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144 Irish educators pledge boycott– as Karmi says, We gave up waiting on governments for help

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Yesterday Academics for Palestine launched in Dublin with the announcement that scores of educators would boycott Israeli institutions– “just as they did with apartheid South Africa,” in the words of Conor McCarthy. It issued the statement below, and posted the press conference, above, which begins with the reading of congratulations from Omar Barghouti and Ilan Pappe and includes statements by the Palestinian author Ghada Karmi and Israeli filmmaker Haim Bresheeth.  

Karmi’s statement is particularly eloquent and instructive of the politics of the matter. she begins at about 9:30. (I did not transcribe the end of her remarks, in which she exclaims over the incredible support Israel enjoys from world powers, including the 2020 Horizon program in Europe). 

I cannot tell you how much I welcome this initiative… I speak here as a Palestinian and as somebody aware throughout my life, that we the Palestinians never enjoyed the support of any state, major power or even a major institution in this world. In the end, our case, the people we looked to, the areas we have looked to for support in our struggle against injustice, are civil society. We learnt through a very painful process that waiting for governments to help, waiting for formal official bodies to understand that a great injustice had been committed in Palestine in 1948 and that everything we see today, the occupation of the post-1967 territories, is only the result of what happened in 1948. A great injustice was committed. We waited for a very long time for people at the official level to understand that, to take up the struggle with us, to help us. It never happened. So in the end, through a very, very hard road, we learnt that our true friends resided not in officialdom, not in states which have interests, but in decent ordinary people because that’s what I think we are, too, and hence the call to boycott which appeared from the Palestinian civil society in 2004 and has taken off since then. To me, looking at you today represents a very real and optimistic change in what had been a very dark scenario… entrenched centers of power… keep this whole show on the road. 

Here is the press release:

On February 20th 2014, 138 Irish academics (now 144) signed a pledge, organised by Academics for Palestine, to support an Academic Boycott of Israel until Palestinian rights are respected. The pledge reads as follows:

“In response to the call from Palestinian civil society for an institutional academic boycott of Israel, we pledge not to engage in any professional association with Israeli academic, research and state institutions and with those representing these institutions, until such time as Israel complies with international law and universal principles of human rights.”

The signatories come from a wide range of disciplines and include many well-known names, such as Seamus Deane, Ailbhe Smyth, Luke Gibbons, Ronit Lentin, Joe Cleary, Kieran Allen, Kathleen Lynch, Tadhg Foley, Terrence McDonough and Helena Sheehan. At least one of the signatories has previously withdrawn from an EU-funded project because of Israeli involvement.

See the full list of signatories here.

Dr Ghada Karmi, a Palestinian doctor of medicine, scholar and lecturer at the University of Exeter, emphasised that the international campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) does not target Israeli individuals but institutions. Far from being a threat to academic freedom, she says BDS affirms its importance for Palestinians: “Israel’s well-documented repression of Palestinian academic life and victimisation of Palestinian teachers and students is a scandal to be denounced by all those who claim to care about academic freedom”.

Dr Conor McCarthy, lecturer in English in NUI Maynooth and a long-time campaigner for Palestinian rights, welcomed the initiative, saying that “the recent endorsement of the boycott campaign by the 5,000-member American Studies Association in the US, along with positive moves by the Modern Language Association and the controversy over Scarlett Johansson, showed that BDS is now very much part of a mainstream international debate”.

In April 2013, the Teachers Union of Ireland, which represents lecturers at institutes of technology across the State, became one of the first academic unions in the world to endorse the boycott.

According to Prof. Haim Bresheeth, an Israeli film-maker and scholar, “the US, EU and other states have protected Israel and financed its occupation ever since 1967, making it impossible to resolve the conflict through the UN or international diplomatic channels. It puts a special responsibility on international civil society, and BDS is its main tool to resolve the conflict in a just and peaceful way.”

This release was posted first at Academics for Palestine. The group solicits new signers: If you are an academic based in Ireland and would like to sign the pledge, please contact us at: [email protected]

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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89 Responses

  1. amigo on February 21, 2014, 11:39 am

    Congratulations to these Irish academics.

    You are on the right side of history and I am proud Ireland through such people is leading the battle against the criminal state of Israel.

    BDS works and Israel,s spokes people are getting very nervous and so they should.It,s all downhill for the Zionist entity.

    • MRW on February 21, 2014, 12:12 pm

      The Irish have always had balls. Especially intellectual balls.

      • just on February 21, 2014, 1:11 pm

        A truism, MRW!

      • The JillyBeans on February 21, 2014, 6:11 pm

        and Guinness!

      • Shmuel on February 21, 2014, 6:24 pm

        Guinness for Strength!

      • just on February 21, 2014, 7:43 pm

        Guinness is good for whatever ails you!

        It’s creamy, not full of bubbles.

      • Kathleen on February 22, 2014, 1:18 pm

        1 Guinness for a meal

      • Kathleen on February 22, 2014, 9:48 am

        And they know oppression and discrimination when they see it. Well except for the Catholic church. I would call them”my people” but I hate that discriminatory, exclusive and often ethno centric hooey. They are our people. Standing up for human rights and social justice. When folks move beyond their own ethnic, cultural, religious identities and apply human rights standards to all then and only then the world becomes a much better place. Kudo’s to these Irish educators

      • seafoid on February 22, 2014, 10:48 am

        “Standing up for human rights and social justice”

        Here’s a real WTF , Kathleen

        “Israeli military one of the world’s most LGBT friendly, report says
        In the first index to rank countries by the inclusion of gay and lesbian service members, Israel breaks the top ten, far ahead of the United States.

