Anti-Israel protest in Dublin (archives)

Ireland funds cultural boycott of Israel

Dozens of Irish artists who have signed petition urging boycott against Jewish state are financed by government bodies, Foreign Ministry report reveals

The Irish government has been funding 34 local artists who signed a petition calling for a cultural boycott against Israel, a classified Foreign Ministry report reveals.


These artists make up one-fifth of all performers receiving public funding in Ireland.


According to a source in the Israeli Embassy in Dublin, not a single Israeli dance or theater company, musician or filmmaker has been invited to Ireland for more than a decade.


Irish elements interested in sustaining ties with Israel are subject to verbal attacks and letters of incitement, led by Irish musician Raymond Deane, also known as the "cultural boycott officer" of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC).


Deane's recent activities included a failed attempt to stop the Riverdance company from performing in Israel, and an attempt to cancel the Israeli Film Days festival organized by the Israeli Embassy in Ireland, which was thwarted at the last minute thanks to the Irish Foreign Ministry's intervention.


The Foreign Ministry report also reveals that although the Irish foreign minister has voiced his objection to any type of boycott against Israeli culture, Deane is still receiving government funding.


The Arts Council of Ireland, which is funded by taxpayers' money, has granted Deane more than $119,000 in the past five years in a bid to free him from the need to work for a living so that he could devote his time and energy to the creation of music.


Deane is not alone: According to the report, another 33 artists receiving a yearly salary from the Irish government have signed the boycott statement against Israel.


"The ongoing funding of a person who has been conducting a hostile, public and aggressive campaign against Israel from Irish taxpayers' money raises very difficult questions," says a source in the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem.


"Nonetheless, an artist's breach of trust toward Ireland's authorities is an internal Irish matter which we cannot and do not wish to intervene in, despite its harsh implications on us."



פרסום ראשון: 12.22.11, 17:54
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