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Irish activists hit hard against 1st Irish dance competition in Israel

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In March, The Carey Academy, Israel announced the 1st Israeli Feis, a competitive tournament of traditional Irish dancing, to take place in Tel Aviv in August.

Poster: 1st Israeli Feis by The Carey Academy Israel

Poster: 1st Israeli Feis by The Carey Academy Israel

Irish dancing schools from around the world were invited to travel to Israel to compete, with promises of sunshine, live music and crucially, the backing of the Irish Dancing Commission An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha (CLRG).

The event received little attention in Ireland until this month with limited coverage of the controversy to date in the Irish press. But after the O’Shea School of Irish Dance in Saint Paul, Minnesota announced on their Facebook page (now scrubbed) their delight at their affiliate school in Dublin, the renowned  Scoil Rince ui She, being asked to adjudicate the event, everything suddenly kicked off.

Within a matter of hours, Irish activists began tweeting  #DontDance4Israel  and   .

The Irish Palestinian Activist Collective launched a petition and a strongly worded Open Appeal to the organizers of the 1st Israeli Feis to cancel the event, to the Irish national body CLRG to revoke their backing, and to the entire Irish Dancing community to boycott the Feis:

The Palestinian activist community based in Ireland has recently learned of your intentions to hold the ‘First Israeli Feis’ in Tel Aviv on 15th August 2015.

To say that we, and all other right thinking people, are deeply troubled by this decision is an understatement.

In 1948, the state of Israel was established by methodically dispossessing and ethnically cleansing more than 750,000 native Palestinian people in order to create an exclusivist Jewish state.

To this day, Israel has denied Palestinian refugees, currently exceeding more than 7 million people, their internationally recognized right to return to their homes.

Israel continues unabated and with impunity with its colonial and apartheid designs to further dispossess, oppress, and ultimately ethnically cleanse Palestinians from their homeland and still on a daily basis, they expel native Palestinians from their homes in Jerusalem and the Negev.

The letter continues, enumerating a catalogue of violent offenses that are sadly only too familiar to Mondoweiss readers, although always shocking to see printed in black and white.

The O’Shea Schools in Minnesota and Dublin found themselves on the receiving end of a deluge of outrage and disappointment from supporters of Palestine across Ireland. 

I Object! #DontDance4Israel Photo by @Ruthanasia

I Object! #DontDance4Israel Photo by @Ruthanasia

The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) made contact with CLRG. After some encouraging private dialogue between the two, CLRG’s public response was ultimately disappointing:

An Coimisiún does not and will not make any comment on national or international political matters.

An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha and a number of persons registered with An Coimisiún have received emails in relation to the above matter.

The objective of An Coimisiún is to preserve and promote Irish Dancing, including step dancing, céilí dancing and other team dancing, and also to promote the use of the Irish Language.

An Coimisiún will not be making any further comment on the matter.

However, it seems unlikely that CLRG – The Irish Dancing Commission – can claim to be entirely impartial as to whether Israel is a suitable destination for the promotion of Irish culture, given that both adjudicators of the 1st Israeli Feis: husband and wife Seamus O’Sé and Aine Uí Shé, directors of Dublin’s O’Shea (and parents of Cormac O’Se of “Riverdance” fame who is the director of Minnesota’s O’Shea School of Irish Dancing) are also members of CLRG’s Executive Committee and Seamus is a Vice-Chair of the organization.

The facebook page and twitter account of O’Shea’s in Minnesota became inundated with messages and the owners opted to close down access to both as well as scrub the “About” page on their website (archived here) linking the parentage of their director to the 1st Israeli Feis adjudicators.

The finale of The Irish Palestinian Activist Collective’s Open Appeal concludes:

We could tell you more. But will you listen? Or will you go ahead with your performance in Israel, the moral equivalent to performing in South Africa during the apartheid era.

Will you be the voice for the Palestinian people who have asked the world to boycott Israel in an effort to bring pressure upon this rotten, apartheid, criminal state?

Please don’t stand on the wrong side of history.

Don’t Dance for Israel. Don’t Shame Our Name.

Sincerely
Irish Palestinian Activist Collective 

A well-known musician who had been billed to support the 1st Israeli Feis has pulled out of his engagement there, following a flood of complaints about the event from Irish activists. He declined to comment on his reasons for canceling.

