World Jewish News
Israel deplores Ireland's traditional policy towards Jerusalem
13.07.2017, Israel and the World
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed his dissatisfaction over Ireland's traditional policy towards Israel, during a meeting in Jerusalem with visiting Irish Foreign Miister Simon Coveney.
Netanyahu deplored that Ireland does not condemn the Palestinians for incitement and for glorifying those who commit terrorist attacks.
He also asked the minister why his country helps NGOs that call for the destruction of Israel and noted that many European countries are overlooking the core problem of the conflict which is the Palestinian refusal to recognize the state of the Jews.
Ireland is generally considered as one of the most critical country towards Israel within the European Union, alongside Sweden.
The Irish minister also met with Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin and congratulating him on the formation of the new government in Ireland. He reiterated an existing invitation to the newly elected Prime Minister, Leo Varadker, to visit Israel.
“We would like to welcome him,” Rivlin said, “I think the relationship between Israel and Ireland is very important, in spite of differences of opinion which we have from time to time.”
“We have differences of opinion and we can respect that, but we really are against the idea of boycott, I believe that among people who respect one another we have the ability to criticize from time to time, and also to explain the real facts according to our beliefs.”
Coveney thanked the President for his welcome and said: “I have been to Israel a number of times, and I know there is an impression here that Ireland takes a different position to Israel, can I say that in essence though, we are yearning for the same thing that I think the vast majority of Israelis are, which is a peaceful future. We have experienced a lot of violence on our own island, and we are still working on a peace process,” he noted.
‘’The reason that Irish people are so interested in the Israeli-Palestinian relationship and conflict is because we have had a violent past ourselves, and we see this as one of the great conflicts and divisions in the world. That is why the majority of Irish peacekeeping soldiers are in this part of the world.”
He stressed, “We work closely with Israel in relation to maintaining a good and professional relationship in that regard.”
President Rivlin spoke about the importance Israel placed on building confidence and understanding between the two sides of the conflict.
He noted the tragic rejection by many Palestinians of Israel as a Jewish state, or as a state at all, and stressed the importance of recognizing the connection between the Jewish people and the land of Israel.
Referring to a resolution of UNESCO regarding Jerusalem, he said: “To suggest the Jewish people have no connection to Jerusalem, is to suggest the Irish people have no connection with Dublin, or Guinness!”