Wednesday 16 January 2019

Israel summons Irish Ambassador over 'campaign of hatred and discrimination'

Ireland's Ambassador to Israel, Alison Kelly
Ireland's Ambassador to Israel, Alison Kelly
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

THE Israeli government accused Dublin City Council of “waging a campaign of hatred and discrimination” during a meeting with the Irish Ambassador in Jerusalem.

Ambassador Alison Kelly was summoned to a meeting with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a move that follows a row over the participation of Dublin Lord Mayor’s in an event in the disputed West Bank territory.

Tensions between the two countries are growing, with the Ministry this evening issuing a statement accusing the City Council of “two hostile decisions”.

This is a reference to motions passed by councillors on Monday. One proposed expelling the Israeli ambassador to Ireland, while the other supported the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign.

Dublin’s Lord Mayor Mícheál Mac Donncha then flew to Israel for a conference in Ramallah.

Officials had decided to decline his entry into the country but it appears Mr Mac Donncha managed to pass through Tel Aviv airport unhindered due to a spelling mistake.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy Director-General - Europe Division Rodica Radian-Gordon expressed her astonishment and deep disappointment that the lord mayor chose to participate in such a blatant anti-Israel event.

“This is especially disturbing when taken in context with the timing of the event – the week during which Israel marks the Holocaust,” the Israeli government said this evening.

“The Government of Israel expects an official public response from the Government of Ireland with regard to the conduct of the both the Dublin city council and of the lord mayor, who are waging a campaign of hatred and discrimination against the State of Israel.”

However, in a statement the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin said Ireland stands by it firm opposition to BDS.

The Department said Ms Kelly “expressed surprise that the Lord Mayor of Dublin had been the one international conference participant singled out by the Israeli authorities, given that he has worked well with the Israeli Embassy in Dublin in his current role, including hosting Ireland’s national Holocaust commemoration this year in his official residence”.

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