IDF, there would be none of that. That is the upsetting part.”

She says most of the reaction has been because she spoke highly of her time with the army and maintains her own strong beliefs about their work.

“I got on really well with the soldiers. They were all there for their own reasons and had their own stories as to why they were there.

“I have a huge interest in the Jewish people and always have had so I had no hesitation about going out there.”

Campbell joined the IDF after applying through Sar-El, a volunteering project that agreed to send her over to work for eight weeks.

“I took a crash course in Hebrew first and spent ages preparing. It was a massive culture shock, but very worthwhile. A lot of the days would be spent re-mantling guns and working with the soldiers out in the 42-degree heat”.

She also joined a protest against the flotilla to Gaza in May during which the IDF murdered nine passengers on board one of the boats.

“I was a bit sad to be coming home, and now I’ve come back to all this discussion,” Campbell says. “Some of the people writing to me and about me say they now see me as a terrorist and that they don’t even see me as Irish anymore. I stand up for what I believe and I get hate mail and abuse, and I wouldn’t mind if half of those people could back up what they are saying with a logical argument,” she says.

Interestingly enough, the journalist Jennifer Bray who wrote this piece is very likely the kind of person who would heap abuse at Cliona, given her definitive statement that the IDF murdered the Mavi Mamara passengers.

Meanwhile, you can read more about Cliona’s IDF experiences here.

After having read about Cliona’s predicament, I am determined to let her know how much we appreciate what she did. Please leave your message for her in the comments, and I will make sure to pass them on to her.

Update: The Sunday Tribune has allowed this highly offensive comment to be published:

Campbell’s beliefs fail to reveal themselves in print

From Seán MacCann

Israeli Defence Forces volunteer Ms Campbell stated in your paper that she “stands up for what she believes”.

What exactly does she believe in, then?

I read the article twice, but could find nothing about her beliefs.

Perhaps she’s a committed Zionist who believes God gave Palestine to the Jews a couple of thousand years ago? Or could it be that she’s just another brainwashed, ill-educated grunt, too silly to see past a western cartoon version of history.

If the government had any spine, they’d revoke her passport; assuming of course that her new friends haven’t already stolen it.

Seán Mac Cann,

Co Tyrone

I think I am going to lodge a complaint. Who wants to join me?

Update: Cliona has had her own complaint published.

cliona reply

58 thoughts on “A Wonderful Person”

  1. I wonder how the tribune comes to publish her story at all, since she supports the murderous IDF and its flotilla action. Just to get comments vilifying this wonderful young woman and proclaim they're right in calling Israel names? Or as a fig leaf for their otherwise ugly "reporting" on Israel?

  2. Kol hakavod (all credit and kudos) to Cliona. The very fact that she volunteered for Sar-El shows what a brave and principled human being she is. And then the fact that she has continued to defend not only her own actions, but Israel in general, proves that she truly does have the courage of her convictions.

    May we merit to see thousands of more volunteers like Cliona!

    Keep your chin up Cliona, you are not alone, there are many many people out there who support you. Ignore the haters.

  3. Go bhfana í ngrá linn,
    Iad siúd atá í ngrá linn.
    Iad siúd nach bhfuil,
    Go gcasa Dia a gcroíthe.
    Agus muna gcasann Sé a gcroíthe
    Go gcasa Sé caol na coise acu
    Go n-aithneoimid iad as a mbacadaíl.

    1. Not sure what that means, but using Google translate from Irish, I got:

      We love her to stay,
      Those we love her.
      Those who are not,
      Gcasa their hearts to God.
      And if their hearts meets Six
      That gcasa the legs have six narrow
      That know them from a mbacadaíl

      Help us out, Shy Guy!

      1. May those who love us,
        Love us.
        And those who do not love us,
        May God turn their hearts.
        And if He doesn't turn their hearts,
        May He turn their ankles,
        So we'll know them by their limping.

          1. Damn, my Gaelic is getting rusty. I thought that was, "waitress, another round of Guinness!"

            But seriously, interesting saying. I'd love to hear it pronounced. Irish Gaelic and Welsh and very interesting languages from what little I know about them.

  4. Don’t let the antisemites (that is what they are) get you down. Who needs all those bigots as friends anyway? We, as a people, will do just fine by sticking together.

    Kol Hakavod

    1. I just read that Cliona isn’t Jewish.

      Now to me, that just makes her even more amazing.

      Without prejudice, I believe that Jewish people have a duty to help protect the future of our people. It’s great when they do it, but it is to a large degree self-preservation. It is normal and expected, not extraordinary.

      In contrast, when someone who isn’t Jewish places themselves on the line and joins us in helping us lift the overwhelming weight of the world that is on our shoulders… when someone like that sticks to their convictions despite enormous pressure… it just blows my mind every time. I really can’t really explain how huge that is. We are so blessed for such people to exist in the world. They truly are the righteous people amongst the nations.

