Open for discussion: Why is Ireland anti-Israel and antisemitic?

This question was submitted and I know there are people out there who can probably answer it…

So go for it please.!

Hi…I am from Australia, a 7th Generation Irish-Catholic Australian, with both a full Irish maternal and paternal lineage, on both the sides of my mother and father, and (extremely) pro Israeli.

Over time, I have noticed commentary that Ireland, is anti-semitic and anti-Israel. I know nothing of the reason why, totally in the dark.

Could I ask if someone would explain to me how, or why this happened/occurred. I Thank you.

Regards, Graham

Graham has sent more, some of which I am posting for interest.

“Thank you for the reply….it is appreciated.  By way of your site, I was actually reading a Posting on another site…whose name now escapes me, about a a group in Ireland who are trying to address the imbalance of why Ireland, and some Irish have a jaundiced view…dislike for Israel.  I have noticed this form of commentary for some time now…and it has both bothered and mystified me a little… to why my heritage country would have it in for Israel…given the oppression they themselves experienced under British rule for many hundreds of years.  If anything, I used to believe that both Nations have lived and known the hold of oppression….and would share an understanding of the yolk of oppression and suppression ….if not for their respective differing reasons.

I would be most grateful for any assistance you may be able to offer….if only for a historical understanding of what went in the relationship…if one such existed.  It is one area I am totally unknowing of.  As stated, I am very much a now dyed in the wool supporter of the Israeli State, and it’s people…having been this way since 1962…. when first reading the then recently released horrific, and revealing expose through the non-fictional novel titled the “The Five Chimneys”.

To some extent, the respect and regard of my now passed parents….who were Irish to the boot straps, towards the then relatively new Nation of Israel also influenced my regard and outlook towards Israel….which knowing of their still then close connection with relatives then alive in Ireland, doubly confounds the matter for me.  My then Irish relatives were in no way anti-Semitic……more supportive, if not mildly neutral.  This indifference must have only taken place in the past 30/40 years. My father’s interest in Israel stemmed from the time he spent there during WW2, as a member of the Australian Army’s 9th Division… who used the area he knew as Palestine, in readiness for their then ongoing conflict with Rommel’s North Africa Campaign.”

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  1. Graham

    You’ve made me think. I also wonder where this Israel/Jew hatred in Ireland comes from and I agree it wasn’t always so.

    I can’t think of any names at present but I have to tell you some of the vilest people in this regard are Irish.. Why is a whole other point.

  2. Leon Poddebsky

    Without claiming to be an authority on Irish antisemitism, I venture to present the following hypothesis.
    Europe has for years been saturated with the lie that the Jews stole “Palestine” from the “native ‘Palestinians.'” This compound lie can easily be refuted but it has become the accepted “wisdom” of people with pretensions to “humanity” and a keen desire to prove their European credentials.
    Many Irish people thus see a supposed parallel between what imperial Britain did to Ireland and what the Jews allegedly did to the Arabs of The Land of Israel, hence their sympathy and support for the Arabs.
    Athough Ireland has undergone a fair degree of secularisation, some clergy still cling to and disseminate traditional theology, according to which the Jews are an accursed people, destined for eternal damnation; the existence of an independent Jewish nation-state is thus an affront to them. Even many secular Irish people are still influenced by the deeply rooted culturally transmitted anti-Jewish sentiments that were fostered for centuries by the Church.

    • Dear Leon,

      I thank you for your contributing Post in respect of the inquiry I made of Ireland and Irish anti-Semitism. It was as informative, as much as it stimulated my thought process. My best wishes and regards, Graham Coffey

