A few days ago, I posted a Blog…”Helpless in Gaza”.
In that Blog, I noted how articulate Israeli spokesmen were pushing the idea that Israel was in some way on the front line fighting for Civilisation. That Israel is in fact fighting for me and mine.
This is a concept that I utterly reject. In the 1970s and 1980s I rejected the same notion, the same downright lie being pushed by articulate WHITE South African spokesmen.
To those people who feel they are “under siege” by foreigners and people who look and sound different ….then it might not be paranoia. To the rest of us it is insulting to say that attacking the Gaza Strip in a disproportinate way…the maiming and killing of so many innocent people is somehow an action that we should approve.
It is an idea that the Israel Embassy in Dublin want us to accept. They have seemingly now withdrawn this offensive Tweet. But thats the trouble with “social media” …for all the claims made for it.as opening up “politics”…it merely coarsens political discourse. “ISRAEL IS THE LAST FRONTIER OF THE FREE WORLD” is nonsense.
There is a predictability to all this. The attacks in Gaza will soon end. United States and the Eurropean Union will laud Israel for its wisdom and courage. And the odinary citizens of Ireland, France, Denmark and Italy…as on the Israeli Embassy tweet will forget about Gaza ….until the next time.And we will even forget the abject cowardice of our political leaders who could not bring themselves to vote their condemnation of Israel.
But heres the rub. If Eamonn Gilmore (Labour now and previously Sticky) was still Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ireland would still have abstained in that vote…citing an even-handed approach to the Middle East. And British people can rest assured that a Labour Government there would NEVER have voted against Israel.
For all the protestations of Irish and British “Labour” people on the march for Palestine and/or Peace in Dublin and London, there is simply no way that Israel will be sanctioned.
But …the attacks will end…not least because Governments in London, Dublin, Paris, Copenhagen and Rome are so manifestly not representing the views of their own citizens.
Politics is of course ….Politics. Being in Government often means acting in a “political” way. But I have never seen a case where an Irish Governments blatantly acts against the ethos of the Irish Nation. Ah yes….EUROPE…we have no independent national position on the Middle East.
Certainly, I tend to move in nationalist, republican and social democratic circles. But people I speak to and listen to are “pro-Palestine”.Thats true of SDLP and Sinn Fein people.
Of course SDLP are partnered with Irish Labour. But Joanne Tuffy TD serves on the Friends of Israel Committee of the Dail (the Irish Parliament). That would be the same Joanne who spoke at the 2010 SDLP Conference …a panel discussion on Irish Unity. Just about her first contribution was that she hadnt really given it any thought. Well done Joanne. Thanks for that insight. Maybe you havent given much thought to the Middle East either.
But I took this photograph in the Bogside in Derry earlier this week. Would it be interesting if Sinn Fein are in the next Irish Government. Would Mary Lou McDonald act any differently if she got the Foreign Affairs portfolio?
Two observations. The Department of Foreign Affairs is “establishment” and unlikely to find a Sinn Fein minister “acceptable” and I daresay that despite protestations to the contrary , Sinn Fein would not actually want Foreign Affairs portfolio. And…just how risible is a single European policy on the Middle East….or Ukraine-Russia.