Photo Credit: courtesy author-public images

The Irish Times has just produced yet another rancid article attacking Jews. This in the same week that Ireland’s ‘bestselling’ political magazine ‘the Phoenix’ was busy spending its time smearing those Jews that fight antisemitism. When we look for a central pillar of Ireland’s widespread antisemitism, we really have to look no further than the Irish media.

When it comes to Israel, the people of Ireland are woefully misinformed. If any people in Europe should naturally support the State of Israel – it should be the Irish. The Jews were betrayed by the British. The Jews saw their land – that was set aside for them by the League of Nations – divided by the British to create the colonial non state of Trans-Jordan.

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The British went on to renege further on their international duties by slowly strangling Jewish immigration. In fact, by the late 1940’s – with the British putting Jewish concentration camp survivors back into camps rather than allowing these refugees a safe haven – the Jews were in open warfare with them. Israel was the product of an anti-imperial fight by a chained people in desperate need of freedom and self determination

But this is not the first time Ireland has been on the wrong side of history when people came for the Jews. When Hitler’s genocidal thugs were eradicating European Jewry – Ireland chose to (at best) sit on the fence. Partial Irish support for the Nazi regime has been well documented. This time around the Irish media is visibly helping to lead them astray.

The role of the press

Following my report on antisemitism in Ireland there have been various attempts by the Irish media to downplay the key findings. If the central role of media is to ‘inform’ then the Irish Media, spearheaded by the Irish Times, is entirely failing in its duty.

A functioning press assesses and challenges the actions of government – making their findings known to the public. Voters can then make their informed feelings heard through the electoral process. If the press does not do its role, politicians are no longer accountable to the people. In a representative democracy a free and functioning media is of utmost importance.

In a recent interview I did with Revelation TV, I pointed out these failings:

Irish politicians are sharing viral lies, fake news, to demonise the Jewish state and there is nothing in the press. Where is the media? Our media in the UK check every post that every politician makes – if a politician does something wrong, he gets pulled up instantly. How is it that not a single Irish newspaper ever – picks up any Irish politician pushing a lie against the State of Israel… Each part of our society has to do its role.. in a situation in a nation where your politicians are losing the plot, becoming obsessive, sharing fake news and spreading hate – whose function is it to expose it? It’s the media. So you absolutely have to look at the Irish media and ask where it has gone?

The Irish Times piece

The Irish Times is one of the worst offenders when it comes to its reporting on the conflict – often obsessing over Israel, demonising Zionism, loading headlines, or publishing an endless stream of anti-Israel letters.

Which brings us to the most recent Irish Times article about antisemitism. It was penned by Sue Pentel (McGeown) and Jacob Wolf, two of those ‘good Jews’ on the fringe (think Jewish Voice for Labour or Jewish Voice for Peace) that antisemites always roll out as a first line of defence.

This is an ‘old antisemitic ploy’:

Irish Times

The piece is full of the usual nonsensical propaganda that was thoroughly debunked by British Jews as they fought the antisemitism in the Labour Party. It is disgraceful that any responsible media should still propagate this venom.

Yet the Irish Times continually gives these people a voice. They would not give such a voice to fringe elements of other minority groups.

I’ll give just one example from the article, which the authors themselves considered ‘crucial’ to their argument:

“Crucially, the working definition (the IHRA) has been widely criticised by over 40 Jewish organisations globally”

The statement is utter bunkum. There was a propaganda list of ’40 organisations’ that the US group JVP put out to support Corbyn’s Labour Party. Back in 2018 I looked closely at the groups named in the list. Most of them were one- or two-man bands. Some had only been created to sign the letter. Bloggers called themselves organisations. Several people signed more than once. One group was even fronted by someone not Jewish – pretending to be a Jew – who was also an antisemite and Holocaust denier.

This is the crucial evidence on which the article depends! What an absolute disgrace that the Irish Times gives legitimacy to this type of empty antisemitic propaganda.

There is a very simple test. Jews thrive in places where they are welcome and safe – and Jewish communities fade in places where the opposite is true. Ireland’s Jewish community has been evaporating. Which means that whilst Sue and Jacob are engaged in an attack against the safety net which the few Irish Jews that remain need – it is the Irish Times that has given them the platform.

The Phoenix hit piece

It says much that the biggest article dealing with my report in Ireland ended up being a hit piece that attacked me rather than the antisemites. It was a full two-page spread in the Irish news and satire magazine ‘the Phoenix’.

The piece itself is an incoherent mess written by someone who because of laziness and an underlying ignorance is left simply spouting gibberish. It always astonishes me that some people who call themselves journalists, write about things they clearly do not know the first thing about. The Journalist – and it may be the editor Paddy Prendiville – would fail the most basic of tests on antisemitism and the Israel / Arab conflict.

