Sunday, June 26, 2011

Gilad Shalit - 5 years On

I took this picture yesterday of a rare pro Israeli demonstration in Dublin.


This weekend marks the fifth anniversary since Israeli soldier Gilad shalit was kidnapped by Hamas in a raid on an IDF post in southern Gaza in which two of his comrades were killed. To mark the occasion demonstrations were held all over the world to bring attention to the plight of the 25 year old who has spent five years in captivity without access to the Red Cross. I am glad to say that such a demonstration was held in Dublin outside the Department of Foreign Affairs in St Stephens Green. It is heartening to see that in Ireland there are people willing to overtly challenge the pro Palestine lobby who completely dominate the Israel/Palestine debate in this country. Ireland will never be a pro Israeli country, but as a nation that has overcome a conflict that most thought would never be solved, Ireland should contribute to the Holy Land discussion in a much more positive way than it does. We need less unrestricted Israel bashing and more rational dialogue that articulates both sides point of view. Perhaps this small demonstration is a small positive step in that direction.

8 comments:

thesystemworks said...

I am very happy this happened in Dublin, and that the reaction of the passers-by was quite positive by all accounts. Pro-Israel demonstrations have increased in the UK in recent years, and we have earned a good reputation with the police by being peaceful, civilised and free of hate. Abbeyleix native Barry Williams should be thanked as the main force for the Dublin demo (family is one of the closest relations to President Obama in Ireland).

We sang HaTikvah in honour of Gilad at Shabbat services yesterday in my synagogue and throughout London. As Gilad is a French/EU citizen we have been able to garner support for him from many European ministers, parliaments and city councils. Even Labour's Eamonn Gilmore has not been hostile in this regard.

Anonymous said...

Most Dubliners I would suggest are generally pro palestine with regard to their difficult relationship with their more powerful neighbours, I think most of us are happy to see that they can demonstrate without too much negativity directed at them... Its a good reflection on our capital city if anything...


eoghan

Anonymous said...

Had you bothered mentioning the 2000 Palestinian men, women and children languishing in Jewish concentration camps we might have thought you fair. As it stands I at a loss as to what drives you, it's not morality - you've demonstrated you are devoid of that. What is it Leddy? The ole Hasbarah coffers paying well these days?

thesystemworks said...

Anonymous Islamist troll: I've visited Israeli prisons, and I can tell you, they are nicer places to be than Mountjoy prison is in Dublin (the worst I have ever seen). Over 100 prisoners affiliated with Hamas have earned long-distance learning degrees in Israeli prisons.

'Concentration camp' indeed. Check out this: http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2011/06/friday-afternoon-roundup-no-muslim.html

Ted Leddy said...

TSW

I should have mentioned Barry Williams who deserves enormous credit for organising the demonstration.

Ted Leddy said...

Eoghan

I agree. It is a fair point that the Irish experience up north might give us reason to be pro Palestinian, and it does to some degree in my opinion. But it also gives us reason to be pro Israel and most importantly, pro the peace process. This is why I strongly oppose any Irish rejection of compromise and a two state solution.

Ted Leddy said...

Anonymous

You found me out. The Jews are paying me to say these things.

Well done !

Anonymous said...

Your admission Leddy, is refreshing. There's hope for you yet! Systemworks, a core Zionist, assures us that Palestinians are well treated - I recall the Nazis saying similar things about conditions for Jews.