  3. There are a few elements here to understand. Firstly, many Irish think (wrongly) that because Ireland was occupied by Britain, they share the same fate as the poor Palestinians who are occupied by Israel. Irish media have portrayed this image for a long time.
    My wife was born and raised in Dublin and her father was in the IRA fighting in 1916 for an independent Ireland, but he was pro Israel as is my wife. In our travels to Ireland we also have been challenging these myths. We were both banned by the Irish Times and the Independent.
    We need to go back over two decades when one of the richest Arab sheiks, Khalid bin Mahfouz, was charged with funding terror in the USA by diverting bank profits to Hamas and Al-Qaeda. He was banned from the USA and now sought a new home. Ireland was a small country of about 4.5 million and its politicians gladly accepted a 30 million dollar bribe to allow Khalid bin Mahfouz and 19 members of his family into Ireland bypassing normal checks. Among those who were granted citizenship were Pakistanis with terrorist connections.
    Ireland was fertile ground to grow the EU resistance movement and now Clonskeagh mosque is the EU centre of Fatwa research, headed by Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood luminary. A previous Irish leader, Bertie Ahern, opened the flood gates to bring planeloads of Muslims into Ireland from North Africa and help drain the Irish economy.
    Ireland soon started Halal slaughter of animals (no stunning) to supply the British market which at the time, did not allow sale of Halal meat from unstunned animals.
    University College Dublin became a hotbed of anti-Israeli sentiment and of course, ex President Mary Robinson headed the Durban II conference accusing Israel of racism.
    Robinson received the highest medal of honour from Obama for her UN role and in this role she heaped praise on Islam which pleased Obama greatly. A few years ago, the UN head of UNRWA based in Israel was an Irishman called John Ging who was passionately against Israel and made it known. The IPSC based in Dame street Dublin has already been mentioned and we have also confronted them. We also challenged a group called MPAC who have since closed down, but it was run by an Irish convert to Islam, Liam Egan, who now teaches in Saudi Arabia, but who was hostile to Israel, Huge support for the Turkish flotilla ship also came from Ireland after visits by George Galloway, the Scottish MP who is always outspoken against Israel. UK Muslims like Anjem Choudary make frequent visits to Ireland and get great publicity for their Islam centric views and hostility towards Israel.
    Graham, to answer your question, it was corrupt politicians who started the rot and then the Irish media who have constantly peddled an anti-Israel mantra for years who have created this hostile environment.

  4. I am genuinely grateful for the contributed posts of Messers Poddebsky and Dickson. Both were instructive and thought provoking. I believe that my reasoning is to simplistic, living within my (own) dreams….i.e. that this Planet is big enough for all of us to live safe and peaceful lives. I take on board that a mix of Divisive People, Politicians, Religion/Clergy and the Information Distributors have a lot to answer for.

    I have always wanted to believe that the Irish were/are a fair minded people. Even though a (lapsed) Catholic, I do accept, and have experienced, the bigotry of the Irish Clergy…which in the main had/has been directed at Reformation Protestantism, though once had an Irish Christian Brother refer to the Jews as the “Christ Killers”.

    Three to Four Thousand years of history has firmly established that the Jewish people have every right to the geographically very small tract of land that is now their Homeland. To any reasoned thinking mind, this is irrefutable.

    In this regard, I have would have thought that the universal Irish; for the tribulations experienced through their own existence towards sovereign autonomy, would have viewed the Jews as a race of people who have been unmercifully, and continuously beaten down in their quest to return to their Homeland. As said, my thought scope is probably too simplistic.

    With many millions of adversarial neighbours; positioned within and right on their doorstep, I cannot, or never will accept that the Jewish nation is the oppressor….allowing for the population numbers and physical size of Israel….even if such is the belief subscribed to by some divisive Irish.

    While sadly disappointed from what I have read of the rational logic put forward by the contributing posts of Poddebsky and Dixon, my quiet hope is that the people, and chap from the group “Irish4Israel” will eventually be successful…..even marginally so, as to establish a base to build from…..and equally more, in the hope that the those affected Irish do come to accept and understand, they at least have some connection with the people of Israel….in the form of the very basic, if not bare bone tenants of Judea-Christianity… comparison to those who some Irish have bestowed their support, and obvious best wishes upon.

    Prior to meeting my maker, I had long intended to visit two places on Earth……Ireland and Israel. Along with some thought, I’ll have some rationalising to do now! I herewith convey my appreciation to the Administration of the Jews Down Under Internet Site.

