Israeli envoy to Ireland grapples with diplomatic tempest amid Hamas war

Serving in one of Europe's most hostile countries toward Israel, Dana Erlich stands firm against strong criticism from prominent Irish officials
Israeli Ambassador to Ireland Dana Erlich has found herself in the eye of the storm since the start of the war against Hamas, paying a heavy personal price for her unwavering defense of Israel's reputation.
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Despite frequently engaging with the Irish media through interviews and participating in background briefings, as well as making several visits to parliament where she met with members of both the parliament and senate, Erlich has been subjected to alarming personal threats and explicit calls on social media.
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דנה ארליך שגרירת ישראל ב ארילנד
דנה ארליך שגרירת ישראל ב ארילנד
A provocative image slandering Erlich
In recent days, messages have called for the ambassador's expulsion, dubbing her a "terrorist ambassador," and circulating unsettling images of her against a backdrop of blood.
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דנה ארליך שגרירת ישראל ב ארילנד
דנה ארליך שגרירת ישראל ב ארילנד
A post vilifying Erlich
Erlich serves in one of the most hostile countries to Israel in Europe, where public sentiment is overwhelmingly against the Jewish state. Additionally, Ireland was one of the countries that voted in favor of an anti-Israel UN resolution, which called for a cease-fire in Gaza while failing to condemn Hamas's actions or call for the release of the hostages.
"In recent days, we have witnessed a surge in hateful attacks against Israel, the embassy and specifically myself as the ambassador within Ireland," she said. "It is disheartening to witness such extreme statements that arise not out of genuine support for the Palestinians, but rather from deep-seated hatred of Israel. Nevertheless, we remain steadfast in our duty and commitment to represent Israel, conveying our perspectives to the government, media and Irish public. It is our responsibility to present the truth in our ongoing efforts to foster understanding worldwide."
A major pro-Palestinian demonstration in Ireland
The ambassador added, "since the onset of the conflict, we have witnessed a commendable mobilization among the Israeli community, the Jewish community and numerous friends of Israel in Ireland. They have been actively organizing solidarity events and countering the extremist voices prevalent in public discourse and social media."
According to her, "We are witnessing a growing number of supporters who are courageously speaking up, recognizing that remaining silent is not an option in the present circumstances. We express our gratitude for the support and solidarity extended by these communities and the Irish public."
Israeli ambassadors across the globe rallied in support of Erlich, affirming that "undoubtedly, she is the best Israeli ambassador in recent years in Ireland. We're all behind her." Reuven Ezer, Israel's ambassador to Romania, emphatically stated, "Those who seek to force our ambassador out of their nation are aligning themselves with Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorist organizations that aim to expel us from our homeland. It becomes more challenging to uproot the Jewish people when they have their own sovereign nation. Thank you, Dana Erlich."
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נשיא אירלנד מייקל היגינס
נשיא אירלנד מייקל היגינס
Irish President Michael Higgins
Ambassador Erlich faced a significant challenge early in the war with Irish President Michael Higgins, a prominent critic of Israel globally. Higgins often speaks on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, consistently supporting the Palestinian perspective and attributing blame to Israel.
During the early days of the conflict, the Irish leader made several statements about the situation. In one of his recent remarks, he accused Israel of violating international law and the Geneva Convention. He also claimed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a pre-planned intent to breach international law, a claim that lacks concrete evidence. President Higgins faulted Israel for allegedly causing a major humanitarian crisis. However, he did not condemn Hamas or address the issue of the hostages in Gaza, including a dual Israeli-Irish citizen.
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