herald

Monday 26 June 2017

Israeli ambassador faces accusations of 'anti-Jewish racism'

The Palestinian flag
The Palestinian flag

A Dublin-based Jewish group has hit out at the Israeli ambassador to Ireland for suggesting that Dublin City Council's support for Palestine would alienate the Jewish community in the country.

The group has said "conflating Jewish communities with Israel is a form of anti-Jewish racism".

The Jewish Voice For A Just Peace has responded to a letter sent by Israeli ambassador Ze'ev Boker to city councillors, lobbying them not to vote for a Palestinian flag to be raised above City Hall next month.

The council's protocol committee voted unanimously in favour of raising the Palestinian flag and the decision will go before the full council on May 8, for a potential raising of the flag on May 15 - which will last for a full month.

Unfairly

In his letter to city councillors on Thursday evening, Mr Boker said that by raising the flag above City Hall, it could be "construed as the council unfairly advocating for one side in what is a deeply contentious conflict between Israel and Palestine".

"We must ask what kind of message such a gesture sends to these Israelis who are proud to now call Dublin their adopted home?" Mr Boker said.

"I also know that some members of the Irish Jewish community are concerned by the negative message the flying of the flag promotes."

However, in a response letter to councillors, Jewish Voice For A Just Peace said: "Our organisation are Jewish people in Ireland who support the Palestinian struggle for human rights and justice - a struggle that resonates with the Irish journey towards peace.

"We support flying the Palestinian flag on occasions. We also endorse boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, until Israel ends its occupation and respects human rights."

A number of city councillors reiterated to the Herald their confidence that the motion will pass any vote on May 8.

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