      1. not only that , she comes from a country where the majority of people have a knee jerk hatred of israel.

        i know – i come from Cork city, like her.

        she is truely brave to do this.

  5. This was a remarkable act from a remarkable young Irish lass. I suppose there are haters the world over, even my ancestral home of dear old Ireland. I think an old Irish proverb can be put to good use in Cliona's current situation. Just remember these words, Cliona, and use them when you are confronted with hate and ignorance: "Button your lip you ratbag or I'll hit you over the head with my shalalie." I hope this helps.

  6. Great job by her! We need more people in the world like that and I only wish I was in Israel longer than the 10 weeks that I was (just got back stateside today…)

  7. Her and the Israeli Arab girl who joined the IDF are my Heroines of the Year. Good on them and kol hakavod to Miss Campbell for her bravery and her principles.

    (Also, I love that even Israelis call her "gingit." Hilarious!)

  8. Mike the Libraryguy

    As a non-Jewish guy I think it was wonderful that she volunteered and am ashamed at the way people treated her. What is wrong with this world? I know who the good guys are and they wear the Star of David.

  9. Thank you Cliona for supporting Israel's right to defend herself!! Whenever I hear someone standing up for truth in this crazy world where lies are freely distributed and believed, it makes me hopeful that the world is still somewhat a sane place. Thank you!

  10. What a hero(ine).

    It's difficult to ignore the hatred, it's pathetic that people feel the need to threaten a nice girl because she has done something so incredibly brave.

    Instead of letting light entertainment dressed up as news colour your opinion like those around you have; you took a great leap and actually went to find out the truth by yourself.

    That's a wonderful thing to do, and it isn't easy in this (allegedly) modern world to do truly wonderful things.

  11. Can someone explain the Irish response to Israel? I don't get it. Did we do something to them? Cliona is a bright light in a very dim world and I thank her for her honesty and bravery. As one commenter said here, in a different time and place, Cliona would have been one of the righteous gentiles who saved Jews. On the other hand, from what she writes, MacCann would have done the opposite.

    1. the irish see the arabs as being like them…and the israelis as being the english

      the irish are a confused lot…most likely due to years of alcohol abuse

      1. Button your lip you ratbag or I'll hit you over the head with my shilalie. Ha Ha, just kidding Walt. Thought I'd take my own advice for a minute there. Now to get serious. Why do the Irish do what they do? Hmmm, that's a good question. It might have something to do with low self esteem. If you had bright red hair and skin the same shade as the Pillsbury Doughboy, you might have a problem with self confidence too. As a result you might lash out at others. (My apologies to you Walt if you actually do have bright red hair and fair skin. No offense intended.)

          1. "ahmed",

            Not being the sharpest tool in the shed, you entered the email address [email protected] when you commented, which drew my attention to the fact you also left this comment as "Gazza"

            If I was to refer to Israelis has tight with money I would be, quite rightly, called an anti Semite.

            So it is pretty darn obvious you really ARE an antisemite. And a dumbass (they usually go hand in hand anyway)

            You also left a comment as "Free Palestine" below. I love how trolls like you feel the need to leave comments under different aliases, to make it look like there is more support for your positions than there really is.

            1. Do you think its wise to reveal that e mail address whether it belongs to me or not? Surely if this was a credible website such disclosures of information which may have negative consequences for this site?

              You have only further highlighted the insular nature of Israelis by ignoring clear xenephobic undertones from Jim from Iowa, as well as other such posters in this site, and have jumped on the quotes, insults aside, which do not agree with your abortioned blinkered beliefs. Now that is "dumbass". Claiming Israel is apart of Europe is "dumbass". Claiming that Palestine did not exist pre Balfour Declaration is dumbass. Claiming someone can be an anti semite when they do not attack a race but a country is "dumbass".
              Calling anything which you do not agree with as anti semite is just plain pathetic.

              1. I don't have a problem revealing the email address ([email protected]) and IP address (182.52.42.137) of a commenter leaving multiple offensive comments under different aliases.

                I called you antisemitic for this comment you left under the alias ahmed:

                better than a jewfro and a conker of a nose!

                I still stick by my assertion that you are an antisemite..and a dumbass.

              2. You really are a dumbass, you dumbass. Not only do you not know what xenophobic means, you can't even spell it correctly.

                  1. No, I love Lucy Lawless in "Xena the Warrior Princess." It's just that Xena does for you straights what Ron Ely from TV's "Tarzan" series does for us gays. Tight-fitting clothing in bitchin' bodies makes up for some very dopey storylines.

      2. We dont see the Arabs like ourselves. We see a nation of Jews destroying their neighbours, who refuse to lie down in the pursuit to reclaim their land. We are not blinkered in this country by lobby groups, so we make a point of highlighting it to who ever listens.

