Parliamentarians in the Republic of Ireland are displaying an unprecedented level of hostility towards Israel, unparalleled by that of any other member state of the European Union -- inviting the question about Ireland's long, distasteful history of anti-Semitism. Pictured: Leinster House, seat of the Irish Houses of Parliament. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
Parliamentarians in the Republic of Ireland are displaying an unprecedented level of hostility towards Israel, unparalleled by that of any other member state of the European Union -- inviting the question about Ireland's long, distasteful history of anti-Semitism, which clearly predates the frequently used pretext of hating the State of Israel.
The "Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018" -- supported by the Republican and Nationalist political parties of Fianna Fáil, Sinn Fein and Independents -- would ban the import of goods from Israeli communities located beyond the 1949 armistice lines (the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights). The Irish legislation not only coincides ironically with the U.S. Senate passage of a motion to prevent anti-Israel boycotts, but also constitutes a breach of European trade law.
More disturbing is the combination of ignorance and anti-Semitism displayed by the purveyors of the bill, and evident in their view of the Palestinian-Israeli dispute cause as well as conflicts around the world.
While devoting their wrath and bigotry to Israel – in which all religions and races are treated equally under the law – these Irish self-touted human-rights seekers ignore the Palestinian National Charter and Hamas Covenant. The Charter calls for the liquidation of Israel and the Covenant for the extermination of all Jews, not just Israelis. These Irish "humanitarians" also do not seem to care about the suffering of the inhabitants of the Palestinian Authority and the Gaza Strip, who continue to suffer from large-scale abuse and persecution at the hands of their own despotic leaders.
Meanwhile, other nations actually guilty of serious human rights abuses, war crimes and ethnic cleansing -- such as Syria, Iran, China, North Korea, Turkey, Russia and Iran, to name a few -- are spared Irish indignation and legislation. If Ireland's anti-Israel bill were really about concern for human rights, those other states would surely be subjected to the same proposed legislation, especially considering the Palestinians who have been killed, jailed without trial or tortured by Syrian President Bashar Assad's enforcers in the course of the Syrian civil war.
Historically, anti-Semitism has always hovered just beneath the surface in Ireland. Unfortunately, it sometimes rises above the surface. Take, for example, its memorials to two Nazi collaborators, Sean Russell in Dublin and Tom Barry in Limerick.
How is it acceptable for such memorials to be on display? Why does the European Union remain silent?
A mere 74 years after the Holocaust, the Irish government and citizenry should be thoroughly ashamed of supporting Islamists and political parties whose manifestos have at their core the extermination of Jews, and -- in parallel -- attempting to delegitimize the only democracy in the Middle East.
Ireland's legislation, therefore, appears to be less about actually helping Palestinians to lead better lives than an effort to eradicate Israel.
Peter Baum, Vice Chair at New Fair reporting, is based in Great Britain.