The most serious event of the past week wasn’t related to Prime Time’s libel of Father Kevin Reynolds, and it wasn’t what Cardinal Sean Brady did or didn’t do nearly 40 years ago. Far more serious than either for the health of this Republic – though connected to both by a sanctimonious tissue of lethal intolerance – was the intimidation of the band Dervish into cancelling a tour of Israel.
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Dervish’s website was hit by venomous abuse from anti-Israeli activists, on the instructions of the Irish Palestinian Solidarity Group. Every bit as sinister as this has been the silence from politicians and “civil liberties groups”: the exception, of course, being Alan Shatter, who is Jewish. It was as if the intellectual thugs of the IPSG were trying to vindicate my recent suggestion that the largest threat to personal freedom these days comes not from government, but from single-interest pressure groups.
Tactics and techniques that would be called fascist by liberals if used against them were at the heart of the campaign against Dervish. For in the left-liberal culture, certain subjects are beyond the usual courtesies of a tolerant civilization, and instead may be subjected to outright bigotry and bullying. The legitimate targets for this salon-terrorism are the Catholic Church, American Republicans, and of course Israel.
So Prime Time’s libeling of Father Kevin Reynolds was not just a bizarre departure from some cultural norm, but actually was its very quintessence. In other words, when a black African woman and an Irish Catholic priest contradict one another, it is axiomatic that the white man must be lying. Indeed, the prevailing dogma rules that the opposite is quite simply impossible. With that contaminated mind-set at the helm, no wonder RTE sailed right into the iceberg upon a sunlit noon.
And one can go absolutely nowhere with this culture. It permits no conversation, no exchange of ideas and no freedom of speech. One complies, or one is lynched: take your pick. It is the liberal version of Sharia law: one obeys the instructions of the secular mullahs, and one hopes to have a peaceful life. But if you think peace results from the triumph of intolerance, just wait for the 4 am knock on your door – because sooner or later, the mind-thugs will be coming for you too.
And consider the deeper historical continuity within which the Boycott Israel campaign stands. This is the state whose Taoiseach went to offer his condolences on the tragic death of Herr Hitler just weeks after allied troops had liberated Buchenwald, Belsen and Dachau. This was the state that became a safe haven for Nazi war-criminals in the 1950s. This was the state where the Mayor of Limerick in 1970 praised the anti-Jewish boycott in the city in 1903, and far being expelled from the Labour Party, was re-elected TD for the party.
This was the last state in the European Union to exchange full diplomatic relations with Israel. This is the state which recently tolerated the day-long enactment of mock-executions of “Palestinians” by “Israelis” on its main shopping thoroughfare. No, there might not be any personal anti-Semitism in this Republic: but group anti-Semitism seems to have a secure place in the Irish psyche. And the handful of stupid Jews who are backing the Boycott Israel campaign clearly have absolutely no idea of the underlying (and no doubt subconscious) emotions beneath this Israelophobia.
For only such a truly deranged pathogen could single out Israel for a boycott, while in every other state in the region, there are mass violations of civil rights by government-authorized murder-gangs. In Egypt, Islamic mobs have killed hundreds of Christians, devastating Coptic communities whose roots predate the arrival of Islam. Before the catastrophic Anglo-French destruction of the Ottoman Empire, the largest single ethno-religious group in Baghdad were the Jews: and next came the Christians, who between them outnumbered the Sunnis, Shias and Kurds together.
The one country in the Middle East that does not recognize the deranged and barbaric precepts of Sharia law is Israel. Yet this is the one and only state in the region that the Irish Left not merely wishes to stigmatize, but they want to terrorize the rest of us into stigmatizing also. And to judge from the abject silence of our politicians, they seem to be succeeding admirably.
This story was originally published by the Irish Independent