        The IDF has been at the forefront of LGBT inclusion for decades, allowing gay and lesbian soldiers to serve openly since 1993, just when the United States enacted its infamous “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Polchar suggested that in many ways, the Israeli military has been more inclusive than society at large.

        “The military in Israel is in the vanguard of LGBT inclusion when compared to a relatively conservative civilian society,” he said. “The IDF’s proactive approach to inclusion could make it a role model for the rest of Israel.”

        It’s a pity they have no time for Palestinians – either straight or gay

        And The IDF is VERY LGBT UNfriendly when LGBT stands for Lebanon, Gaza, Balestine, Tunisia

    • on February 21, 2014, 3:14 pm

      couldn’t hear a thing said.
      by the way, their brothers across the irish sea in scotland are waging their own war against the oppression of great britain. boy, without the scottish north sea oil, .
      britain very soon won’t be so great anymore.
      succession is about to come to a vote very soon and is the biggest thing going on there.
      scotland has publicly sided with palestine in their mutual fight against the oppressors.

  2. Walid on February 21, 2014, 12:10 pm

    Hooray for the Irish.

  3. phylliprezzel on February 21, 2014, 12:32 pm

    I have just finished reading Dr. Karmi’s memoir “In Search of Fatima: A Palestinian Story.” While I knew some of the 1948 history, reading her story of living suspended between two cultures and fitting into neither, opened a new awareness to the psychological displacement the Nakba caused.
    I am glad to learn of her activities since completing her memoir.

  4. just on February 21, 2014, 12:49 pm

    Colossal thanks to these honorable educators and practitioners of humanity– they are the true leaders! Who’s next to follow in their steps????????

    “So in the end, through a very, very hard road, we learnt that our true friends resided not in officialdom, not in states which have interests, but in decent ordinary people because that’s what I think we are, too, and hence the call to boycott which appeared from the Palestinian civil society in 2004 and has taken off since then. To me, looking at you today represents a very real and optimistic change in what had been a very dark scenario… entrenched centers of power… keep this whole show on the road.”

    This is so elegantly and eloquently phrased. It’s incredibly wonderful when truth hits home so very succinctly and searingly.

  5. John Douglas on February 21, 2014, 2:13 pm

    As a retired academic (philosophy) I am proud that the academic community is taking a stand that political leaders in the West and especially in the U.S. are too spineless to take, a stand for undeniably simple justice. This process has illuminated for me personally how brave and steadfast the Palestinian people have been in defending alone, with no national allies, their lives, their land and their rights against the overwhelming power of the Israeli/U.S. axis.

  6. Walid on February 21, 2014, 3:19 pm

    Disappointing that eloquent voices such as Karmi, Ashrawi, Butto and others are not given an official platform to speak on behalf of the Palestinian government, as if they are purposely kept away. We often hear about the Zionists being on a path to self-destruction; not much different on the Palestinian side.

    • just on February 21, 2014, 3:33 pm

      Walid, though I would dearly love for Karmi, Ashrawi and Buttu to be “given an official platform”, I in no way believe that the Palestinians are on “a path to self- destruction”!

      Far from it. They are a resilient and resourceful people. All of the amazing women you’ve mentioned are doing their own part for freedom and justice, in their own chosen way.

      The cruel ‘path’ that the Palestinians have been made to trod upon has been one manufactured and paved by Israel and their ‘ally’ — the complicit US.

    • seafoid on February 22, 2014, 1:55 am


      It might be a classic military strategy. Keep the bots occupied in pointless talks while other activists dig underneath their position so that when they stand up they collapse into a big hole called justice.

    • puppies on February 22, 2014, 2:34 pm

      @Walid – What do you expect a streetsweeper-dogcatcher-level Quisling government to do, promote the courageous and the resistants? Of course they are purposely kept away. In fact, they are surviving only thanks to overwhelming popular approval.

  7. munro on February 21, 2014, 3:56 pm

    Link to the pamphlet mentioned in the introduction by Jim Roche of the Dublin Institute of Technology:

  8. gingershot on February 21, 2014, 4:13 pm


  9. seafoid on February 21, 2014, 4:45 pm

    Ronit Lentin is seriously impressive. She grew up in Israel but saw the writing on the wall and moved to Ireland. I think she’s head of sociology at UCD. She also introduced RTE to the theme tune for its most popular sports programme.

    Search for Ronit Lentin

    The theme tune

    • gamal on February 22, 2014, 1:56 pm

      I met Ronit Lentin when in Ireland, she is a remarkable academic, mostly she was criticized for always bringing up racism, in the integration fora I found myself co-opted into. I tended to her view and she is very active in the movement to support African Asylum seekers in the quest for liveable conditions in Eire. And along with other academics in Ireland, like Karl Kitching and an excellent Palestinian academic, whose name I don’t feel able to include, very active in Palestinian support groups.
      Most of the black post grads and researchers I spoke to dreamed of having her as a supervisor, especially those dealing with womens and post-colonial studies, she is a very clear no nonsense speaker.

  10. just on February 21, 2014, 4:54 pm

    A bit reminiscent of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass!

  11. Citizen on February 21, 2014, 6:41 pm

    Go Irish! Go Palestinians! Go Mondoweisers! Irish in America, wake up! We need your help!

