A Message from Ireland on Violence and Peace

Ireland is not one of the more supportive countries of the State of Israel, but discussion of an important moment in its 20th-century history may be useful for casting a light on the Arab-Israeli dispute and providing a valuable, if not complete, parallel with it. The Easter Rising in April 1916 was a dramatic moment in Irish history. A major leader and the inspiration for it was Patrick Pearse, a brilliant intellectual and lawyer, a charismatic and complex personality, prominent in the secret Irish Republican Brotherhood. Fusing Catholicism and Irish nationalism, he articulated aspirations of independence from Britain and glorified violence as the means to that end. Pearse, who was executed on May 3, 1916, became a mythic figure who many believe was the icon and even the main creator of the Irish nation. That status and the role of Pearse in Irish history was challenged by Father Francis Shaw, S.J., professor of history at University College, Dublin, in an essay written in 1966...(Read Full Article)