        Its sadly ironic that what Hitler did to the jews, the jews are now doing to the Palestinians. History repeats itself….

    2. there is a relatively simple explanation – ireland was until very recently utterly dominated by the catholic church, to such an extent that it was virtually a theocracy.

      even to this day, an astounding 90% of schools are run and owned by the catholic church.

      that background is very similar to spain and italy. and lets be honest – ireland was somewhat sympathetic to mussolini and franco , if not hitler, precisely because of that catholic dominance.

      its a legacy of nationalist fascism that still hasn't left the country culturally. and this has even infected the "left" in ireland with their knee jerk anti-semitism.

      sad to say this, but its the truth.

      that is why this girl is such a ray of light in an otherwise depressing vista.

    3. I'm going to kindly disagree, in part, with Cork guy: I don't think that the Irish response to Israel/Jews is so simply understood. After all, Jews as a group, and then later Israel, have been sympathetic to the Irish cause. OTOH, if you look carefully at history–yes, I'm an historian–what you find is that Jews hold in very high esteem those who support them (witness the statements in this thread). Consequently, Jews expect this to be reciprocated to some degree…. all people act based on their own cultural/social mores. However, again looking closely at the historical record, this reciprocation almost never comes. The Irish, the African American community, and very recently with Turkey are good examples of this. One could almost argue that the more aid that Jewish community has given, the more the community it aids seems to become hostile. If that were true, and I'm on the fence about this, I'd ascribe it to people feeling a sort of moral debt, and like any debtor, you don't want to be indebted to anyone.

      However, this is only part of the story, and perhaps not even the main part. As Cork Guy pointed out, there is the Catholic church and I don't mean for a moment to argue that its weight impact should be reduced for the Irish. But again, there are two sides to this story. The Church has, historically been a hyper-anti-Semitic organization, but it has also had bouts of philo-Semitism going back over 1,000 years. The balance is certainly toward the negative, but this isn't the whole answer, IMHO.

      Then there is the Irish-British relationship. This, and its many components, are probably key. Irish opinions about anti-colonialism (eg.-Israel as colonial state, and worse, a colonial state set up by the BRITs!) certainly color these views. There is jealousy over Israel's ability to resurrect Hebrew, whereas Gaellic is still dead except along the west coast of Eire I believe (in other words, it hasn't become a national language again to my knowledge…. is that correct C.G.?). Then there is the Irish connection with Arab groups: you have to realize that the PLO and many other terrorist organizations pretty much ALL were trained originally by the Irish. After Algeria's independence some of this training shifted there, and since has shifted to other regions, but the Irish are the grandaddys of terrorism training!

      Whew… anyway, there is more to say, but I need to nod off. Basically, Ireland is simply rife for anti-Israel sentiment, sort of a perfect storm of Jew-hatred right now. Hopefully this will change as I do love the culture…… (well, not the anti-Semitic part, but the music, art and BEER is great!! 🙂

      -Aaron

  12. Cliona, I echo all the comments above. Good for you, don't let the b@$tards grind you down, keep on sticking up for what you believe in.

  13. Cliona….let me add my praise to that of those who respect your effort. My heritage is wholly Irish and your effort makes me proud. Ignore the critics and keep up the courage to do and act as you think.

  14. Ms. Campbell,
    Thank you so much for your wonderful service to the IDF and through them, to the Jewish people. We need more people such as you to inform the world of what the IDF and Jewish people are really like–as opposed to the horrible way in which they are viewed.

    You have seen the character of the Israeli army, it's soldiers, and the Jewish people first hand. Now you are disseminating the truth. I just hope your fellow countrymen and women are listening. . .

  15. Cliona is a Righteous Gentile and a great person. It says in Pirkei Avos (Ethics of the Fathers)."Where this is no man, strive to be a man." (Or one might say, where this is no person with integrity, strive to be that person.) The fact you have been taking the position you take, among so many who hate and despise you and Israel and the Jews, makes you not small, as they would like to say, but makes you a person of real integrity where none can easily be found. And so this makes you a great person – in the true sense of great. G-d be with you always and may He bless and reward you.

  16. Very cool, Cliona. You're obviously a strong person, so educate your detractors and if they refuse to learn, f-em.

    1. Michael Zvi Krumbein

      Not to meantion the he's off by a millenia or two. Silly people, who think 2000 years is the beginning of history!

    2. Frankie says Relax

      God didnt give Israel to the jews,Balfour Declaration of 1917 did. Before that the land was known as Palestine,after the Kingdom of Israel was conquered by the Ottoman empire, similar to Bosnia was previously Serb dominated.

      1. False. Before the 1900s, the land was not called "palestine" for over 700 years. Not a single Muslim entity used the word "palestine" until after 1948. The only times it was ever called "palestine" were by the Romans in the 130s CE, again by the Crusaders during their time, and it didnt return until Britain took the land at the end of World War II. There was NEVER an entity called "palestine" that was independent, let alone dependent to much degree, nor was there ever much of an independence movement for it until AFTER Israel was refounded.

