| Not much really. The columnist I alluded to this morning displays her off-putting image. The first page leads with the story that a woman in Kenya was beaten, stabbed and and dumped, while still alive, in a septic tank by a British soldier, in 2012, that senior British officers were apprised of the story and chose to suppress it. |
Not much different from the 1950s during which nearly 1,100 Kenya Africans were hanged after farcical trials by the British. Where General Frank Kitson may not have first won his spurs, but where he delighted in a life in the saddle hunting human beings for slaughter.
The Letters Page under the heading “The Deep Roots of Irish Anti-Semitism” has three letters. Mervyn Slater, with an address in London, inform us that many of the republicans, including, Joseph Plunkett behind the 1916 Rising were openly anti-Jewish and Trevor Lyttleton, also with an address in London, tells us that the then Taoiseach, Eamon de Valera “visited the German Ambassador in Dublin, to express his condolences on the death of Adolf Hitler. A third letter, from Craig Considine,, a lecturer in Rice University, Texas, equates the plight of Palestinians today, with that of the Irish after Cromwell to explain Irish support of Palestinians today. A more informed and viewpoint than that of the other two, But I prefer to deal with more recent times.
The tiny Jewish Community in Ireland has served Ireland well – in the Republican movement, in the Labour movement, in business, literature, the professions and the arts. I have read, both in Irish and English, much of the work of Patrick Pearse, in English the works of Thomas MacDonagh and of James Connolly, three of the seven signatories of the Declaration of Independence and there is not a syllable that can be considered anti-Semitic, or for that matter anti-English. All were well acquainted with English literature.
Pearse’s father was an Englishman, Nor were any motivated by religious bigotry. MacDonagh and Plunkett were married to Protestants, the latter in his prison cell just prior to his facing the Firing Squad. Connolly, when a candidate for Dublin Corporation had leaflets in Yiddish distributed around Rathmines Portobello and the South Circular Road. And Israel’s late President Chaim Herzog recalled how during the Anglo-Irish War of 1921, De Valera, while evading the Brits would stay with his father the Chief Rabbi. The “Sinn Fein Rabbi” was transferred to Palestine as Chief Rabbi and remained as Chief Rabbi on the inauguration of the State of Israel. He and Dev remained firm friends. A forest in Israel is dedicated to the memory of Eamon de Valera. When President Franklyn D Roosevelt died (April 12 1945) the Irish Tricolour was lowered to half-mast, de Valera paid a tribute to him in Dail Eierann and paid a courtesy visit to the American Minister at the Legation in the Phoenix Park, formerly the residence of Britain’s Secretary for Ireland. The American Minister, David Gray, an uncle of Eleanor Roosevelt through marriage was anti-Irish in general, and anti-Dev in particular, but the Irish Statesman was a stickler for protocol and good manners.
A previous occupant of the then Legation had been Arthur Balfour when he had been Chief Secretary, and Gray had been in regular, if unorthodox communication with him, for advice on how to deal with the difficult Taoiseach. For Arthur Balfour had shuffled off his mortal coil in 1930 and could only be contacted by seance. Had the Minister been a Darker Shade Than Gray, can you imagine the fun Evelyn Waugh or Graham Greene would have had with the American Clown.?
The German Minister in Dublin was a career diplomat and not a member of the Nazi party. He always acted with propriety and De Valera, having steered the poorly armed neutral Irish state, was as an accomplished sportsman, who had got a trial for the Munster Rugby Team, was not going to kick a man when he was down.
In 1935 De Valera had publicly condemned the Nuremberg Laws which deprived German Citizens who were Jewish or had Jewish connections of Citizens’ Rights. He was condemned for this by the father of a later Taoiseach, for the Blueshirts were openly Fascist and later recruited an Irish unit to crush democracy in Spain.