The activist community in Ireland is diverse, consisting of a large number of loosely connected groups and unaffiliated individuals. But this issue—the misappropriation of Irish culture as a propaganda tool to normalize Israeli apartheid—has clearly awoken a unity of purpose amongst all, out of which great things might yet be achieved.  

Check out this great performance by O’Shea dancers at the annual Irish Fair in Saint Paul, Minnesota last summer:

It’s easy to imagine how they’d not want to affiliate themselves with Israeli apartheid. 

There is a strong sense that this campaign is just getting into gear. 

Stan Hoben

Stan Hoben is a software engineer and human rights activist living in Northern Ireland. Follow him on twitter @newryforgaza

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79 Responses

  1. amigo on June 24, 2015, 12:01 pm

    I agree entirely.The thought of using an activity that is deeply rooted in Irish culture to entertain Israeli Jews who in their droves voted for Israel,s most right wing government to date, is to put it mildly , an insult to us as a nation.

    Will their be a “1st Palestinian Feis”. I suggest the organisers of this ill-considered event apply to the GOI for permission to present a similar event in the Occupied territories and watch for the reply.

    Let,s hope saner and more enlightened heads will overcome the naivety of these folks and they will cancel this Feis and send a much needed message to Israel.We do not entertain “Apartheid”.

    • annie on June 24, 2015, 12:17 pm

      amigo, irish activists rock! stan told me The Irish Palestinian Activist Collective was recently formed to combat this travesty event. more power to them! there’s almost 2 months before aug 15th, plenty of time to get the word out. i hope everyone who tweets this article adds the hashtags #DontDance4Israel and #DontShameOurName.

      • pshoben on June 24, 2015, 12:39 pm

        Thanks Annie!

        Just to let you know that The Irish Palestinian Activist Collective are launching a twitterstorm later today (24 June) at time 20:00 (Ireland) = 15:00 (NY) = 12:00 (CA)

        using the same two hashtags you mentioned:

        #DontDance4Israel #DontShameOurName

        All are welcome, Just putting it out there… :)

      • amigo on June 24, 2015, 1:29 pm

        “there’s almost 2 months before aug 15th, plenty of time to get the word out.”Annie.

        The object of the exercise should be to convince the zionists that , the “Jig ” is up. Besides , zionists would make lousy Irish dancers .To much foot dragging.

        The plan should be to hold a Feis named “Dance for Palestine”.I will pass that along to the folks at “IPAC” , ( I like that ) when I find a link.

      • annie on June 26, 2015, 12:03 am

        hi stan, just saw your comment. sorry i missed the twitterstorm, although maybe i tweeted during that time. and thank you again!

        amigo, To much foot dragging.

        funny ;)

  2. just on June 24, 2015, 12:23 pm

    I simply cannot imagine an Israeli audience ever grasping or appreciating the magic, the culture, the history of the dance or the dancers.

    It’ll be wasted on them, and will bring much shame.

    It’s only another exploitation by Israel. Don’t go.

    Thanks, Stan! Bring it on, Trevor Hogan!

    • DaBakr on June 26, 2015, 10:12 am

      @jt

      right. because it is not like Israelis or Jews have ever contributed anything to the “culture” of music.

      Its as bigoted a comment as saying: ‘I simply could not imagine a Palestinian audience ever grasping the concept or culture of a 128pc orchestra’ . as ignorant and insulting a statement as one could make. and you talk about ‘shame’…

  3. John O on June 24, 2015, 12:24 pm

    It’s not clear from this report if the main impetus for this event has come from Irish-Americans rather than the Irish themselves. If it has, it wouldn’t be the first time they’ve misread the mood of the old country.

    • just on June 24, 2015, 1:11 pm

      Good question.

      There’s a Zionist in there somewhere, though.

  4. lysias on June 24, 2015, 12:43 pm

    Aine Uí Shé? My mother, whose maiden name was O’Shea and who was a native speaker of Gaelic from the Dingle Peninsula, always told us her name in Gaelic was Ní Shé (pronounced “Nee Hay”).

    • pshoben on June 24, 2015, 1:40 pm

      Hi lysias

      That sounds right for a maiden name. I am no expert, but I believe Ní Shé means ‘daughter of’ and Uí Shé means ‘wife of’, as in a kind of Miss/Mrs distinction.

      • lysias on June 24, 2015, 2:54 pm

        Thanks. That makes sense. If I ever knew it, I had forgotten.