  5. Graham,
    I do hope you can fulfil your dream of visiting both Israel and Ireland and likewise I hope I will achieve that by May 2014. The Catholic church does have much to answer for. My wife’s father died when she was only 7yo she was placed into a church run industrial school and suffered abuse for over 8 years. Through the RIRB scheme she won a settlement for the abuse suffered which the Irish government funded. But make no mistake, the Catholic church is mild when compared to Islam. The greatest problem we face is moral relativism which tries to paint Islam the same as Christianity. This is a disaster.
    Winston Churchill famously stated that Islam is the most retrograde force on our planet and it is even more so than when he made that statement over 100 years ago. Remember, the Jews are targeted by Islam but so are Christians and indeed Christians are the most persecuted people on Earth with one Christian being killed every 11 minutes and one Christian being persecuted every 3 minutes in an Islamic country. Israel is in great danger with Obama threatening to force Israel to surrender land for peace by end of March 2014. Did withdrawing from Gaza in 2005 bring peace?
    Remember Neville Chamberlain anyone?

    • Dear Geoff,

      I wish to thank you directly for the information you provided. In truth, I did, and have found it thought provoking…very much so, as to be at the back of mind all day as I have attended to a host of other matters. Again, I also thank you for your general information…as to the persecution of Christians by Islamists..and the Catholic Church. My parting with the Church has been since the mid 70’s, revolving around what I used to term as the treatment of everyday run of the mill Catholic’s by ‘Higher End’ Church ingratiating Catholic’s. I near returned during the Papacy of John Paul 1, before his highly suspicious passing, and do admit that should the Papacy of the current Francis continues on track as he has been demonstrating to date, I may well make such steps again. As a consequence of your revelations of Churchill, I can see myself doing a lot of Internet research, and actual reading over the coming weeks. My own court is still out in respect of Churchill, though I have always found him to be a fascinating subject….i.e. sometimes I have liked the man, while at other moments, I have had nothing but disgust for him…one occasion being his recorded suggestion to Chiefly, of letting Australia temporarily fall to the Japanese, in order to retain the Australian’s in North Africa, and also to be used in the primary assault on Greece. The Moral Relativism you referred to was insightful to say the least. Yes, I shall be making that journey…to Israel and Ireland…towards the later part of 2014, early 2015. I have a desire to see both Ireland and the Holy Land during the Winter months…just a personal thing. I took your meaning and reference to Chamberlain as I believe you meant it….in so far as the Peace in Our Time of 1939, and the analogy of that which can be drawn from the withdrawal of Gaza in 2005. To this end, as much as I shouldn’t say it, I do hope the Israeli’s never become so comfortably complacent as to ever take their finger off the trigger…even when trying to sue for a peaceful resolution with their neighbours. In conclusion Geoff, thank you once again for your valued in put in respect of the Irish question I posed….it is appreciated. My Regards. Graham Coffey.

      • Part Correction:- Churchill’s recorded comment was made to both Curtain and Chiefly

  6. Geoff has beaten me to the post here.

    I think it has a great deal to do with the Catholic Church and their constant teaching that the Jews killed Christ, when in fact it was the Romans.

    The last Pope finally absolved us of that non-claim to fame.

    Amazing, even 2000 years ago we were being blamed for every wrong that took place in the world,

    • Dear Shirlee,

      My direct thanks to you Shirlee…..for having initially taken my inquiry on board. Thank You. I did not mean to offend when citing the comment made by the Irish Christian Brother. It happened in North Queensland in the early 60’s, when I attended a Brother’s boarding school. By the late 60’s I had rationalised it for myself; as evil as it was to be ever suggested, as being no more than Christian theological dogma…given if we are to believe history and teachings of Christ’s life.

      I personally espouse the exact same belief, and thought……that Rome and Pilate were the only “real time power brokers” of that period in Jerusalem’s long history. I believe that the rhetorical “washing of the hands” was a convenience that the Church of Peter seized upon to nullify their own instigative and complicate guilt….or that of the then Holy Roman Empire, and it’s then Country of Origin, modern Italy.

