Written on: 1. 6. 2021 in the category: Uncategorized

A Day That Will Live In Infamy

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In the last week of May 2021, Dail Eireann approved perhaps the most morally degrading motion in its history. The vote to denounce the state of Israel for the imaginary “annexation” of the West Bank was not in itself wicked per se because of the content of the motion; many people around the world would have approved of it, though I would not. The basic assertion about “annexation” is factually, empirically and provably wrong.

But what made the Dail’s vote utterly unacceptable was the history and the identity of the party that had tabled the motion: none other than the Nazi Party’s last remaining ally anywhere, namely Sinn Fein. Nothing emanating from that deeply contaminated source on this matter should ever have been endorsed by other TDs; if necessary, they should have reintroduced essentially the same motion, but with slightly different wording, rather than approve anything about Jews from a party whose antisemitism is so deeply rooted.

In 1899, the founder of Sinn Fein Arthur Griffith wrote of a Hyde Park rally in London seeking to free Alfred Dreyfuss: “Some thirty thousand Jews and Jewesses, mostly of phenomenal ugliness, had come out of their East End dens at the summons of their rabbis. If they hated France, it was obvious that they hated soap and water even more acutely.”

In September 1909, a Mr O’Meara of Sinn Fein petitioned in the Four Courts on behalf of that party against the presence of Jewish voters on the electoral lists for the Wood Quay Ward, because, he said, they were “aliens”. The petition was rejected, but there it is, specific, explicit and unashamed: Jews are “aliens”.

Nearly thirty years later, on January 30, 1939, Hitler announced to the world that in the event of a world war, the Jews of Europe would be exterminated. This clear undertaking was reported on the front pages of newspapers everywhere, including Ireland. Three months after that first declaration of this intended genocide (a word that had not yet been invented), an IRA delegation met a Nazi emissary, Oskar Pfaus, at a house in Clontarf. A formal alliance between the IRA and the Nazis was there agreed.

The following year, Sean Russell, a senior member of the IRA travelled to wartime Berlin to intensify the alliance. His primary contact in Berlin was an SS officer Edmund Veesenmayer. It is one of the more astounding achievements of the Nuremberg war-crimes trials that this creature was not executed after the war, for he had a major role in the extermination of the Jews of Yugoslavia and of Hungary, totalling nearly a million people. However, back in 1940 those glories were still to come when he and Russell discussed the IRA’s plans for Ireland. Russell’s role in the war would not be a political one; he was trained by the Special Forces of the Brandenburg Division in sabotage work, skills that he was no doubt expected to pass on to the IRA in its war against Britain.

In August 1940, Russell embarked on the German U-boat U-65, along with fellow IRA man Frank Ryan to further the interests of the Third Reich. Russell apparently suffered from a perforated ulcer before he got to Ireland and he died aboard. His body was wrapped in the Nazi flag – not an honour lightly bestowed by the Nazis – and was buried at sea. It is a measure of Russell’s importance to the Nazis that they deployed an invaluable U-boat (of only about forty worldwide) at the height of the Battle of Britain to get him into Ireland.

In May 1945, the Taoiseach formally expresses his condolences over the death of Hitler who six years earlier had promised the extermination of the Jewish people – a task he had nearly completed. The following year, Gerald Boland, Minister for Justice, justified restrictions on Jewish refugees coming to Ireland as follows: “it was always policy…to restrict the admission of Jewish aliens (lest it) give rise to an anti-Semitic problem.”

Thus the calamitous post-war decision was taken to give permanent homes to Christian orphans from Europe but only temporary ones to Jewish orphans, who after their holidays here were sent back to the wastelands from which they had fled. How much would Ireland have benefitted from such an input of Jewish talent?

Meanwhile, across western Europe, a new political order was emerging, one which unhesitatingly rejected Nazism and all its allies, but with one exception: Ireland. Here minor German war criminals and their allies were made welcome. SS man Otto Skorzeny was given a warm reception at Portmarnock golfclub and liked Ireland so much that he even bought a home in Kildare. Dublin Corporation gave a site in Fairview Park for the erection of a statue honouring the memory of the Nazi collaborator Russell, paradoxically not far from where Luftwaffe bombs had killed 28 (unhonoured) people in 1942. And in 2003, beside that very statue, the newly emerging star of the Sinn Fein-IRA movement, Mary Lou McDonald reaffirmed the political and moral validity of Sean Russell’s alliance with the Third Reich; unchanged, unregretted, unashamed and unapologetic.