    • annie on June 24, 2015, 1:41 pm

      ui She is O’Shea in gaelic. the translation of O’Shea School of Irish Dance is Scoil Rince ui She. not sure about the “ni” part in your mom’s maiden name.

      edit, check this out http://www.irishgaelictranslator.com/translation/topic103353.html

      Does Ni change to Ui for a woman when she marries??

      and someone mentions in response:

      (“Ní” means “daughter,” so it’s only used for your maiden name). Your husband’s name would not change (but it would be Ó Ríain,” not “O Rian”).

    • amigo on June 24, 2015, 2:32 pm

      Lysias , in Ireland we always use the word “Nee” when referring to the maiden name of a woman before marriage. It is mostly seen in RIP,S , ie.

      “The death took place on Saturday of , Mrs Grainne Murphy , (Nee Shea).”

      I found it difficult to come up with an exact definition .The Nee is an English version of Ní , I suspect.

      • lysias on June 24, 2015, 2:54 pm

        “Nee” there is, I believe, the French née, the feminine form of , meaning “born” and pronounced (in either gender) “nay”.

        Irish “Ní”, on the other hand, is pronounced like “knee”, and is explained by the earlier answers to my post.

  5. Citizen on June 24, 2015, 1:01 pm

    Irish dance style grew directly out of British oppressive occupation where any expression of Irish culture was attacked routinely. It’s an insult to Irish folk everywhere that their culture might be used to whitewash Israel’s current rogue culture, conduct, ethics, morality. Remember too, Irish Americans were once considered akin to apes; they definitely experienced second class citizenship. Why would anybody of Irish background not empathize with Palestinians? Recall JFK broke the Irish Catholic religious barrier, not so long ago.

    • just on June 24, 2015, 1:12 pm

      +1, Citizen!!!

    • John O on June 24, 2015, 2:02 pm

      “Recall JFK broke the Irish Catholic religious barrier, not so long ago.”

      Reading a biography of JFK a few years ago, I was struck by the way he had to defend his religion during the 1960 presidential campaign – “I am an American who happens to be a Catholic.”

      • Citizen on June 24, 2015, 4:22 pm

        Yeah, pretty interesting; as well, under the old WASP rule, Irish were also not considered “white” even if they were as pale as can be; I think Audie Murphy’s ilk did a lot to change that, not to mention the Irish brigades during the Civil War. The question whether or not American Jews were “white” was another question…. The Confederate Treasury honcho was Jewish, inter alia.

    • ritzl on June 24, 2015, 6:16 pm

      Sorry Citizen. I posted the same thing downthread. I should have read the comments.

      I agree with just. Great comment!! ;)

  6. hophmi on June 24, 2015, 1:58 pm

    “Irish dance style grew directly out of British oppressive occupation”

    Which is why these people will doubtless be running the same campaign against CLRG’s program in Australia, where the British colonial empire wiped out the indigenous population. Bueller? Bueller?

    Oh well, I guess people aren’t united against it when most of the population is Christian.

    • amigo on June 24, 2015, 2:43 pm

      “Which is why these people will doubtless be running the same campaign against CLRG’s program in Australia, where the British colonial empire wiped out the indigenous population. Bueller? Bueller? ” hopknee

      So , it,s ok for zionists to show they are no better than British /French/Belgian et al oppressive colonialist supremacist murderous regimes.

      Is that your point hopknee.

      • Kris on June 24, 2015, 4:15 pm

        @amigo: “Is that your point hopknee.”

        Hophmi is making two points.

        The first point is about the timing. The Israeli colonialists are wiping out the Palestinians NOW, and Hopmi is saying that objections like BDS should take place AFTER the fact, which is why “these people” should run a BDS campaign in Australia.

        The second point, which he makes by implication, is that everyone is against the Jews.

        So tiresome. Probably there is a quota of hasbara comments that Hophmi must make before he can clock out for the day.

      • Citizen on June 24, 2015, 4:25 pm

        Don’t know what hophmi knows about the occupation of Ireland; it was literally true that the Irish developed their waist-down style of folk dance because they had to hide their cultural celebrations even within their homes–a spy looking across the home hedge through the Irish sod house window never knew they were dancing in there!

