Irish hearts should be big enough to have compassion for both the Palestinians and the Israelis.
Irish minds should be rational enough to insist that our “peace activists” do not align themselves with groups that promote murder, homophobia, sexism, anti-Semitism, religious intolerance and global jihad.
Now that Iran and Hezbollah are involved in the Gaza flotilla movement, it is clear that Irish peace activists have been keeping less-than-peaceful company.
In recent coverage, the MV Rachel Corrie was routinely reported as an “Irish-owned” ship. Yet its purchase was funded by a groups headed by the former prime minister of Malaysia, Tun Mahathir Mohamad, who believes that 9/11 was staged and that Jews deliberately caused the Asian financial crisis.
He also recently asserted that Jews in Europe had “always been a problem,” and that “they had to be confined to ghettos and periodically massacred. But still they remained, they thrived…[and] held whole governments to ransom. Even after their massacre by the Nazis…they survived to continue to be a source of even greater problems for the world.”
In October 2003, he stated that “Jews rule this world by proxy.” In the same speech, he stated that “1.3 billion Muslims cannot be defeated by a few million Jews…For well over half a century we have fought over Palestine. What have we achieved? Nothing. We are worse off than before. If we had paused to think, then we could have devised a plan, a strategy that can win us final victory.”
Final victory. How that phrase must resonate with the many Jewish people who remember the Nazi’s “final solution” - the very same final solution which Ireland did nothing to prevent. Throughout the 1930s and through the Second World War, Ireland did next to nothing to help the Jews, declining even to accept Jewish refugees in any meaningful way, right up to De Valera’s condolences on Herr Hitler’s death in 1945.
Since Ireland never took a principled stand against the threats of fascism or communism it was perhaps only natural that the dominant Irish attitude to the rise of Islamism over the past decade would mirror the historically indulgent and sympathetic attitudes toward Nazism and Communism.
Perhaps such currents of thinking led to an Irish ship forming part of a flotilla in conjunction with the “Mavi Marmara.” As the latter ship sailed out from Istanbul for Gaza, a Turkish station broadcasted the ship’s farewell party. In the background, these words are heard over the loudspeaker: “Oh you Jews … the army of the prophet Mohammed will return -- just like in Khaybar, … Intifada until victory!”
In response to a radio transmission by the Israeli Navy warning the Gaza flotilla that they were approaching a naval blockade, passengers of the Mavi Marmara responded, "Shut up, go back to Auschwitz" and "We're helping Arabs go against the US, don't forget 9/11".
On board that same ship were German left wing parliamentarians (living proof that those who forget history are condemned to repeat it) along with writers for radical Islamist newspapers and officials from the Turkish BPP party, a political outfit with known anti-Semitic and militant tendencies.
What brings Irish “peace activists” in to such a disturbing alliance with anti-Semitic militants and supporters of Islamic terrorism?
A clue lies in the name of the “Irish” ship – the MV Rachael Corrie. Ms. Corrie was an American activist who went to Gaza as a “human shield” and died in Gaza after being crushed by an IDF bulldozer at age 23. She went to Gaza with the International Solidarity Movement, whose “peace activists”, including Irish ones, have been photographed posing with machine guns.
Whether her death was an accident or the intentional effort of a malignant Israeli bulldozer driver, depends on who you ask. All I know is that bulldozers don’t move that fast, and she was a long way from her home in Washington State. It is also perhaps notable that she was photographed burning an American flag in front of dozens of Palestinian children.
Mark Steyn clearly doesn’t observe Irish habit of not speaking ill of the dead: “Rachel Corrie, he says, was “a foolish young American killed while enjoying the frisson of vacationing in someone else's despair.”
I have no wish to question a dead young woman’s motives, nor to impugn her character. Certainly she had very sincere empathy for the Palestinians, whose plight is truly tragic. There’s nothing wrong with being young and idealistic, but if you choose to become involved in someone else’s conflict, you have a duty to be informed of all perspectives, and to disabuse yourself of any naïve notions before you set out.
Perhaps Rachel Corrie speaks best for herself:
“Okay, I’m Rachel. Sometimes I wear ripped blue jeans. Sometimes I wear polyester. Sometimes I take off all my clothes and swim naked at the beach. I don’t believe in fate but my astrological sign is Aries, the ram, and my sign on the Chinese zodiac is the sheep, and the name Rachel means sheep but I’ve got a fire in my belly.”