Ireland and Israel
Irish academics have called for a boycott of Israel. Haviv Rettig of the Jerusalem Post notes,
"They don't demand a boycott of Sudan, or of China, which has tremendous academic ties to Europe. And they don't want to boycott the United States or Britain over Iraq. There is no universal norm, they're just anti—Israel. So," he concluded, "we have to ask what it is about Israel that upsets them."
There is probably no umbrella answer, but it is helpful to look into the history of the two nations.
A jet landed December 14, 1993 at Dublin airport carrying the Irish Prime Minister, Albert Reynolds (1992—1994) and the Palestinian leader, Yassir Arafat. Side by side they strode to microphones on the tarmac where the Irish PM announced to the world that he was granting Arafat the right to open a delegation which would have the highest diplomatic status of any PLO delegation in an EU state. Aside he mumbled that Ireland would be recognizing the statehood of Israel in the near future.
Two weeks later those papers were signed, December 30, 1993. The agreement allowed Israel to open an embassy in Dublin. Ireland, however, refused to reciprocate by opening an embassy in Israel.
The reluctant recognition by Ireland was accomplished after 17 months of negotiations between the State Department in Washington, D.C. and the Irish government. It was predicated upon the Middle East talks. One wonders what the USA taxpayers paid in compensation to Ireland for this miserly and insulting recognition.
A few months later the Vatican recognized the state of Israel. Why? Pope John Paul wanted to visit Israel; though the Vatican still could not bring itself to call it, "Israel, " instead, said he wanted to visit "the Holy Land."
Until the mid—1980s, only 20 years ago, every mass celebrated in Ireland contained a prayer asking God to "protect us from the perfidious Jew." Talk about brain—washing, installing hatred and distrust. What more sinister route could be chosen for demonizing an entire religious group; an entire nation than through daily worship? Is this any different from the drumming in mosques around the world regarding the Pope