    • ziusudra on February 22, 2014, 3:55 am

      Greetings Citizen,
      ….Irish in America…..
      I’m sure the Descendents of the Irish remember their ethnicity.
      These Irish/Americans on the east coast helped free Irish fighters
      that were shipped off from Ireland to camp prisons in Australia in 1875.
      It took over a year, but they freed them & brough them to safty.
      Me, no, i’m not Irish American, but my surrogate father, John Malloy was
      our Counsellor in a Catholic Boarding School in Peekskill, N.Y. in the 40s.
      He gave us all an irish heart.

  12. giladg on February 22, 2014, 3:30 am

    The same way that the so called liberals initiated the Arab Spring protests in Tahrir Square and then had the carpet pulled from under them by the radical Islamists, the BDS movements has/will be taken over by those who want the elimination of Israel. You then have a few liberal Jews who have aligned with BDS saying “no, no it’s only against settlements”, but do not yet realize that no one is listening to them anymore.

    • on February 22, 2014, 6:57 am

      As soon as I read the term “radical Islamists” I know some real nonsensical hatred is following.

      • just on February 22, 2014, 7:38 am

        Well said, Giles.

    • Sumud on February 22, 2014, 7:55 am

      The same way that the so called liberals initiated the Arab Spring protests in Tahrir Square and then had the carpet pulled from under them by the radical Islamists,

      Ziocaine rots your brain, so we end up with:

      Free and fair elections = “carpet pulled from under them”

      Violent military coup = no comment.

      the BDS movements has/will be taken over by those who want the elimination of Israel.

      What exactly do you mean by “the elimination of Israel”?

      • Sycamores on February 22, 2014, 11:16 am

        What exactly do you mean by “the elimination of Israel”?

        giladg means:
        the end of occupation, equality and the right of return as stipulated in UN resolution 194, will be the end of israel as it is now , an supremacist, ethnocratic and apartheid state.

      • seafoid on February 22, 2014, 2:58 pm

        “What exactly do you mean by “the elimination of Israel”?”

        Customers are advised that their original choice may not be available, in which case we will endeavour to replace it with a product of equal or superior quality.
        And let’s face it, Israel is a very, very shoddy Jewish redemption.

        Holy War

        And what came next

        The pointlessness of all those prayers at the Kotel

      • MHughes976 on February 22, 2014, 3:17 pm

        I wish to see the elimination of the present system of river-to-sea minority rule and the substitution, under whatever name and maybe by several steps, of a system where there is no racial or religious discrimination, where sovereign power enfranchises all adults whom it governs and where there is nothing resembling the present ‘occupation’. I usually call that ‘the liberation of Palestine’. Some might call it, since we are all free to choose words, ‘the elimination of Israel’ as Israel is at present. But I think it could better be called ‘the liberation of Israel’ too.

      • seafoid on February 22, 2014, 4:25 pm

        I want to see that too. I think Israel is a system failure. A Jewish state built on injustice is not worthy of the name.

    • Talkback on February 22, 2014, 2:49 pm

      giladg: … by those who want the elimination of Israel.

      But gigi, don’t you want the “elimination” of all unjust regimes, too? Don’t be a lump of ice, gigi. Dissolve into the ocean of humanity. Pretty please. :)

      • just on February 22, 2014, 3:31 pm

        Nicely put, Talkback.

      • Talkback on February 22, 2014, 3:43 pm

        Thank you, juju.

      • just on February 22, 2014, 4:00 pm


    • eljay on February 22, 2014, 4:58 pm

      >> … the BDS movements has/will be taken over by those who want the elimination of Israel.

      Israel – the secular and democratic state of and for all of its Israeli citizens, equally, and operating within its / Partition borders – should not be eliminated.

      Israel – the oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State”, a state of and for Jewish Israelis and non-Israeli Jews above non-Jewish Israelis – should be eliminated*.

      (*By which I mean it should be reformed into a secular and democratic state of and for all of its Israeli citizens, equally, and operating within its / Partition borders.)

  13. seafoid on February 22, 2014, 4:07 am

    The document is fantastic. Covers most of the hasbara defences

    Basic justice . Justice.

  14. Kathleen on February 22, 2014, 10:14 am

    Senator Ted Kennedy

    In January of 1998, Senator Kennedy visited Northern Ireland to meet with its opposing political parties and to address its people about the need for peace. This speech at the University of Ulster and the inclusive peace talks that accompanied it led to the Good Friday Peace Agreement and the most promising opportunity for lasting peace in the three-decade old conflict in Northern Ireland.

    “”There are some who seek to wreck the peace process. They are blinded by fear of a future they cannot imagine—a future in which respect for differences is a healing and unifying force. They are driven by an anger that holds no respect for life—even for the lives of children. But a new spirit of hope is gaining momentum. It can banish the fear that blinds. It can conquer the anger that fuels the merchants of violence. We are building an irresistible force that can make the immovable object move.”

    Much of what Kennedy says in this speech applies to the I/P conflict

    • seafoid on February 22, 2014, 2:52 pm

      @ Kathleen

      “Much of what Kennedy says in this speech applies to the I/P conflict”

      Also what he said at the 1980 Dem conference

      “And may it be said of us, both in dark passages and in bright days, in the words of Tennyson that my brothers quoted and loved, and that have special meaning for me now:
      “I am a part of all that I have met….
      Tho much is taken, much abides….
      That which we are, we are–
      One equal temper of heroic hearts,
      …strong in will
      To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

      … For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.”

      And also what Seamus Henaey wrote about Horthern Ireland

      “Human beings suffer,
      They torture one another,
      They get hurt and get hard.
      No poem or play or song
      Can fully right a wrong
      Inflicted and endured.

