The subjugation of Irishness to the Palestine cause

Some Irish anti-Israel people clearly feel that Irish economic well-being, culture and identity should be sacrificed for the cause of Palestine.

The pictures immediately below depict a parade through Cavan town that was held on Monday, April 1st (Easter Monday). It was to commemorate the Easter Rising in 1916. However, you will notice that nearly all the flags being waved are Palestine flags. If you look very carefully, you will see the orange of the one Irish flag on the right of the first image. I’m pretty sure that Palestine (in either its 1964 variant or its post-1967 variant – both of which we’ve discussed here) had no involvement in the Rising and the flag didn’t even exist in 1916. But that didn’t stop the parade’s participants from turning a commemoration of a key event in Irish history into something else that was all about Palestine.

Palestinian flags and symbols vastly outnumber one Irish flag at a 1916 Rising commemoration in Cavan town on Easter Monday
Palestinian flags and symbols vastly outnumber one Irish flag at a 1916 Rising commemoration in Cavan town on Easter Monday

Meanwhile, the organisation Sport4Palestine has been asking GAA fans to bring Palestine flags to matches rather than the flags of their team or county. As far as this writer can tell, this pointless and ridiculous suggestion has been almost completely ignored by Gaelic football and hurling supporters. They have the common sense to recognise a meaningless gesture that would have had no effect on the Palestine issue.

Even more ridiculous were calls from anti-Israel groups for Irish people to ditch the wearing of shamrocks on Saint Patrick’s Day in favour of badges in the Palestine colours. As with the Palestinian flags at the GAA matches, this would have been just another pointless action. Why should Irish people abandon our cherished national symbol on our national day? Would people in any other European nation be asked to do this?

Given the level of attention that the Palestine issue gets from Irish politicians and media, an outsider would be forgiven for thinking that it’s a burning topic for ordinary Irish citizens. However, in a recent poll asking people which issues were of importance to them, only 4% mentioned it. This probably explains why the above suggestions about flags and shamrocks have been almost completely ignored.

It extends beyond the cultural sphere. Several politicians – including Labour leader, Ivana Bacik – have called for Ireland to cut trade ties with Israel. Thankfully, it’s no longer within the remit of the Irish government to do this since trade policy is now decided at the EU level. I say thankfully because such a harebrained idea would devastate Irish technology companies, considering the close ties between the Irish and Israeli tech sectors. However, once again, we have anti-Israel elements calling for inane gestures that symbolically put Palestine before Irish people but are of no benefit to anyone.

Does this photo-shopped image show how some anti-Israel elements see their loyalties vis-a-vis Irish people and Palestine?
Does this photo-shopped image show how some anti-Israel elements see their loyalties vis-a-vis Irish people and Palestine?

In November 2022, we reported briefly on the unhappiness of the Palestinian representative in Dublin about the start of direct El-Al flights from the Irish capital to and from Tel Aviv. Dr Jilan Wahba complained that this was rewarding “apartheid”. We wondered at the time about the presumptuousness of Dr Wahba in thinking that Ireland should – in effect – put Palestine before Irish economic well-being just to make an inane anti-Israel gesture.

The evidence from the last few months suggests that some Irish anti-Israel people not only agree but feel that Irish culture and identity should also be subjugated to the Palestinian cause. The question arises as to why they feel this way and there are no obvious answers.

By Ciarán Ó Raghallaigh.

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