Photo Credit: Yoav Lin, KKL-JNF Photo Archive
Irish ambassador to Israel, Sonya McGuinness planting a tree in Ben Shemen Forest, February 12, 2024.

Are you in a forgiving mood? Let’s find out together. On Monday, Irish ambassador to Israel Sonya McGuinness planted a tree in Ben Shemen Forest during a JNF-KKL ceremony, as a symbol of strengthening ties between the two countries.

During the planting ceremony, the ambassador remarked: “We have all endured a difficult and traumatic period since October 7, Israelis as well as us as guests of this country. This morning, we contemplate the fact that this land was here before us and it will stay after we have gone. When we stand here together in peace, we are reminded that peace is what unites us, not what separates us.”


Let’s look at that part, the what-separates-us part.

  • Last week, players on the Irish women’s basketball team refused to shake hands with their Israeli counterparts before a match between the two sides. The Israeli women won, by the way.
  • In November 2023, a nine-year-old girl with dual Irish and Israeli citizenship was released as part of a hostage deal with Hamas, prompting Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar to tweet: “An innocent child who was lost has now been found and returned.” Both Israel’s President Yitzhak Herzog and Foreign Minister Eli Cohen told him she hadn’t been “lost,” she had been taken hostage by Hamas terrorists who beheaded babies, raped women, and murdered some 1200 innocent Israelis.
  • In May 2021, the Dáil Éireann, the lower house and principal chamber of Ireland, declared that the building of Israeli settlements on Arab land was de facto annexation. It was the first EU member state to do so. An amendment calling for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador to Dublin Ophir Kariv was defeated. Perhaps the new ambassador, Dana Erlich, could plant a tree outside parliament to make it all better?
  • In 2019, the Dáil passed the second stage of the ‘Occupied Territories Bill’ by 78 to 45 votes, to restrict the importation of goods that originated from “any of the Israeli-occupied territories, including the settlements in the West Bank, Golan Heights, and East Jerusalem.”
  • On April 10, 2018, the Lord Mayor of Dublin Mícheál Mac Donncha traveled to Ramallah to attend a Palestinian Authority conference on the status of Jerusalem, avoiding an Israeli government ban due to confusion arising from the spelling of his name in Irish on his passport.
  • On April 9, 2018, Dublin City Council became the first European capital to vote in favor of resolutions endorsing the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel and calling for the expulsion of the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland. The City Council boycott included a call to boycott Hewlett-Packard.
  • In January 2018, Irish Senator Frances Black proposed a bill in the Irish Seanad to criminalize the purchase of goods and services from settlements in Judea and Samaria.
  • On October 22, 2014, the Seanad (Irish Senate) passed a motion calling on the government to formally recognize the State of Palestine.
  • On July 31, 2014, the 23rd day of the 2014 Israel–Hamas war, Ireland’s Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan said he shared “the horror and revulsion of senators and very many of our citizens at the horrendous scenes we have witnessed since the start of the Israeli military operation.”
  • In early 2012 the Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign organized a “cultural boycott” of Israel, forcing Irish music group Dervish to cancel a tour of Israel, citing “an ‘avalanche of negativity’ and ‘venom’” that had been directed against them.
  • On January 25, 2011 Ireland upgraded the PA delegation to Ireland to a full-blown embassy.
  • Finally, according to its foreign office, “Ireland annually provides €10 million ($10.7 million) in bilateral and multilateral aid to the Palestinian people and organizations, including €3.5 million ($3.7 million) through the UNRWA.”

On Monday this week, Orna Toeg, manager of the Scotland, Ireland, and South Africa section for fundraising and external relations in KKL-JNF, declared: “Together we planted a tree that symbolizes hope, growth, and a message of unity. We see before our eyes a future of solidarity and mutual responsibility. I welcome the ambassador and hope for fruitful cooperation in the future between KKL-JNF and our friend, Ireland.”

You have to feel for poor Orna Toeg for her job which includes dealing with Israel’s three nastiest enemies in the West (if you count South Africa as a Western country). I honestly hope they pay her a lot, she deserves it.

I also have nothing personal against Ambassador McGuinness, mostly because her name has “Guinness” in it, an Irish dry stout that originated in the brewery of Arthur Guinness at St. James’s Gate, Dublin, Ireland, in 1759, God bless all their hearts.



Previous articleBiden, Egypt Warn Israel Not to Finish Off Hamas
Next articleLabour Drops Candidate Who Claimed Israel Invited Hamas to Kill Its Citizens
David writes news at