July 9, 2013
When will Irish Eyes be Smiling on Israel?
Jews have been present in the area of Ireland since at least 1079, the first record of them. Today there are fewer than 2,000 Jews living in the Republic of Ireland which has a population of 4.5 million. In Dublin, which has a population of 1.2 million, the Orthodox synagogue has a congregation of 100. The historic treatment of Jews by the Irish has been relatively tolerant compared with other European countries. Some Irish political leaders, rebelling against British rule in the early 20th century, even expressed sympathy for the Jewish people and the suffering of Jews in Eastern Europe which they saw as parallel to their own pain. A few Jews have been active in Irish affairs, particularly Robert Briscoe who, after helping the IRA, later twice became Lord Mayor of Dublin, and his son Ben who also became Lord Mayor. There is presently one Jew, Alan Shatter, a member of Fine Gael the center-right political party, who is a member of Dail Eireann, (Parliament) and who has been Minister...(Read Full Article)