        And Israel was going to happen regardless of any Balfour declaration. In fact, the Balfour Declaration didnt do shit. If you notice, it took another 31 years for Israel to declare independence, in spite of British conspiracies with the Arabs.

        The Ottomans never had any province called "palestine". It was three districts: Jerusalem, Syria, and Acre if Im not mistaken.

  17. I'm proud to report that we have our own Sar-EL (http://www.sar-el.no/).
    No repercussions for our volunteers yet, but our socialist government sure don't like it much.

    But here is a hard core Norwegian woman: (via Google Translate):

    "Norwegian Linn Perez (18) will defend the country she loves"

    <a href="http://translate.google.no/translate?hl=no&sl=no&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2 Fwww.dagbladet.no%2F2010%2F08%2F20%2Fmagasinet%2Ffredag%2Fdagbladet_fredag%2Fisrael%2Fmiliteret%2F13037665%2F” target=”_blank”>http://translate.google.no/translate?hl=no&sl…” target=”_blank”>Fwww.dagbladet.no%2F2010%2F08%2F20%2Fmagasinet%2Ffredag%2Fdagbladet_fredag%2Fisrael%2Fmiliteret%2F13037665%2F

    Cliona, thanks for what you did.

  18. Good on you! And remember Genesis 12:3 God says:
    "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee"

    Numbers 6:24-26:

    The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:

    The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:

    The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

  19. I'm Irish, and from Cork city like Cliona – and let me say, i am utterly proud of this girl.

    There is a disturbing amount of anti-semitism in Irish society , which feeds into rampant anti-Israel feelings – and for her to go against this means she is one heck of a very very brave girl.

    Good on her!

  20. Ironic the Irish condemn her for volunteering for the IDF, but have no guilty conscience about not helping England fight the Nazis in WWII.
    The Irish never met a nazi they didn't like. And now they're acting like Nazis.

    Nessus

    USA

    1. Actually, I have to get on my historians soap box here. First, let me say that I detest the way Ireland and the Irish, not to mention everyone else in the 'British Isles' (the Irish hate it when you call it that…) deal with Israel and Jews. That said, there is a little known episode in WWII where the Nazis attempted to recruit the Irish for service against England. Germany did much the same during the First World War and, despite major snafus, the Irish were open to being armed by Germany and fighting the Brits. So when the Germans tried the same thing in the Second World War they were shocked to get a grand total of 453 recruits. As much as the Irish detested the British, the Nazis were viewed as a greater evil.

      So, to be fair, the Irish may be acting like Nazis, but they don't like them. I'll get off my soapbox now.

    1. I rather agree, although the English are bigger hypocrites. After all, every time the Brits chirp about Israel building a wall to keep the Pals out, I can't help but think about the big ass wall in Northern Ireland that England built to keep Catholics and protestants apart. And then the Brits say, "but its Palestinian land," or some other rubbish. Even if you accept that premise–which I do not–how do the English justify building this wall across northern IRELAND then? After all, the whole reason the Irish have been fighting is because they want Northern Ireland back. Hypocrites! All of them need to take care of their own sad lot before trying to claim Israel has done something wrong….

    2. Technically its the British who are killing each other in N. Ireland but dont let your ignorance get in the way of one up manship.

      Its the history of N. Ireland which is why we highlight the Palestinian struggle.

      People tend to believe that Irish people hate jews, well this is not true. There has been prominent jews in Irish society which the Irish have embraced throughout history. The lord mayor of Cork, Goldstein, was a celebrated jew in my city.
      The problem Ireland has with Israel is that they seem to shit all over international law without an issue due to the power it has over America. The theft of passports, the flotilla to name recent incidents.
      Its funny to read the comments on this forum referencing the Irish as drunks. If I was to refer to Israelis has tight with money I would be, quite rightly, called an anti Semite.

      Israel will you ever learn?

  21. Cliona, you've done an awesome thing and naturally you're going to be castigated for it, as no good deed goes unpunished when it comes to the Israel-hating leftists. You should be proud and happy for the experiences you've had and never regret a single moment of it. I wish I had the station in life that would afford me such an opportunity to stand with Israel and the IDF. How pitiful for those poor, ignorant fools that waste their life on hate. You are courageous and righteous, so stay that way and don't ever change!

  22. Well done Cliona. God has and will bless you for your outstanding gesture. Never mind the bigots, there eyes will be opened when it is to late! Keep you head up. You have done right by God, by Ireland and by Israel

  23. I think that the Irish simply accept the general “progressive” view of the middle east: that the Jews took the land from native Arabs and so are no better than the old European Colons of Algeria. That really explains most of it, I’m guessing.

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