link The term ‘occupation’ conjures up painful memories in a land forced to endure centuries of English conquest.He'll soon learn Ireland is not America LOLOL, more:
The etymological origins of the term "boycott" are being dug back out of the bog of Irish history due to recent events in Gaza. Pro-Palestinian campaigners in Dublin delight in recounting how a certain Capt. Charles Boycott was socially ostracized for serving as estate manager for an absentee landlord during the bitter "Land War" that raged on Ireland's windswept Atlantic coast in the late 19th century. "Today the Irish must send a message to the Israelis - we invented boycotting and we're still bloody good at it," bellowed one rabble-rouser at a recent rally in the Irish capital.
The event had been billed on every available lamppost as a public debate - "Israel: Is Boycott the Answer?" - but the few critical voices evidently found convenient excuses to duck out, leaving a cocky, young Jewish student from New York to utter the only pro-Israel sentiments.
To say Irish eyes aren't smiling on Israel would be an immense understatement. A Southern Irish vessel (the MV Rachel Corrie ) was among those intercepted by the Israel Navy and its crew were instantly hailed as national heroes. Dublin's doddery and dwindling Jewish community stays shtum about what is now, alongside Sweden, probably the most pro-Palestinian state in Western Europe.And Damn proud of it!!
The only pro-Israel demonstrations on this island have been staged by Christian Zionists, but they are to be found in sizable numbers only in British-controlled Northern Ireland. Bible-bashing Protestants up in Belfast - whose slogan is "no surrender" - stem from (mainly Scottish Presbyterian ) settlers: Steeped in Old Testament scripture, their 17th-century ancestors, the Covenanters, believed they were creating a "New Israel" and colonized Catholic land in the north of Ireland with a bloody ferocity that would make even the modern Israeli settler movement flinch.Wrong-o, we side with those who are oppressed, tortured, have their land stolen are murdered by the state, who hunger for freedom and justice and equality. got it?
Anti-Zionist fervor on the European Union's westernmost fringe had already been inflamed by Irish passports being forged in the recent assassination of a Hamas leader in Dubai. In response, the Irish duly copied their former imperial overlords in London by expelling an Israeli diplomat. Earlier this year, Dublin's foreign minister, Michael Martin, defiantly slipped into Gaza via the Egyptian-controlled Rafah crossing after Israel denied him entry to the enclave.
Why do the Irish get so agitated about a small sliver of land in the Middle East that most of them have never clapped eyes on? Gathering anti-Zionism across the globe is part of the explanation, but the real answer lies in the deep historical scars on this small country's collective psyche. The term "occupation" conjures up painful folk memories in a land forced to endure centuries of English conquest. The Irish instinctively side in any conflict situation with whoever they perceive to be the underdog.
Gerry Adams, a northern Catholic who has led the Irish Republican movement for four decades, donned a kaffiyeh when he went to the Holy Land to make a TV documentary about Jesus earlier this year. More recently, he likened the shootings aboard the Mavi Marmara to Bloody Sunday, when members of the British parachute battalion shot dead 13 demonstrators on the streets of Derry. His comparison could not be more timely or emotive, coming on the back of an official UK inquiry which has finally, after 38 years, concluded that the British Army's actions on that day were "unjustified and unjustifiable."Go on Bairbre DeBrun!!!!
Still, Israel's Foreign Ministry will be keeping a close eye on Ireland, which has always punched above its weight in Brussels.
It may step up its diplomatic effort in Dublin when Evrony moves on to a new posting in the autumn. Some would like to see this cautious career diplomat replaced by a more serious political appointee, although there is a severe danger that any emissary selected by the Netanyahu government could antagonize the Irish further. Whoever becomes the new ambassador here would do well to remember the words of that rabble-rouser: The Irish invented the boycott and haven't lost the knack for it.