      The innocent in gaols
      Beat on their bars together.
      A hunger-striker’s father
      Stands in the graveyard dumb.
      The police widow in veils
      Faints at the funeral home.

      History says, don’t hope
      On this side of the grave.
      But then, once in a lifetime
      The longed-for tidal wave
      Of justice can rise up,
      And hope and history rhyme.

      So hope for a great sea-change
      On the far side of revenge.
      Believe that further shore
      Is reachable from here.
      Believe in miracle
      And cures and healing wells.

      Call miracle self-healing:
      The utter, self-revealing
      Double-take of feeling.
      If there’s fire on the mountain
      Or lightning and storm
      And a god speaks from the sky

      That means someone is hearing
      The outcry and the birth-cry
      Of new life at its term.”
      ― Seamus Heaney

      Fuck Zionism

    • Citizen on February 23, 2014, 7:00 pm

      When I think of Ted Kennedy, I think of the wet fish on his dashboard, his willing role as head of the 1965 Immigration act, which downplayed concerns of the anchor babies, etc. Him, walking around in nothing but his button-down blue shirt at the parties, etc. He was a dimwit, a useful tool of what became the PTB. He was the only Kennedy boy assassinated because he was no threat to the status quo. He died from a blood clot, both biological and as Zionist helper.

  15. Kathleen on February 22, 2014, 10:53 am

    I like to take these links and go lateral. So this is what I put up over at Chris Matthews Hardball fb page. Many other places too. You just never know when they might take the bait

    Kathleen Galt Enough..Chris when will you grow some real Irish balls and whisper about this critical issue . I know money is ruling your choices but you can still protect your huge paycheck and whisper about this issue now, Much safer time. You can join the better late than never crowd with Peter Beinart
    144 Irish educators pledge boycott– as Karmi says, We gave up waiting on governments for help…/educators-waiting-governments.html
    144 Irish educators pledge boycott– as Karmi says, We gave up waiting on governments for help
    Yesterday Academics for Palestine launched in Dublin with the announcement that scores of educators would boycott Israeli institutions– “just as they did with apartheid South Africa,” in the words… the challenge.

    • Citizen on February 23, 2014, 6:55 pm

      Chris M is hopeless. He’s got a character like a priest who follows orders; it’s just that he’s following Zionist orders. He of course, thinks otherwise, and so he adores his paycheck. Next?

  16. on February 22, 2014, 10:58 am

    Wonderful effort by the Irish – Israeli and Zionist propaganda has had little effect in Ireland – we are too well informed to be fooled – makes me very proud to be Irish – I was born in Ireland – good point – Irish Americans could learn so much from Irish newspapers – and we need more Irish Americans reading MondoWeiss. By publicizing these Irish academics we will energize the Irish Americans – also, Zionists hate the analogy with Northern Ireland and Palestine – it scares them – it makes them fear that peace is possible and they do not want peace – they want all the land and all the resources – they are universally phony peacemakers. The Zionists are usually not sincere about peace.

  17. Kathleen on February 22, 2014, 1:22 pm

    Is the Israeli film maker Haim Bresheeth the man with the full head of white hair second from the right on the panel? No nonsense statements…powerful

  18. just on February 22, 2014, 2:28 pm

    This pledge to boycott by these wonderful folks is so meaningful.

    The Irish don’t suffer fools gladly like we do in the US! More people will follow their honorable stance.

    I thank the ASA and other orgs that have put BDS front in center, and remain amused (in a sick-to-my- stomach way) at the orgs that are trying to crush their freedom of expression here at home. I hope that many more students on many more US campuses will join this clarion call for justice. It worked to end apartheid in SA…………….it will work again. We need to continue to work for critical mass.

    • amigo on February 22, 2014, 3:54 pm

      “The Irish don’t suffer fools gladly like we do in the US! More people will follow their honorable stance.”Just

      Your quite right.Or oppressors.Here is a story about store workers who were on strike for 2.5 years because they refused to handle products from Apartheid SA.

      “In 1984 ten young women and one young man, members of MANDATE trade union, started a long strike at Dunnes Stores in Dublin’s Henry Street. They walked the picket line in support of their union’s policy of solidarity with the anti-apartheid struggle and boycotting South African products. It only ended when the government agreed to ban the import of South African fruit & veg until the apartheid regime was overthrown.

      Dublin City Council is erecting a plaque outside Dunnes on Henry Street to honour the strikers who played a significant role in the anti-apartheid struggle. This will be on Monday, June 30th at 8am (yes, 8am!)

      The dispute started when Mary Manning, a 21 year old cashier, courageously refused to handle fruit from apartheid-era South Africa. Mary and her colleagues became a household name in South Africa (and across the world).

      As Deputy Mayor Anne Carter commented “It is astonishing that there is a street named after Mary in Johannesburg but that she and her colleagues have received so little recognition for their brave stance in their own home city of Dublin where the strike actually took place.”

      Joe King of the WSM said “The young workers who walked out the door in 1984 are a great example of committed trade unionism and international workers’ solidarity. It is people like these who are real heroes and it is important that we remember their courage, determination and success.”

      We also remember Brendan Barron, from the Crumlin branch of Dunnes, who joined the strike.”

      Some or all of them were invited to Nelson Mandela,s Funeral.

      • just on February 22, 2014, 6:01 pm

        They led and acted with honor. They are heroes.

    • just on February 22, 2014, 5:57 pm

      This seems fitting– again.