      • hophmi on June 25, 2015, 11:17 am

        “The first point is about the timing. The Israeli colonialists are wiping out the Palestinians NOW, and Hopmi is saying that objections like BDS should take place AFTER the fact, which is why “these people” should run a BDS campaign in Australia.”

        So the key to avoiding BDS is to finish the job. Gotcha. Nobody is wiping Palestinians out, Kris. There are 2 million Palestinians in the West Bank and 1.5 million in Gaza. The populations are growing. There are also many aboriginals in Australia. It’s about basic consistency. And no, it’s not an accident that there is no BDS campaign against Australia. Australia isn’t surrounded by two dozen dictatorships that hate it and that are willing to bankroll a campaign against it, and it’s basically a Christian country, which heretofore, no European Christian country has ever boycotted.

      • Keith on June 25, 2015, 4:05 pm

        HOPHMI- “Australia isn’t surrounded by two dozen dictatorships that hate it and that are willing to bankroll a campaign against it….”

        How can you debase yourself with a ludicrous statement like this? Surely you are aware that Israel has good relations with all of the Gulf monarchies with whom it is allied in a terror campaign against Syria? Name these “two dozen dictatorships that hate it and that are willing to bankroll a campaign against it.”

      • Mooser on June 25, 2015, 4:30 pm

        “Australia isn’t surrounded by two dozen dictatorships that hate it and that are willing to bankroll a campaign against it,”

        Look, before this statement, which Hophmi can undoubtedly back up, starts a religious argument, I think people should be aware of one thing. Just as Christians have many ideas about ‘transubstantiation’, Zionists have their own theology concerning substantiation. They don’t believe in it.

      • RoHa on June 25, 2015, 7:06 pm

        hophmi, let us ignore the fact that Australia has formally apologised for past wrongdoing, and is trying (not hard enough, some of us think) to make some sort of restitution.

        Let us agree, for the moment, that, to apply our principles consistently, we should conduct a BDS campaign against Australia as well as against Israel.

        Let us further agree, for the same giddy moment, that we fail in our duty to conduct a BDS campaign against Australia.

        How does that relieve us of the duty to conduct a BDS campaign against Israel?

        Surely it is better for us to do half our duty than none of it.

      • Mooser on June 26, 2015, 10:42 am

        “How can you debase yourself with a ludicrous statement like this?”

        Ever since MLI what has he got to lose?

      • socialconscience on June 27, 2015, 3:04 am

        Luckily Hophmi I am exceedingly well placed to realise just how ridiculous your comment is:

        I have just come home to my flat from an Irish dancing feis in Queensland Australia after watching some family members dance this very day….

        Irish dancing could be viewed like any art or sport that has taken root in another culture arounnd the world – it takes on a character of it’s very own.

        Today there were scores of girls and boys from 4 to 16 dancing, most of home would have no direct irish descent. they take part because its a popular and fun past time to learn.

        Irish dancing has been present in Australia for over 150years!

        It is not a new venture and is vast compared to Irish dancing in Israel.

        As for other comments on this site on this page, whatever whys and wherefores you may give for the troubles of Australia’s indigenous…..
        why is such little recognition given to the fact that they had evolved for over 20,000 years on this continent as largely nomadic peoples who saw themselves as custodians and siblings to the land, its animals and people?????

        White men came. White men all but destroyed indigenous ways of living, their languages and customs…………..does this have a ring of the Nakba at all?

        Australian indigenous proverb:

        “We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home. ”

        the experiment of capitalism in Australia has been the catalyst….

        alas cant you see the same is currently happening in Palestine??

        For other examples of failed or failing hardcore nationalism + colonialism see:

        Deep South of America
        apartheid South Africa
        Ireland AD1200 – 1998 (with afew decades here and there as the exception)
        Vietnam

        ISRAEL………….

        BDS!

      • just on June 27, 2015, 8:44 am

        Thanks for that, socialconscience.

        +1!

    • John O on June 24, 2015, 3:54 pm

      “Irish dance style grew directly out of British oppressive occupation”

      I have no idea if this statement is true. It’s certainly the first time I’ve heard of it.

      As for Australia, a lot of the white folks who went there, did not go of their own free will.

      • Citizen on June 24, 2015, 4:36 pm

        You need to read a book on the Brit occupation of Ireland and its long project to kill Irish culture. It’s not exactly breaking news.
        Wasn’t Australia a penal colony for Irish “criminals”?