Yet despite this, Sinn Fein has since electorally gone from strength to strength. It’s as if the Irish electorate inhabits a different planet with different ethics from other societies. Certainly, no other democratic society would so electorally reward a political party that annually honours a Nazi collaborator. But then, no other society would ever have allowed such a statue to have been erected, with successive governments then allowing the statue to remain standing.

This is what makes the acceptance of Dail Eireann of a motion from Sinn Fein on the issue of Israel so completely unacceptable. Whereas I would not agree with a single line in the recent Dail motion condemning Israel’s policies on the West Bank, Judaea/Samaria, I can recognise that genuine feelings are honestly being expressed in the vote. But a motion from such a contaminated source as Sinn Fein should never have been backed by the cabinet. Moreover, since Simon Coveney the Minister for Foreign Affairs found it “deeply troubling” that the original Sinn Fein declaration contained not a word of condemnation over the four thousand rockets that Hamas and Islamic Jihad had fired into Israel, did he not think to ask himself why?

For Sinn Fein’s original wording was not some oversight or accidental omission. Quite the reverse. It was a fair statement of where the IRA’s political wing stands on Israel and on Jews generally. Roughly where it stood in 1899, in 1908, in April 1939, in August 1940, in 2003 and where it stood last week: an unbroken and consistently restated continuum of anti-Semitism.

Sinn Fein’s final acceptance of the amended motion that condemns Hamas rocket attacks was merely a tactical ploy, and it worked: almost no one in the world registered the Dail’s censure of Islamist terrorism. And perhaps that reflects another continuum. In 1935, Dail Eireann responded to the rise of Hitler by passing the Aliens Act, designed to keep Jews out of Ireland. Moreover, no Fianna Fail leader has ever rejected or condemned or apologised for de Valera’s condolences over Hitler. And did not Aosdana in more recent years appoint that other Nazi collaborator Francis Stuart as Saoi, or “distinguished artist”, so rare an accolade that it has been awarded only seventeen times?

So last week’s vote is not without precedent as sanctimonious one-sided neutralism and covert anti-Semitism once again erupted in unanalytical emoting.

I’ve no idea how to resolve the issues of the West Bank settlements. But equally, I’ve no idea how the UN could denounce Israeli settlements in Judaea and Samaria and stay silent over Turkish eviction of all Greeks in Northern Cyprus and their replacement by Turks from Anatolia.

I’ve no idea why the UN can condemn Israeli policies towards the largely Muslim Palestinian people and yet stay silent over the forcible incarceration and relocation of millions of the Uighur Muslim population by the Chinese.

I’ve no idea why the UN can repeatedly denounce the hundreds of thousands of “illegal immigrants” who are Jews in the West Bank and stay silent about the nearly fifteen million illegal immigrants who are not Jews in the USA.

But I do have a shrewd idea why Sinn Fein is silent about the death of two victims of the recent and calamitous Israel/Gaza conflict. Khalil Awad and his sixteen-year-old daughter Nadine were Israeli Arabs, killed by a Hamas missile, one of the more than four thousand that Sinn Fein’s motion chose not to acknowledge. That, after all, is the IRA’s way; during the most recent Troubles, did the IRA, the self-proclaimed defenders of the Catholic people, not kill far more Catholics than all the security forces combined?

Selective vision, selective history, selective anger. These are the tools that the IRA has used to negotiate its way to “respectability”. By needlessly and foolishly accepting the Sinn Fein motion on the West Bank, the Government has allowed the political wing of the IRA to appear to be the moral voice of the Irish people. And, as constitutional politicians lose the will to oppose the remorselessly-creeping Sinn Fein agenda, historically the most anti-Semitic party in Western Europe and the Nazis’ last surviving ally, will probably soon be in government, North and South. Within a year of that, Ireland will probably be Judenrein (Jewless) and Sean Russell, Francis Stuart and Mr O’Meara and the others can finally sleep happy afterwards.

And why not?

Tomorrow belongs, tomorrow belongs, tomorrow belongs to thee…

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