  19. Talkback on February 22, 2014, 2:52 pm

    144 Irish educators are AWESOME

  20. seafoid on February 22, 2014, 3:04 pm

    Great BDS action this month with this and the Dutch pension funds and the Israeli CEOs badgering Netanyahu to do something decent that he can’t

    Can’t stop thinking of the people in Gaza and what this means to them.
    BDS is so funky

    ” It’s the party of the year, right here, right now, Botski
    Heartthrob, be a teenager, like, “Wow, dude! I’m down, dude!”
    Fuck it, who cares, tonight you’re partying with People (who the bots swept) Under The Carpet”

  21. brokebook on February 22, 2014, 8:40 pm

    Ronit Lentin … Israeli born, Romanian Judaic ancestry … The Irish did give her citizenship (while she retains Israeli citizenship as far as I know) and the opportunity to teach; kindness she has returned with browbeating and guilt-tripping.

    How is she Irish?

    Personally, I think it would be more appropriate, and justice would be better served, if her critical theorizing was focused back home.

    • Ecru on February 23, 2014, 7:01 am

      How is she Irish?

      Easy, she’s standing up for Hospitality to the Stranger. Can you get any more Irish than standing up for a concept that has been so important to us historically that it was mandated in the Brehon Laws?

      Sounds like you have a problem with immigrants yourself, maybe that’s why you don’t like the “brow beating”? And btw her home is now in Ireland so her “critical theorizing” is indeed focused where it should be.

      (But I do agree that on granting of Irish citizenship she should have had to give up her Israeli passport).

      • Ellen on February 23, 2014, 9:34 pm

        Under Brehon law:
        “Whoever comes to your door you must feed him and care for him with no questions asked.”

        Alas the Brehon code was extinguished under the British conquest and occupation.

      • brokebook on February 23, 2014, 10:45 pm

        I have a problem with weaponized immigration policy, not immigrants.

        As I’ve documented below, after 45 years in Ireland, Ronit Lentin herself states, “I’m not Irish.”

    • Talkback on February 23, 2014, 8:16 am

      How is she Irish?

      How are Jews who immigrated to Israel Israeli? It’s a mistery.

      • brokebook on February 23, 2014, 10:52 am

        My thought is that if Ronit Lentin had sincerely assimilated into the nation that accepted her and gave her such opportunity, that she would be accepted as Irish. She doesn’t want that. She’s changing the nation that gave her such opportunity in self and tribe-serving ways that the native people didn’t ask for. Moreover, she’s attempting to silence and prosecute the native Irish people who don’t like the effects of her theorizing and policy.

      • Ecru on February 23, 2014, 1:50 pm

        @ Brokebook

        She’s changing the nation that gave her such opportunity in self and tribe-serving ways that the native people didn’t ask for…

        I admit I get your point as I see the Jewish involvement in the Civil Rights Movement as having a substantial self-serving component, largely because many who crow of their “lib-cred” are happy to defend Israel no matter what it does, no matter what bigoted policies it enacts or what human rights it denies for the simple reason it’s Jews not non-Jews acting in such vile ways. However Ronit Lentin seems to be bucking the usual trend (promoting the interests of “The Tribe” and defending it no matter what) by openly criticising Israel. Therefore I think her statements about Ireland are from a more deeply felt conviction about human rights and equality. Yes she seems to occasionally over-egg the pudding but what do you expect, she IS a sociologist, it’s what they do.

        As for racism and bigotry – why should any of us accept that anywhere? Surely any nation should welcome that type of change, should welcome it being brought to our attention. Or do you think Irish people can’t be bigots or something? You’re, unconsciously no doubt, reflecting the attitudes of Zionists who say that Jews and ONLY Jews have the right to criticise Israel because what you’re saying is only Irish born people have the right to criticise Ireland. I’m Irish and I disagree with that one. Sometimes an “outsiders” perspective is the clearest of all.

        Oh and have you looked at her output? Plenty on Israel/Palestine.

      • brokebook on February 23, 2014, 9:48 pm

        Again, as I’ve answered below it’s a matter of proportion. I don’t argue that Ireland or any nation is racism or bigotry free but I do say that whatever does exist in Ireland is spilled milk compared to what’s happening in the Israeli state and among Hasidim everywhere. I’d take Ronit Lentin to be sincere if her respective Irish/Israeli criticisms were more proportionate to the threats. This is not a parochial argument.

        It seems to me that Ronit Lentin’s multicultural agenda for Ireland is a “solution” in need of an Irish racism dilemma. A lot of the “racism” she’s railing against these days is the reaction to her own theories now in radical practice. In my view, no nation is more deserving, and proportionately, in need of her multicultural activism than the Israeli state.

    • just on February 23, 2014, 8:39 am

      Recognizing and fighting racism anywhere is to be lauded, imho.

      (and, no matter how some would deny it, it exists everywhere. It flourishes in some places, sometimes with the help of ‘governments’ appealing to the most uninformed and radical among us.)

      • brokebook on February 23, 2014, 11:15 am

        Certainly, but when there’s no proportion to it, it becomes hypocrisy which is to be condemned.

        Personally, I think it would be more appropriate, just and proportionate for Israeli-born Ronit Lentin to take the energy she expends shaming the native Irish into accepting foreigners as preferred citizens and dedicate it more fully towards shaming the Israelis into allowing the return of Palestinians to their native land. I think this is the more pressing issue at present.

        Further, where is Mrs. Ronit’s writings shaming the Hasidic racial supremacists from her family’s native Romania? She doesn’t know about it? More likely they’re part of her ancestral background.

        The disproportion is patent.