It seems that for political purposes – and to protect Sinn Fein – the author simply wanted to get a hit piece out – and then randomly tried to piece together an article by using previously used smears against me. Much of it from the Jew-hating rag the Electronic Intifada. He relied on antisemitic notions too – such as the one that suggests that British Jews who speak out against antisemitism are secret Israeli Embassy operatives. The article even ends with a trope by referencing our ‘enormous resources’.

This was clear from the outset in the message the editor of the Phoenix sent me before publication, which doesn’t shy at all from trying to establish the Israeli Embassy link:

I did respond to this – but the Phoenix editor decided not to put any of my response into the article.

I am not going to spend time addressing the piece here. The person who wrote it clearly didn’t read the report and it is littered with too many basic errors to reply with a straight face. But I do want to highlight two items inside – because they are bigger than the article itself – and can be used to drive home some important points about Ireland’s antisemitism.

In Ireland, ‘Hitler was right’ has become normalised

In my report I had exposed that a sitting Irish politician, TD Chris Andrews, had liked a FB post that suggested Hitler was right. This is mentioned by the Phoenix:

Firstly Andrew’s ‘like’ was on FB not Twitter – just one of the countless errors in the piece. But how can anyone read Andrew’s comment about it and not be left aghast. Andrew’s waved it away by saying he didn’t read it properly, but he did admit it was made by a Palestinian activist and SF member that he knew (it was actually a prominent member ‘Tom Coughlan’, circled in both images below):

Tom Coughlan

But this response raises the real issue. I don’t have any friends, on FB or elsewhere  – who believe that ‘Hitler was right’. Nor I hope would any sitting politician in any decent western country. Ireland is so far gone, so far beyond the normal, that as Andrews distances himself from liking the post- he doesn’t bother distancing himself from the man who said it. The author of the Phoenix hit piece doesn’t see this issue either – because as he explains – we need to understand the Irish anger because it is driven by Israel’s ‘murderous’ treatment of Palestinians.

Pheonix - Irish Times, high level of killing

Which creates the second problem. Racists often justify their dislike of their targets by lying about them. So, is it true, as the Phoenix states – are Israelis murdering Palestinians on a high level?

Checking the high level

I looked at this further. Because it sits at the root of anti-Israel activism. Antisemitism is explained away as anger. But factually there are fewer Palestinians in the West Bank killed by Israeli forces (and almost all of those deaths occur during attacks on Israelis) than there are people killed in homicides in Ireland. Which means even Ireland’s streets are deadlier than the West Bank.

Israel v Ireland

It is an astonishing graph that brutally exposes Irelands anti-Israel obsession for what it is. The West Bank shows an environment in which Israelis and Palestinians mix daily. It also must be pointed out that we are not comparing like for like. The Irish people are murdered. The vast majority of deaths of Palestinians occur whilst they are engaged in killing or trying to kill Israelis. This graph shows just how obscene the Irish obsession with Israel is. What makes this all even worse is that Ireland’s homicide rate is in itself relatively low:

Irish times homicide rates

Irish Times? What about those Irish evictions

There are other issues that Irish people need to look at long before they obsess over and spread lies about what is happening in Israel. Take forced evictions as an example – a staple of the Irish Times attacks on Israel. Israel faces similar pressures that Ireland experiences with rising rent – with far more demand than supply on properties -and yet Ireland’s homelessness problem is 7x+ that of Israel’s. 700%+!! Why? Mainly because of forced evictions – throwing families out of their homes – sometimes from homes they have lived in for decades:

Irish Times Homelessness

As families of Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah were permitted to fight their case for decades from within a property for which they refused to pay rent – they enjoyed Israeli legal protections of which the Irish can only dream. Yet the Irish media – often led by the Irish Times – still feed the frenzy over their potential eviction.

Irish Times sheikh Jarrah

This means that as the Irish have obsessed about Israel evicting a few families not paying rent in Jerusalem – they have been busy evicting hundreds of families themselves.

Even when Israel tries to remove Palestinian families that illegally place their tents inside closed military areas this receives front page attention from the Irish Times . Yet Irish children are thrown onto the street in Dublin without much argument. I imagine the homeless people in Ireland only wish that their media was as obsessed about them as they are about what Israel is doing. Ireland has over 2300 homeless children!  Many from families forcibly evicted from their homes. Israel’s figure is close to zero. Truly shameful.

The antisemitism has blinded them

What blindly ignorant people such as the author of the Phoenix article fail to fathom is that their belief in the lies that are spread (such as the one of a ‘high level of murders’) is rooted in pure antisemitism. The underlying accusation simply isn’t true. Which means the hate itself is based on a lie – people making up stories to justify the smears that they then use to explain their hate for a specific group of people. This is racism in its purest form. It is what all racists do. And it is spreading freely through Ireland – with the media – almost all of it – happily promoting the lies – and spreading the antisemitism as it does so..

{Reposted from the author’s blog}

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David Collier has been writing on the subject of Israel for years and is currently researching anti-Zionist forces on the university campus. During the Oslo years, he coordinated projects between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority and published his own newspaper which was printed in Ramallah.