Eoghan Harris: Remembering Zion -- and a big Shalom to his successor
Published 22/08/2010 | 05:00
LAST week, Zion Evrony finished his four-year stint as Israel's ambassador to Ireland. Although I am sorry to see him go, I am glad for his own sake. Four years is a long time to spend listening to the special sick sound the Irish body politic makes when it speaks publicly about Israel.
For most of his time in Ireland we behaved like boors to Evrony. The Irish Times intellectuals implied similarities between the behaviour of Israel's armed forces and the Nazis, Sinn Fein politicians compared him with Josef Goebbels, Galway students jostled and jeered his attempts to make his country's case, Carrickmacross Council voted to rip the page from the visitor's book he had signed.
To its shame, the Irish political class did not just stand idly by while this cultured Jew, alone among all the ambassadors, was harried and hounded: it actively joined in. Evrony was treated like the emissary of some evil dictatorship when, in fact, he represented the only real democracy in a Middle East dominated by squalid dictators, and Islamist fundamentalists who are fascists in the full sense of the word.