Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has asked for clarification from Israeli officials after the Jewish state designated six NGOs operating within Israel as being terrorist organisations, some of which receive funding from the Irish Government.
In a statement made on Friday, the Israeli Defence Ministry described the organisations as being in a network run by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a Marxist-Leninist terrorist organisation which has claimed responsibility for multiple lethal attacks on civilians.
One particularly horrific incident attributed to the group involved two men storming a Synagogue in Jerusalem, attacking congregants with axes, knives and a single firearm. The attack resulted in the deaths of four attendees, as well as a policeman.
Minister Coveney has stated that neither he nor his department received prior warning of the designation, nor have ‘received detailed evidence’ that the allegations made by Israel are correct.
Some of the newly designated organizations have also been receiving funding from the European Union.
Ireland’s History of Dodgy-Dealings
While not much info has been given in regards to the links between the PFLP and the various listed NGOs, it is well within the realm of belief that, likely through ignorance or blind stupidity, Ireland has indeed been indirectly funding violent communist in the West Bank.
This publication has repeatedly detailed the shady domestic operations of NGOs which receive boatloads of cash from the Irish taxpayer. Some notable highlights are the well over a million Euro given to disgraced Transgender Mafia outlet TENI from the HSE, as well as the thousands of Euros given to anonymous Antifa organization Far Right Observatory.
Considering our government’s willingness to throw money at far-left vanity projects domestically, it is hardly a stretch to believe that they would be willing to do the same abroad.
It is also not hard to believe that Ireland would give away resources to those who would use it for violent, extremist ends.
Back in 2017, the Irish state sold the decommissioned LÉ Aisling to a Dutch broker for €110,000. The vessel not only ended up being sold for around 13 times the initial sale price, but wound up in the hands of the so called ‘Libyan National Army’, a Military Junta made up of a variety of militias who routinely wreak havoc on the war-torn nation.
The vessel, now serving as the group’s flagship, now operates under the name Al-Karama, meaning dignity. The irony that this fiasco literally involved the Irish State selling its dignity is not lost on this author.
While no concrete information has been presented as yet, the Irish State’s history of dodgy-dealings alone, while not confirming any claims made by Israel, does indeed make them seem credible. As such, the very possibility that Ireland has been funding a terror group in a foreign state, let alone Israel, is deeply concerning.
It does not help that this development comes at a time where relations between the two nations could not be more strained.
Earlier this month, an anti-semitism report by journalist David Collier claimed that “anti-Jewish racism spreads within the corridors of power and unlike in the UK or US, appears to be as much driven from the top down as the reverse.”
Not soon after, more controversy erupted after it was announced that popular Irish author Sally Rooney announced she would not be allowing publisher Modan to distribute her book in Israel, by extension preventing the book from being translated into Hebrew.
Both incidents led to a serious amount of heat both online and off between the two nations, including a variety of blue-checkmarks from both sides producing hot takes that are both completely nuts and utterly unhelpful.
A Conflict With No Winners
The Irish establishment has long maintained an extreme animosity towards Israel. The Irish government earlier in the year officially condemned the ‘de-facto annexation’ of Palestinian land, and there is a currently proposed bill in the Oireachtas which would criminalise “trade with and economic support for illegal settlements in territories deemed occupied under international law”, with an aim at settlements in Israel, though the bill seems to have ended up in limbo.
Sinn Féin in particular has maintained an extreme policy of anti-Israel sentiment, to the point that their infatuation with the Middle-East appears to be to the detriment of their focus on home affairs.
However, the hostility levelled towards the Jewish state is largely unjustified by any metric.
In regards to human rights abuses, assuming that we can clearly label Israel as the bad guy in the madness that is the Middle-East (which I do not believe to be a reasonable assumption), Ireland’s singling out of the state over the likes of China, Iran, or many of the various Arab states is completely unjustifiable. If we’re willing to get involved in Israel/Palestine to such an obnoxious degree, why does Ireland also still refuse to wade in on Belt-and-Road or Taiwan?
The conflict also does not make sense economically. Ireland regularly ends up exporting about half a billion dollars worth of goods to Israel each year, and the island’s focus on multinational tech, both hardware and software, makes it so that the two states have very similar interests on the world stage. Conflict is against the interests of both nations.
Ireland First Politics
Whatever one thinks of Israel however, what is certain is that taxpayer funds should not be wasted on a foreign continent while Irish people remain homeless, especially if it cannot be ensured that those funds will be used in an ethical manner. The very fact that there are significant question marks over what Ireland is funding abroad is plenty enough reason to remove that funding, and put it towards something that is directly controlled by the Irish State and is for the direct benefit of the Irish people.