Thursday, May 15, 2008

Anti Semitism in Ireland


I was stunned today to read about an anti Semitic incident that occurred in Galway yesterday. You can read the details here.
http://www.independent.ie/national-news/thugs-target-couple-in-antisemitic-attack-1375627.html
To my knowledge incidents like this in Ireland are extremely rare however this does not take away from its seriousness. I would like to think that the culprit in this case was nothing more than a delinquent teenager with a spray can whose actions were prompted by a combination of boredom, stupidity and ignorance. However one cant help wonder if its not part of a larger anti Semitic trend happening in the country. Herb Meyer's (pictured above) home was vandalised in the past. It was not thought at the time that there was a racist motive for the previous attacks but given the nature of the graffiti in this latest case it seems reasonable to assume there is a connection.
But what do I mean when I say larger trend and what exactly is modern antisemitism.

The vandalism of Mr Meyer's home is a form of overt anti semitism. It is indeed very rare in Ireland. However 21st century hatred toward Jews often manifests itself in anti Israel or anti Zionist politics. This is not for a split second to suggest that critics of Israel, even fierce critics are necessarily harbouring racist feelings for Jews. But in some instances I believe that this is the case. The reality is that many people on the far left of the political spectrum resent Jewish ability to accumulate wealth. They identify a connection between rampant global capitalism and Jewish influence on wall street and ownership of multi national corporations. They do not know how to articulate this anger so instead they demonize Israel at any opportunity and criticise the Jewish state out of all proportion and context. I believe that the motivation behind this type of far left criticism of Israel is often anti Semitic. This is my explanation for the sometimes truly bizarre anti Israeli rants I occasionally hear coming out of Ireland where badly informed, highly opinionated left wingers adopt stances more hard line than even moderate Palestinians.

Gubu World will keep an eye on this in the future. Anti semitism also comes from the right and the church which is equally despicable. They will not be spared here. There is no place for anti semitism or any other form of racial bigotry in modern Ireland.

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