      • RoHa on June 24, 2015, 7:40 pm

        ‘Wasn’t Australia a penal colony for Irish “criminals”?’

        Heavens, no. There was no such discrimination.

        “From distant climes, o’er wide-spread seas we come,
        Though not with much eclat or beat of drum,
        True patriots all; for be it understood,
        We left our country for our country’s good;
        No private views disgrac’d our generous zeal,
        What urg’d our travels was our country’s weal;
        And none will doubt but that our emigration
        Has prov’d most useful, to the British nation.”

        Henry Carter, maybe.

      • Mooser on June 25, 2015, 10:18 pm

        So, let there be no moaning at the bar, when I put out to sea, okay?

    • straightline on June 24, 2015, 5:26 pm

      The British and other Australian colonists may have, for a while, attempted to wipe out the indigenous people of Australia – though even that is overstating the situation. While there is still some level of discrimination, now the indigenous people of Australia are legally protected, have land rights over large areas of Australia, and have significant federal financial support. Their traditional ownership of the land is acknowledged at public gatherings, and to a significant extent aboriginal place names are kept and respected. We have a prime minister who, to gain election, promised (and then reneged) to spend a week a year in an aboriginal community:

      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-07/week-every-year-in-indigenous-community-promise-check/5696364

      Whenever he makes statements suggesting a withdrawal of support for remote, largely aboriginal communities, he is widely criticised in the media and has to back down:

      http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/mar/12/behind-the-outrage-over-tony-abbotts-indigenous-lifestyle-choice-remarks

      Now let’s talk about Israel and its indigenous population.

      • John Salisbury on June 25, 2015, 2:31 am

        Thanks straight line.

        As an Australian it is hard to argue that the arrival of the white man was anything other than
        problematic for The Aboriginal population. But you make some accurate observations.

    • diasp0ra on June 24, 2015, 5:36 pm

      It’s funny that Zionists only care about the rights of indigenous peoples only when they are being used as rhetorical tools to bludgeon critics away.

      Do you ever get tired of your implied accusations of antisemitism? Do you ever get tired of changing the topic?

  7. Mike_Konrad on June 24, 2015, 2:04 pm

    What a twisting of history.

    In the 7th century … outside Arabs invaded the Holy Land

    In the 17th century … outside English/Lowland Scottish invaded Ulster

    Judea and Samaria is the ancient heartland of the Jewish people

    Ulster is the ancient homeland of the Irish. Patrick built his church there.

    The Jews only got back part of their ancient homeland in 1949.

    The Irish only got back part of their ancient homeland in 1921.

    The Jewish want Judea and Samaria back.

    The Irish want Ulster back.

    But extreme Arab resist the Jews in Judea and Samaria.

    Extemist Calvinists resist the Irish in Ulster.

    So the country is divided.

    So the country is divided.

    No one knows history.

    How the Irish came to identify with the Palestinians is unbelievable, an abnegation of history.

    • Citizen on June 24, 2015, 4:39 pm

      No. The Irish in their homeland when the Brits took it over cannot be compared to the handful of Jews living in the Holy Land when Zionists came from Europe in the earlier 20th Century.

    • amigo on June 24, 2015, 5:23 pm

      Funny how your post never mentions “Extreme Jews “.

      Mike , you really ought to do a little research before posting ill informed gobshite.

      Ulster is made up of nine counties –three of which are now part of the Republic of Ireland.

      In the Good Friday Agreement , the people of the Republic of Ireland voted to end their right to regain “The Six Counties ” by force and to use strictly peaceful diplomatic means to get back their ancient homeland.

      You and the rogue regime you refer to as “The Jewish Heartland ” would do well to follow our lead .You might end up with some of your Jewish Heartland.If not –well you just might lose it all.Correct me if I am wrong but there was no Israel until 1948.

      Whether or not our support for the Palestinians meets your approval is of little concern.Suffice it to say , we certainly will never see our history in any way similar to Israel,s.

      Ask yourself why we regularly feature in the top three most liked nations on Earth and Israel is in the top three least liked.

      You must be doing something wrong .

      • lysias on June 24, 2015, 6:42 pm

        Also, the Republic of Ireland gives equal rights to Protestants and others who do not belong to the Catholic majority. Two Presidents of Ireland, Douglas Hyde and Erskine Childers, have been Protestants (out of only 9 Presidents since the office was established). And a third President, Mary Robinson, although she comes from a Catholic family, is married to a Protestant and apparently does not list any religion for herself.

