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Thursday 18 September 2014

Columnist targeted by anti-Semitic hate mail

Published 02/02/2013 | 16:06

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AN ISRAELI journalist who claimed she encountered anti-Semitic remarks from a group of Irish students says she has now been subjected to a barrage of hate messages.

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Sarah Honig, a columnist with the English-language 'Jerusalem Post', claims she has received "hundreds" of items of hate mail.

She is anxious that this be publicised so Irish people will "realise the sentiments that run rampant in segments of their communities".

Ms Honig has traced one of the emails sent to her to an IP address in Lusk, Co Dublin.

The author, who calls himself 'Charles', writes: "Your (sic) a bag of filth. I just read about your recent escapades in Cahersiveen, I just wish the Nazi's (sic) were still around to deal with scum like you."

Ms Honig claims the email was just one example of the "hundreds of hate messages" she has received.

The controversy erupted after a column was published in the 'Jerusalem Post' last Friday entitled 'Another tack: that unwitting indecency'.

In it, Honig recounted her experiences in Cahersiveen, Co Kerry before Christmas.

She claims students at Colaiste na Sceilge had told her "Jews are evil" when she engaged with them after they had asked her to contribute to a Trocaire campaign to buy olive trees for displaced Palestinian families. She claimed their teacher who accompanied them also expressed bias.

But principal of Colaiste na Sceilge John O'Connor has flatly denied her claims.

Ms Honig said that she was "deeply saddened" at the "lack of comprehension" and at the fact that people hadn't read her column before they denounced it.

"Clearly, I don't label the Irish or residents of Cahersiveen as anti-Semites. I call them 'very decent folks' and I call the indecency I encountered 'unwitting'," she told the Irish Independent.

"It was certainly not to tar Cahersiveen residents as anti-Semitic.

"Indeed my aim is encapsulated in my headline, which derives from the key point of my entire argument – there's sadly no remedy for that unwitting indecency of essentially very decent folks. It parades as high-minded but is irrational," she added.

Irish Independent

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