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Israeli Ban on Dublin Lord Mayor Undone By Bad Spelling

Not quite the luck of the Irish. Just a fashla.

Israel announced on Tuesday that it had barred Dublin Lord Mayor Mícheál Mac Donncha from entering the country – while he was already in the West Bank city of Ramallah and had flown to Tel Aviv.

The announcement, by both the Interior and the Strategic Affairs Ministries, said that Mac Donncha would be denied entry to Israel over his ties to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

The Strategic Affairs Ministry, in charge of fighting delegitimation of Israel, said in the statement that the reason for the decision was Mac Donncha’s ties with the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which promotes boycotts of Israeli companies and international companies who work in Israel.

According to the ministry, the mayor promoted the IPSC’s ideas through the city council and publicly expressed support for them. Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan said that “the policy I set is clear: He who works consistently to boycott Israel will not enter here.”

Minutes after Haaretz reported about the announcement, Mac Donncha tweeted that he was already in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

The Interior Ministry confirmed to Haaretz that Mac Donncha had entered the country, initially saying that he must have arrived before the ministry’s instruction was delivered.

Later the Interior Ministry admitted that Mac Donncha was able to enter Israel due to the fact that his name was misspelled. A spokesman for Interior Ministry Arye Dery admitted that “we made a mistake at the border crossing.”

A source familiar with the details blamed the Strategic Affairs Ministry, saying that the reason for the mishap was that it misspelled Mac Donncha’s name.

Besides Donncha’s ties to the BDS movement, Dublin City Councillors yesterday voted to back BDS, and also urged the Irish government to expel Israel’s ambassador over the recent killings of palestinian rioters.  As to why Donncha has come to Israel:

Lord Mayor Micheál Mac Donncha said in a statement that he was travelling as Lord Mayor of the capital city of Ireland to acknowledge East Jerusalem is the designated capital of Palestine.

He added: “I am also here to express solidarity with the people of Palestine who are suffering violence from Israeli forces, as witnessed in Gaza most recently with the shooting down of protesters.”

As for the spelling mistake, I am assuming we misspelled “Mícheál” as “Michael.”  Damn tricky name, that.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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