      Yes Shirlee, I am most certainly going to visit the Holy Land and Ireland…towards late 2014, come early 2015. At 64, I have waited a life time for this to happen….and as a consequence of the replies I received to the question I posed, a little wiser and knowledgable to under take this journey in a more worldly informed manner.

      Over the coming weekend , I shall look to view the Article that you have referred to me…thanking you for the consideration of the thought you afforded to me in this regard, and again for the initial acceptance of my inquiry in respect of Ireland and Irish anti-Semitism.

      My warm regards, Graham Coffey

      • Thank you Graham.

        Feel free to ask anything, any time you like and please visit. One of the reasons behind my starting this site was to facilitate discussion.

        In the Jewish world I didn’t see a place anywhere for this and and truly welcome your question.

        I’m a little older than you and I realised a dream last year. That dream was to visit Israel, I too had never been.

        It is the most amazing place and I would have like to seen Christian Israel as well as Jewish Israel. On the Internet there are some excellent web sites to help plan that trip. I booked and paid for tours from here and worked out a basic itinerary for myself.

        I was fortunate that I have family and friends in Israel.

        I am asking a few people I know to comment here. They may have more knowledge of how Ireland has gone the way it has.

        I wish you a good Christmas, with a happy and healthy year to follow. Please G-d we can have some peace in the world.

  7. This is a good article

    Graham you MUST go to Israel and Ireland. You truly will be sorry if you don’t.

  8. It’s always puzzled me why the Irish, who I’ve always found to be such nice laid-back and friendly people, should take this attitude towards Israel.

    I think all of the explanations above probably come into play; but I believe the main factor is the success of the propaganda that the Palestinians are the underdogs and victims of Israeli oppression. We must never underestimate the power of propaganda, by which BIG LIES can morph into received truths.

    I believe this is much more influential than the teachings of the Catholic church, though this undoubtedly is a factor.

  9. Just about to go to the Land of Nod so this answer will be brief, and adds little if anything to what has already been said. I think the main reason is that PLO-IRA nexus that evolved in the ’70s, and the perception that the IRA and the PLO are analogous to one another in relation to their respective “colonial” “occupiers”. A subsidiary reason is almost certainly the persistence of the Christ-killing canard in Catholic teaching: it came through in part in the anti-Jewish Limerick riots of 1884 whipped up by a priest but there was also resentment at the perceived economic success of Jewish newcomers to town. I imagine there is a legacy of such teaching even today. .A good book is Dermot Keogh, Jews in Twentieth Century Ireland (1998). Of course, a Jew, Robert Briscoe was lord mayor of Dublin 1956-7 and 1961-2, and a close associate of de Valera. Another Jew, the English-born Countess of Dysart, became in 1922 one of the first female members of the senate of the Irish Free State. See The Palgrave Dictionary of Anglo-Jewish History (2011) for her.

  10. I will provide one anecdote . In the greater scheme of things it means very little but it might go some way to understanding Roman Catholic attitudes to the Jews some 45 years ago .
    A few days into starting secondary school in Southend Essex , I would take the bus home walking the short distance to my home with another boy who was in the same class and lived close by . He seemed nice and after a week or so I asked my mother if he could bring him back for tea . Of course she agreed and I asked Richard if he would like to come over . The following day he told me in quite matter of fact terms that he had asked his mother who had not only said no but had told him he could not be friends or even talk to me . Of course I asked him why , to which he replied that the Jews had killed Christ and that I was a Jew ( he had obviously mentioned it to his mother ) .
    I had never heard this before and asked my mother if it was true . She merely said I was not to walk home again with him . From that time on for the next four years we caught the same bus but walked a distance from each other .
    Richard was Catholic . It remains with me to this day and has left me feeling wary of Catholics even though I know its wrong to tar the whole religion with the same brush .

  11. Leon Poddebsky

    TROCAIRE is the powerful Irish Catholic international foreign aid lobby.
    It is, in the view of some observers , the most antisemitic disseminator of lies and slanders against Israel among the welter of such Irish bodies.