14th October 2021
The recent attention heaped upon author Sally Rooney’s refusal to publish her book in Hebrew with the publisher which printed her first two novels brings into question, not only the equity, wisdom and value of cultural boycotts, but also the question of whether there is a more insidious issue of Antisemitism in Ireland.
As long ago as 1943, a speech given to the Irish National Parliament called for the “routing of the Jews” out of the Country (of Ireland) and, only this year, a member of the Dublin City Interfaith Forum and Holocaust Education Trust in Ireland, Dr. Melanie Brown, drew attention to what she called the “Pavlovian response to conflict in the Middle East is to visit ire upon Jews”. Similarly, independent researcher David Collier has uncovered deep rooted and very troubling Antisemitism in Irish discourse about Israel and Zionism, from the very upper echelons of Irish political society down through to anti-Israel street activism.
As the Zionist Federation of the UK and Ireland, we stand firm with the community in Ireland whilst continuing to monitor the situation and provide support wherever possible.