When covering the disgraceful behavior of the Irish women’s basketball team and officials last week, I agreed their behavior was indeed antisemitic, and I added:
And let’s be honest. Ireland is, in general, a cesspool of Jew-hatred (although it is important to note that there are decent, moral Irish people who firmly stand with Israel, albeit too few).
Some may have considered this an inflammatory statement. After all, I do not live in Ireland and am observing from afar.
So take it from Irish journalist Brenda Power instead, who spelled it out in her recent column Israeli team’s view on Irish antisemitism was on the ball:
Discrimination and bigotry, after all, are in the eye of the beholder but even from an objective perspective, Ireland has consistently been one of the world’s most hostile countries towards Israel, and that includes Iran. In fact, we’ve prided ourselves on it.
For years there’s been active agitation in Irish politics to expel Israeli ambassadors and diplomats, impose sanctions on Israel, condemn the Israeli state and support Palestine. In 2018 Dublin became the first European capital to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) against Israel. The BDS placed yellow stickers on Israeli goods here, in 2013, recalling the yellow stars the Nazis forced Jews to wear. During the last conflict between Israel and Hamas, in 2021, we were the first EU state to condemn Israel, when the Dail debated a motion to expel the Israeli ambassador. In 1980 we were the first EU country to back Palestinian statehood. In the same year, Brian Lenihan, then foreign affairs minister, declared that the PLO was not a terrorist organisation yet, at the time, the IRA and the PLO were training together, sharing terrorist strategies and tactics.
In 2006, Sinn Fein’s Aengus Ó Snodaigh described Israel as “one of the most abhorrent and despicable regimes on the planet”. In 2020, the Sinn Fein TD Réada Cronin tweeted that Israel had “taken Nazism to a new level” and compared Israeli embassy staff to monkeys, which she subsequently “unreservedly and wholeheartedly” apologised for.
Far from being a reaction to the current Israeli offensive in Gaza, Ireland’s attitude to the Jewish people goes way back. In 1904 a Limerick priest, Fr John Creagh, organised a two-year boycott of Jewish businesses in the city. As a result of the “Limerick pogrom”, its small Jewish community was dispersed into poverty or exile. In 1970 the city’s Labour mayor Steve Coughlan defended the pogrom and described Jewish moneylenders as “warble-fly bloodsuckers”. In 1936 the Department of Justice noted a rise in public protests against admitting Jews, and in 1937 the Irish Catholic newspaper observed that “Hitler has many admirers among Irish Catholics”.
Long before the current conflict, Irish musicians, artists and activists, along with the Labour Party, loudly demanded a boycott of the Israeli hosting of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest.
So, yes, you can see why it might appear to an Israeli woman that Basketball Ireland’s “strong concerns about fixtures with Israel” might not simply have originated with the current Hamas/Israeli conflict.
It’s hard to blame the Israeli women for their anger at what could only ever have been a virtue-signalling stance by the Irish, given that they are of an age with the young women raped, brutalised and murdered by Hamas on October 7.
As for our concern for the people of Gaza, there was little sign of it last July when they took to the streets to protest against Hamas and were beaten into submission by the “government” that has not allowed them a general election since 2007. And where was our concern for the women of Gaza under Hamas, subjected to a strict “code of modesty”?
Read the entire thing.