    • diasp0ra on June 24, 2015, 6:20 pm

      This shows your true lack of actual historical knowledge.

      Your first mistake is a rookie mistake: You conflate Arab with Muslim. The Muslims conquered the Levant in the 7th century, but the area was already inhabited by various Arab Kingdoms before then.

      Have you ever heard of the Nabateans? You know, the kingdom that built Petra? Those were Arabs. Their kingdom was established in 168 BC, way before your narrative of the Arab invaders. And not only that, before they established a proper kingdom they were Nomads that lived in the Naqab desert (or Negev, if you prefer) since the 4th century BC!

      At its greatest extent, the kingdom included over half of what is today called historical Palestine.

      Not only that, but Syria and Iraq were also Arab kingdoms centuries before the birth of Mohammed. Your problem, is that you conflate Palestinians with Arabs with Muslims. You are of the (false) belief that somehow Palestinians moved into Palestine in the 7th century with the Muslim conquests.

      It never crosses your mind that the original inhabitants were Arabized over time, similar to how Egypt came to be Arabized over time. There was no “population” transfer or mass immigration, there is no evidence to that at all beyond normal levels of intermarriage and settlement. Though it is true that there are some cases of mass Bedouin immigration towards the Maghreb region, such as the Banu Hilal. But not to Palestine.

      This is why Palestinian DNA tests cannot pinpoint when Palestinians “settled” in the area, because we are the indigenous population. We are the remnants and legacy of every single nation that has ever settled and conquered the area. We adapted and changed and acclimated ourselves, but we are the same people. Of course taken into account the various influxes and intermarriage and other historical events that affect populations, there was much more mingling back then than commonly believed.

      People don’t magically disappear when the land changes rulers.

      Secondly, the Jewish don’t want “Judea and Samaria” back. The Jewish were already living there without an issue. It’s Zionists that want to dominate Judea and Samaria, not live in it. Huge difference. Fresh immigrants from Europe don’t get to waltz in and declare themselves masters of the land.

      No one knows history indeed.

      • Boo on June 25, 2015, 4:21 pm

        “People don’t magically disappear when the land changes rulers.”

        Quite right historically, with but one small caveat. Nearly 3/4 million Palestinians didn’t exactly “disappear” in 1948, and certainly there was nothing magical about it at all, but nonetheless after the rulers changed they were no longer where they had been.

    • ritzl on June 24, 2015, 6:31 pm

      Wow! That’s a keeper.

      • just on June 24, 2015, 6:48 pm

        It is, ritzl! Bravo, amigo!!

        How’s that woodshed, MK?

        “People don’t magically disappear when the land changes rulers.”

        Thanks, diasp0ra! Your comment is so valuable in its entirety, but I absolutely love the above.

    • Mooser on June 24, 2015, 6:32 pm

      “Judea and Samaria is the ancient heartland of the Jewish people”

      And the Geneva Conventions give us all the right to an “ancient heartland”?

      • RoHa on June 24, 2015, 8:18 pm

        ‘And the Geneva Conventions give us all the right to an “ancient heartland”?’

        Do they? In that case, since I am (I suspect*) largely of Angle/Saxon/Jute/Viking descent, I claim my ancient heartland of Northern Germany and Scandinavia. Since I suspect there is a Welsh ancestor somewhere in the background, I also claim the ancient Celtic homeland of Central Europe. And I want to be king of it all, too.

        (*I can’t actually produce a family tree to prove this, but everyone knows the ancestry of the English, right?)

      • bryan on June 25, 2015, 3:50 am

        RoHa, we also have a considerable admixture of Norman blood and long occupied other areas like Aquitaine, so that France is another part of our birthright. We were the major element of European colonization that founded the Thirteen Colonies along the North Atlantic Seaboard until George III’s armies were unjustly expelled and exiled, so surely we have a very clearly documented right of return to North America. Much earlier our ancestors derived from Africa, and in our historic wanderings we long settled in the Levant, before advancing through south-eastern Europe, so it is long overdue that we reclaim those ancient heartlands.

        Wikipedia clearly assigns supremacy to the British Empire (amongst the great empires of world history), occupying at one time over a fifth of the world’s landmass and total population, and hugely trumping the Roman Empire (in 28th place) and the Ottoman Empire (in 24th place). Time to repaint the world red, and to reclaim the legacy that our ancestors built.