    • eljay on February 23, 2014, 9:42 am

      >> Ronit Lentin … Israeli born … The Irish did give her citizenship … How is she Irish?

      Seriously? According to Wiki, she was born in 1944 in Haifa (i.e., not Israel) and has lived in Ireland since 1969. And, according to you, she has Irish citizenship.

      That she is Irish makes vastly more sense than the Zio-supremacist assertion that all Jews in the world are actually Israelis.

      • brokebook on February 23, 2014, 9:11 pm

        I understand the principle that you seem to be reasoning backwards from, but I’m not talking about ‘The Jews.’ I’m talking about Ronit Lentin who has lived in Ireland for 45 years but states, “I’m not Irish.” That is her own non-identification.

      • Sibiriak on February 24, 2014, 12:47 am


        Ronit Lentin who has lived in Ireland for 45 years but states, “I’m not Irish.”

        Your argument is unclear because it doesn’t distinguish between two meanings of the word “Irish”.

        1) “Irish” = member of an “ethnic” group constructed as an Irish Gaelic, Catholic “people” (with other defining cultural elements, as well).

        2) “Irish”= member of the citizenry of the Irish state.

        Lentin, of course, could never be “Irish” in the first meaning, since she, presumably, can’t identify as Gaelic or as Catholic and probably lacks other “Irish” (=ethnos) cultural identifiers. She is clearly “Irish” in the second meaning though.

        The issue then becomes: Does the Irish state promote the relative inclusion and valorization of the “Irish”=ethnos subset of Irish citizens and the relative exclusion and devaluation of non-“Irish”=ethnos subset of Irish citizens? And if so, is this good or bad?

        Put another way, does/should the Irish state embody and employ the notion that ethnic-“Irish” citizens are more “Irish” than non-ethnic “Irish” citizens?

      • brokebook on February 24, 2014, 7:30 pm

        Well, you could come up with millions of distinctions if you like, including the Irish who drink Guinness and those who don’t. I didn’t distinguish because Lentin didn’t distinguish.

        She is a citizen of Ireland, but then so are Feith, Perle, Nuland, Kagan citizens of the U.S.

        I know readers will be aghast at this comparison, she’s not an evil Zionist they will reason. But she is just as much gaming the system to ram through policy that is contrary to the interests of the native population as the others listed. Not very democratic.

      • Ecru on February 24, 2014, 12:49 am

        Ok yes she’s a typical sociologist – an often “holier-than-thou” “discipline” I have to say I have virtually no respect for. The Celts and Normans were “migrants?” Try conquerors. And vanishingly small components of the population at that. And “Celt” is a cultural term not a “racial” one anyway. Ireland is one of the most genetically homogeneous nations in Europe, around 80% of people being able to trace their genetic structure back to the Mesolithic. That’s 7000 years ago! So, typical of her “discipline,” she does seem to be twisting facts or ignoring them to suit her argument.

        The Government recruited white people from South Africa? Well of course it did. Black people in South Africa were not permitted to learn the skills Ireland needed so there was bound to be a bias, but that was the source nation’s bias not that of Ireland. The question should be raised – did Ireland look in Nigeria for example? Without asking that- she’s projecting fault instead of looking at the real problem.

        Irish people became white in the United States. Well yes, eventually but for a long time (into the 70’s when a friend’s father was refused promotion in the US because the workforce threatened to strike should a “mick” become their boss) we were “God’s White N*gg*rs.” And she (again typical of sociologist) dodges around the definition of “racism.” One moment racism is defined as being tied to the ability to exert power (i.e. only the majority can be racist) the next she’s accusing Irish in the USA (a minority) of being racist. Can we have ONE definition please?

        The Irish State “constructed” the Irish? Only a complete moron would say that. 800 years of Viking then Norman and then British dominion “created” the Irish people from our various Tuaths. And the Gael? 14th Century import of terminology from Wales, prior to that we were the Mil.

        As for only 60 Jewish refugees during and immediately after WWII, well the criteria (unjust though it was) was CATHOLICS were let in so Protestant refugees were just as discriminated against. Hate to say but this is a typical blind-spot for Jews when it comes to WWII, as if the only people fleeing the Nazis were Jewish. And what of the 100 or so Jewish children De Valera let in in 1946? Further, the idea of Boland who she quotes about letting Jews in would give rise to anti-semitism, I wonder if she’s aware
        1) Politicians are more often than not corrupt idiots who we shouldn’t take too seriously. (how can she have lived in Ireland so long and not picked up on that one?)
        2) The argument is actually an old one – British Jewish groups using it in the 19th Century to prevent Eastern European Jews fleeing the pogroms being allowed refuge in the UK.

        With the Travellers she finally has a point. And let’s be honest – it’s a big one.

        Bosnians not “feeling” Irish? What does that even mean? But the treatment of refugees/asylum seekers is atrocious, we’ve got to get a handle on that. The children being harassed however, is that by adults (shameful) or by other kids (to be expected, it’s what kids do)?

        By the end it’s obvious that her views are completely (and this isn’t a condemnation) based on her families experiences during WWII. It’s also obvious that she hasn’t got an inkling of how societies actually work. Again – typical for a sociologist.

      • gamal on February 24, 2014, 3:41 am

        You are clearly unfamiliar with the discipline you hold such a dismissive view of, the book most commonly used to introduce the subject of the Irish experience of racism in those dreaded sociology courses is “Racism in the Irish Experience by Steve Garner” , its interesting, but perhaps not to someone who knows how societies actually work, but you can have a free look inside, you may find it stimulating. While broadly sympathetic to not believing in things, its still good to know exactly what you don’t believe in.

