Israeli PR efforts to win Irish hearts and minds “too little too late”

March 5, 2010
By

Micheal Martin - Irish Central

An Israeli PR exercise to fix its relations with Ireland following the Dubai assassination passport fiasco “may be too little too late”, an Irish paper has said.

Tel Aviv has come under tremendous pressure from Ireland after Mossad agents used forged Irish passports to enter Dubai and kill a senior Hamas commander in a hotel room on January 19.

In an OpEd published by the New York Times on Thursday, Zion Evrony, Israel’s ambassador to Ireland, remarkably departed from the former tactics of ignoring Northern Ireland’s peace process as a possible source of lessons for the Middle East conflict.

“First and foremost, there is the concept that to resolve a difficult conflict, each side, while retaining its “dream” — its maximum aspiration — must be willing to forego its implementation in practice. Painful compromises were made by both sides in the Good Friday Agreement, without which no deal would have been possible,” he wrote, marking a major change from years of Israeli claims that “there were few if any lessons to be learned for the Middle East from Northern Ireland’s peace process.”

However, according to Niall O’Dowd, from Irish Central, the fact that the Israeli ambassador has seemingly changed the perception to say that the key lesson from Ireland is that both sides must give up their maximum aspiration, shows that “Israel is clearly on the defensive” and that the Israeli “soothing article” and “love letter to the Irish accomplishment in the peace process” may be “too little too late.”
“The Irish are furious and rightfully so at Israel over the use of Irish passports by the death squad that killed a Hamas operative in Dubai. They believe such tactics put Irish travelers in the Middle East in real jeopardy. It is hard to argue with them,” Niall O’Dowd wrote. “The town of Carrickmacross recently tore out the page devoted to the Israeli Ambassador’s visit in their welcome book. It is an example of the anti Israel sentiment current in Ireland. I doubt The New York Times article will help much.”

Writing in the New York Times on Thursday, Michael Martin, Ireland’s foreign minister, said that “the medieval siege conditions being imposed on the people of Gaza are unacceptable” and urged the European Union and the international community to “do more to increase the pressure for the ending of the blockade and the opening of the border crossings to normal commercial and humanitarian traffic.”

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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