Saturday 25 November 2017

A shared bond

Madam – In the wake of anti-Semitism directed at Justice Minister Alan Shatter, as described in Carol Hunt's column (Sunday Independent, April 6, 2014), as a Jew, my intention is not to eliminate it, but to mitigate it. Much of anti-Semitism by pea-brained people today is cloaked in anti-Zionism. Like every nation, the Irish and Jews have saints and scoundrels, but we also share a bond.

While Menachem Begin, leader of the paramilitary Irgun against the British who ruled Palestine and became prime minister of Israel, regarded the Irish War of Independence as a role model, the IRA valued Begin's book The Revolt as a handbook of guerrilla combat.

The two bestselling novels of the Jewish-American Leon Uris were Exodus, published in 1958, on the creation of the State of Israel, and Trinity, published in 1976, on the Irish fight for freedom. The Irish-American Thomas Cahill wrote How the Irish Saved Civilization in 1995; his next book was The Gifts of the Jews. And last month, Forward, a leading American-Jewish weekly, featured an article, "How the Jews Made America Irish", on the alliance of prominent Irish and Jews.

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