      • Ecru on February 24, 2014, 11:52 pm

        @ gamal

        I’m terribly sorry Gamal if I’ve trod on your oh so delicate tootsies but alas I AM familiar with sociology having made the mistake of taking a couple of undergraduate courses in the subject. So that’s where my healthy disdain comes from. Herstory instead of history? Let’s just forget that the roots of his/history are completely different shall we. You know I even had one lecturer tell me when I questioned him on the “sexism of language” that once they succeeded in getting rid of sexism in the English language (womanipulate?) they were going to move on to Spanish. A language whose basic structure gives everything a gender! That’s just one example I could go on but I won’t. Oh yes I will. Championing Afro-Centrism, because obviously if Euro-Centrism is wrong (and out of context it is) then another Centrism must be good. And I don’t mean valid Afro-Centrism here like “What role did Africans play in the expansion of the gold trade during the 14th Century?” I mean stuff like “Black Olmecs the true history hidden by a white conspiracy.” Which as well as over-estimating the competence of white people also denies Native American accomplishment! It’s a twofer in bigotry.

        But you’re right, perhaps I am being unfair. Perhaps my problem isn’t so much with sociology as it is with sociologists who I have to say are one of the biggest bunch of mealy-mouthed, holier-than-thou condescending hypocrites I ever had the dubious pleasure of meeting in academia. And that’s saying something.

      • eljay on February 24, 2014, 10:26 am

        >> I understand the principle that you seem to be reasoning backwards from, but I’m not talking about ‘The Jews.’ I’m talking about Ronit Lentin who has lived in Ireland for 45 years but states, “I’m not Irish.” That is her own non-identification.

        Her speech is about Irish racism (which, to paraphrase roughly, is no better or worse than the racism of other states).

        Perhaps her statement of self-identification reflects that racism (or her perception of that racism).

        It’s hard to tell from that one-second sound-bite.

      • brokebook on February 24, 2014, 7:35 pm

        Some racism is worse than others. Some racism drives bulldozers over and drops bombs and white phosphorus on the heads of ‘lesser races.’

        Proportion anyone?

    • talknic on February 24, 2014, 1:21 am

      brokebook “Ronit Lentin … Israeli born” … “How is she Irish?”

      How is she Israeli born? DOB 1944.

      Israel didn’t exist in 1944

      • eljay on February 24, 2014, 7:52 pm

        >> Some racism is worse than others. Some racism drives bulldozers over and drops bombs and white phosphorus on the heads of ‘lesser races.’

        And some racism is even worse than that. But neither Irish nor Israeli racism should be given free pass because of it.

      • brokebook on February 24, 2014, 10:45 pm

        Neither should they be equated. That’s sophistry. But Ronit Lentin goes beyond that and amplifies or rather fabricates an Irish “racism” dilemma, that is a very small reaction to her own theory being unilaterally implemented by Alan Shatter.

        At some point this proportionless anti-racism becomes negligent or a ruse, such as Zionists misdirecting attention to Darfur, etc.

  22. brokebook on February 22, 2014, 10:40 pm
    • Ellen on February 23, 2014, 9:44 pm

      brokebook, nowhere do your links say that Ronit Lentin supports censorship and prosecution of the postings of racist thoughts by Irish taxi drivers.

      Where do you read that?

      • brokebook on February 23, 2014, 9:59 pm

        Racist websites are a worrying sign

        Dr Ronit Lentin – November 22, 2007

        Metro Éireann

        I was beginning to wonder whether anything can and will be done about the proliferation of racist websites in the ‘new Ireland’.

        … some Irish taxi drivers, while they are off work, while their time away by jotting their racist thoughts on a forum linked to the website

        I looked it up, only to find nasty racist thoughts directed both at passengers of colour and at their fellow drivers …

        To date, complaining about racist websites has proved pointless. The operators of these websites use clever tactics to circumvent their banning. To start with, the sites are often hosted in the US, where the First Amendment secures anyone freedom of speech, regardless of how racist he or she is. Secondly, those posting racist comments often use asterisks and hyphens into offensive phrases so as not to be detected by filter software.

        The online racism displayed by some Irish taxi drivers has been brought to light by the NCCRI (I’m glad to note that this State-funded advisory body on racism has its uses after all) which has reported its contents to the Internet Service Providers’ Association of Ireland (ISPAI).

        However, the ISPAI told The Irish Times that it could do nothing about the forum which it has no control over, despite finding many of the comments posted on the site ‘pretty nasty’. According to NCCRI director Philip Watt, the forum may contravene the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act (1989). But to date this act has proven utterly toothless and none the Government’s repeated promises to review it have been kept.

        Philip Watt noted the difficulty with online racism, which would not be tolerated in printed form. “People would be immediately prosecuted if it ever appeared on a leaflet,” he said. He also told The Irish Times that he would ask the Garda Racial and Intercultural Office to investigate the link between the racist forum and

        However, despite its good will and excellent work, the Racial and Intercultural Office has not been granted sufficient powers within An Garda Siochána. Moreover, the ultimate decision of whether to prosecute perpetrators of racism rests with the Director of Public Prosecutions, who would only prosecute if the State is likely to secure a conviction – leaving many racist attacks, particularly in writing and online, unpunished.

        The very softening of the definition of racist crimes, re-configuring them as ‘racially motivated incidents’, and the lack of clarity in relation to what constitutes a racist crime, mean that despite the increase in overt racism, very few racists are ever prosecuted. Expressing racist views is seen by some members of the public – and even by some elements of the media – as fair game and as exercising their ‘freedom of speech’. While some people posting on the taxi forum castigated those with racist views, the general tone and freedom to abuse are worrying signs of the time we’re in.