        See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_empires#Largest_empires_by_land_area_and_population

      • RoHa on June 25, 2015, 9:14 am
      • Mooser on June 29, 2015, 4:34 pm

        “Do they? In that case, since I am (I suspect*) largely of Angle/Saxon/Jute/Viking descent,”

        We might be related! I’m part Jute, and the rest is Copra, Excelsior, beche-de-mer and 20% unidentified fibers, lint and ‘old soldiers’.

    • Mooser on June 24, 2015, 6:35 pm

      The Jewish want Judea and Samaria back.

      I’m sorry, who are “the Jewish” and why will Judea and Samaria cure their “ancient heartburn”? “The Jewish” indigestion is a personal problem.

    • RoHa on June 24, 2015, 8:11 pm

      “In the 7th century … outside Arabs invaded the Holy Land”

      According to Zionist mythology, the Romans drove out the Jews some four or five hundred years before that. So who was living there in the intervening period, and what happened to them?

    • eljay on June 24, 2015, 9:11 pm

      || Mike_Konrad: Judea and Samaria is the ancient heartland of the Jewish people … The Jewish want Judea and Samaria back. ||

      “The Jewish” are no more entitled to a part of Palestine for a supremacist “Jewish State” than are the Etruscans to a part of Italy for a supremacist “Etruscan State”.

      (Actually, the entitlement of “the Jewish” is even less than that of the Etruscans, whose state would be based on geographic origin and not religious affiliation.)

    • oldgeezer on June 24, 2015, 11:47 pm

      @Mike Conrad

      Your faulty comparisons and factual errors, together with your antisemitic lumping all Jews in a single mindset have already been taken to task.

      I personally would like to thank you for being a breath of fresh air for your comment.

      “The Jews only got back part of their ancient homeland in 1949.

      [snip]

      The Jewish want Judea and Samaria back.
      – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/06/activists-against-competition#comment-776651

      It truly is refreshing to read the truth from an ardent zionist. That Israel does not include Judea and Samaria but that you want it back.

      For years if not decades we have been bombarded with lies about the lack of partners for peace. How Israel wanted a 2SS. How it was only holding the land because of defensive needs. How it would withdraw. Alternative lies were that it was always a part of Israel and it would be willing to concede some territory. yonah, hophmi, debakr consistentyly repeat these treadworn lies ad nauseum.

      So thanks. Seriously. Now if only other zionists could display the same level of honesty perhaps we could move towards a solution and not waste so much time on lies and excuses.

      I do have one question. I understand that you want the West Bank. Judea and Samaria are not the correct names and haven’t been for a long time. I understand from the actions of Israel that they are willing to abuse the human rights of the inhabitants to any extent, including murder, in order to steal the land.

      What I don’t get is why the children? Why the kidnapping, brutality, torture and imprisonment of children? What is the thought process behind that? Is it because the idf is merely the most cowardly army in the world or is just a matter of efficiency that if you brutalize and kill them while they’re young then you’re saved the effort when they grow up and might possibly become defiant.

      The really neat thing is not a single zionist took you to task for your claims. And I did wait to see if they did. Tomorrow the usual human rights abuse, child abuse, apologists will be back spinning the same old zionist lies while their heros are busy killing more children

      Once more, thanks for the honesty.

      • oldgeezer on June 24, 2015, 11:50 pm

        ps… I am struggling to remember which government wanted the Sudeten. Can you help? Does appeasing Israel bother you as much as appeasing Germany?

      • can of worms on June 25, 2015, 2:14 am

        “What I don’t get is why the children? Why the kidnapping, brutality, torture and imprisonment of children?”

        I’m telling ya, Israel grew up in a “horrible neighborhood”.

        Palestine was an urban slum. When they hit it on their Aliya boat, Zionists found heaps of concrete, poverty, uncollected trash, pirate additions to buildings, dirt roads, the finest Palestinian youths like cockroaches drugged in a bottle. They naturally had to shut them in tight — and mount a war on their children.

        Oren: “a horrible neighborhood”
        (http://mondoweiss.net/2015/06/american-intercede-millions)

        Obama: “The neighborhood is dangerous.”
        (http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/opposing-systematic-discrimination#sthash.10V1OlC1.dpuf)

        Thomas Friedman: “tough neighborhood”

    • talknic on June 25, 2015, 1:36 am

      @ Mike_Konrad

      “What a twisting of history”

      Let’s see.

