I have to hand it to my old chum Eoghan Harris – he’s nothing if not consistent. (He’s also honourable, I must add: with just a bit of nudging he coughed up on a 10-1 bet I took with him some years ago, which he lost. Ach sin sceal eile…) In today’s Sindo, he manages to portray the Israeli side as somehow the victims in the present Middle East onslaught and get a serious hoke in at Gerry Adams. All in one column.
In an article entitled ‘A shameful surrender to Sinn Féin’s Sharia tactics’, he recalls how Sinn Féin a few weeks ago ‘stampeded Dail Eireann into standing for a minute’s silence on Gaza’. He says the Seanad has now ‘followed the Sinn Féin agenda with diatribes against the democratic state of Israel’.
Once more the ghost of Jean McConville is summoned. Eoghan uses it this time as a counter-weight against the Sinn Féin president’s concern over the women and children being slaughtered daily in Gaza. And he quotes at length a retired Royal Saudi Navy commodore – whatever that is – who says Hamas leaders are ‘jet-setters’. He then goes on to recall research he did into the Holocaust, which he found, not surprisingly, horrific.
From there it’s but a hop, skip and step to accusing Irish people of being selective about atrocities – why not focus on ‘Sudan or Somalia or Yemen or Nigeria’? And he’s really pleased that the new minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan, hasn’t expelled the Israeli ambassador.
Ah me. Where to start with Eoghan? Let’s try that Dail ‘stampede’ when Gerry Adams persuaded the Dail to stand in a minute’s solidarity with the people of Gaza: surely Eoghan isn’t saying that the natural instincts of the TDs was not to express solidarity with Palestinians? It was only a gesture but a gesture clearly worth making. Plus those TDs are in most instances tough cookies. They don’t get stampeded if they don’t feel the need to. I’d like to think they stood because they wanted to stand.
As for the Jean McConville reference: while there have been no end of claims made about Gerry Adams being involved in Jean McConville’s death, he says he wasn’t and no evidence has ever been produced to show he was. So is he to be shackled from expressing concern for mothers and children being shelled into oblivion day after day, because of a sad and brutal act some forty years ago?
As for the Hamas leaders being ‘jet-setters’ – I’m sure I don’t know. It’d depend on where they were jetting to. Maybe they were jetting somewhere to tell the world about the heartless onslaught their people are suffering. As for focusing on other atrocities in the world: one at a time, Eoghan, one at a time. Don’t be pointing to the other side of the room when in this particular corner we’re in, there’s a terrible smell of rotting humanity. As for Charlie Flanagan not expelling the Israeli ambassador: that certainly does say something about the man. It says that he’d rather, as Irish foreign minister, toe the line that the US dictates, rather than do what I’m convinced the great majority of Irish people want: kick the atrocity-defender out on his backside.
Despite all Eoghan’s wriggling, despite his using the death of Jean McConville and then the deaths of six million Jews, the stark fact remains: Israel is butchering the people of Gaza and it appears not to give a damn what the rest of the world thinks. I’d suggest if every country with any human feeling were to boot out the Israeli ambassador, it’s just possible the unfeeling monsters in the Israeli government might be forced to think again.