        Dr Ronit Lentin is head of the MPhil in Ethnic and Racial Studies at the Department of Sociology at Trinity College Dublin. Her column appears fortnightly in Metro Eireann,817

      • brokebook on February 23, 2014, 10:18 pm

        Now consider the fact that these “racist” taxi drivers are among the lowest paid workers in Ireland who now must compete with even hungrier immigrants who are in Ireland only because of Ronit Lentin and a handful of others like the Zionist fanatic Alan Shatter in particular.

        I concede that the taxi drivers would be better to direct their complaints to Ronit Lentin and Alan Shatter than the immigrants, who are only effects of Lentin/Shatter policy. But perhaps you’d understand their “racist” complaints better if you had to drive a cab and compete with poor immigrants for work, leaving little time and resources to figure out how those poor immigrants were introduced into the ‘market’ in the first place.

        And this does not imply that I take Lentin’s “racism” accusations at her word, clearly she has an agenda in need of a problem.

      • Ellen on February 24, 2014, 2:02 pm

        Where is the call for censorship and prosecution in that long text copied from your source?

      • brokebook on February 24, 2014, 10:54 pm

        It’s very strongly suggested in her report and lament that censorship and prosecution of Irish taxi drivers are not happening.

    • puppies on February 23, 2014, 9:45 pm

      “Back home”? Strange. Ireland is her home, where she was accepted legally by the local people and government. Which makes this citizenship much more solid than the immigration status of most citizens of the Zionist entity.
      And yes, she does work against the racist oppression of Palestine, as demonstrated by her participation in the boycott against Zionism.
      Also, you seem to be a liar: she was not born in the Zionist entity.

  23. brokebook on February 23, 2014, 11:52 pm

    Ronit Lentin was born to Judaic-Romanian Zionist parents in Haifa reportedly 4 years before the Nakba, the fruits of which they partook for decades. What exonerating effect this has on her Israeli background or tarnishing effect this has on my honesty is not clear to me. If it makes me a liar, so is Marc Ellis, and a number of others who state that she was “born in Israel.”

    As I’ve pointed out repeatedly, Ronit Lentin herself states, after 45 years of living in Ireland, “I’m not Irish.”

    See her video titled “Racist State” on you tube starting at approximately 5:15. (The “racist state” she refers to is … Ireland, not the Zionist state btw).

    Moreover, she has spent her 45 years in Ireland returning Irish hospitality by working to change the place to suit her stated non-Irish liking.

    I’m happy to see that she did leave the Israeli state (after getting her degree, but what about that Israeli citizenship? Anyone know?) and supports the boycott, but I think the Israeli state is more in need of her activism and policy changing talents than Ireland.

  24. Sibiriak on February 24, 2014, 1:18 am


    As I’ve pointed out repeatedly, Ronit Lentin herself states, after 45 years of living in Ireland, “I’m not Irish.”

    By “Irish” she means being a member of an “Irish” ethnos or “people” constructed as Gaelic and Catholic etc. If she has to have a Gaelic and Catholic identity to be “Irish”, she could live 100 years in Ireland and still not be “Irish” in that meaning of the word.. So, using that meaning of the word, of course, she is not and cannot ever be , “Irish”.

    On the other hand, she IS “Irish”, meaning a full and equal member of the Irish citizenry. And, arguably , she has the same right as any other citizen to criticize the state and/or attempt to alter the Irish state/society.

    The alternative would be to argue that some Irish citizens are more “Irish” than others and have a greater right to determine the policies of the Irish state and the character of Irish society/culture. That would make Ireland an ethnocracy, at least partially, not a democracy.

    • LeaNder on February 24, 2014, 12:54 pm

      What do we make of such voices like bookbroke, interesting aka anyway, if they surface in a context like this? How would one distinguish between a Zionist troll and an nationalist Gaelic/Catholic searcher for all that is wrong with the world out there webwise? I have not paid much attention, but admittedly you are one of my favorites here.

      Incidentally this reminds me of a book I still haven’t read: Multiculturalism and the Jews, by Sander Gilman, where I may well discover my type of philosemitism … ;)

      • brokebook on February 24, 2014, 10:14 pm

        I wouldn’t have taken the time to comment until I saw Ronit Lentin being lionized. Her signing onto this boycott gives a very small part of the picture as I see it.

    • brokebook on February 24, 2014, 10:11 pm

      It’s pretty clear from the context that by saying, “I’m not Irish” Ronit Lentin is excusing herself from the harangue of “racist” Irish she’s meting out.

      And Ronit Lentin is not one voice among 4.5 million others in Ireland. That would be democracy. Her multicultural theories are being nearly unilaterally implemented by fellow Ashkenazi, Alan Shatter and this is causing radical change to the cultural and ethnic character of Ireland. In my informed view this is an ethnologarchy. The native Irish haven’t asked for this. It wouldn’t have passed a referendum. Certainly not before the post-Holocaust tolerance reprogramming of Europe, which in my opinion, Ireland is least deserving of. Still, Alan Shatter lays the Holocaust guilt thick on the Irish and Ronit Lentin is party to this also.

      The fact that only a handful of Irish complain about this state of affairs is pretty strong evidence that there is more of a self-preservation problem in Ireland than racism problem. Certainly nothing approaching what’s happening in the Zionist state, the Zionist network abroad and Hasidic communities.

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