      “In the 7th century … outside Arabs invaded the Holy Land”

      They didn’t take it from the Jews

      “Judea and Samaria is the ancient heartland of the Jewish people”

      “was” is the operative word. Israel was proclaimed according to the boundaries of UNGA res 181 and recognized as such. No further territories have ever been legally acquired by Israel or recognized as Israeli

      “No one knows history”

      Here’s some history you won’t find in any Israeli school book http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/israel/large/documents/newPDF/49.pdf It’s history you choose to ignore

      Here’s some more history. Herzl in his life time could have immigrated to Palestine and attained citizenship, bought land and settled anywhere within the Jewish people’s historical home land. He didn’t bother, nor did his family.

      Under the LoN Mandate for Palestine Article 7 Jewish folk could immigrate to the state of Palestine, get Palestinian citizenship, buy land and settle.

      Go take your pathetic kvetching to the Zionist Federation who, by demanding a Jewish state, screwed the Jewish People’s right to settle anywhere in Palestine. Now Israelis are only permitted to live in Israel.

      • Mooser on June 25, 2015, 4:34 pm

        Talknic, cut him some slack, he’s got an ancient heartburn.

      • talknic on June 25, 2015, 5:25 pm

        @ Mooser

        No

        —————-

        Come back Mike, come back, you haven’t finished digging your hole

      • Mooser on June 29, 2015, 4:37 pm

        “No”

        Mike left to get some Tums. Consumes 47 times its weight in excess stomach acid, or so they say. Reduces ancient heartburn.

  8. Helena Cobban on June 24, 2015, 2:28 pm

    I dunno. Dabke looks a lot more fun than this. Maybe they could learn something if they skipped Israel altogether and insisted on going straight to do some collaborative dancing in Gaza?

  9. ritzl on June 24, 2015, 6:04 pm

    Wasn’t the style of Irish folk dancing a product of/protest against English oppression, where dancing was banned yet the Irish kept dancing with their lower bodies behind a closed lower door while the visible upper body remained still so the English would not retaliate.

    I think I read that somewhere. Great story. If so it would seem that the very concept of performing dances with such a core anti-oppression heritage in a country that thrives on oppression, would be simply out of the question. Seems to me it would fundamentally dishonor the art, if true.

    • a blah chick on June 24, 2015, 6:17 pm

      “Wasn’t the style of Irish folk dancing a product of/protest against English oppression, where dancing was banned yet the Irish kept dancing with their lower bodies behind a closed lower door while the visible upper body remained still so the English would not retaliate.

      I think I read that somewhere.”

      I read that somewhere too, but in my version it was the clergy they were hiding their dancing from. Our Irish posters should relay to us the truth if known.

      • ritzl on June 24, 2015, 7:14 pm

        Yep, abc. A quick sanity check on bing says that’s the majority view.

        Yes, hopefully our Irish friends will clear it up.

      • Mooser on June 25, 2015, 10:24 pm

        Well, as a dedicated admirer of the feminine ankle from way back, that style of Irish dance suits me just fine.

    • ritzl on June 25, 2015, 6:25 pm

      Thanks, amigo. It WAS a GREAT story!

  10. amigo on June 25, 2015, 12:47 pm

    ABC and Ritzl.

    There are quite a few types of Irish Dancing.Step dancing refers to the type demonstrated in River Dance.This can be carried out by one male or female dancer.There are also multiple groups of either gender or mixed. This dancing is very advanced and requires years of practice and dedication.
    My Father was a reasonably good step dancer (on a parochial level) was a purist , that is to say , he would be appalled to see people flailing their arms about in the manner we see today.

    The reason arms and upper body were not used was to keep the focus on “The Feet”.That is where the action is.This made the dancing much more difficult but all the more special.

    I am not so sure about hiding from british troops as part of the dance can involve kicking ones feet as high in the air as possible and this would certainly be head high .Sounds like an old wives tale to me.(apologies to old wives).

    There is however some truth in Irish dancing being kept from the clergy.However this mostly referred to the local gatherings in parochial settings , usually on a “Platform” in the open .These were closely watched by the local clergy who usually had very little else to do but police their parishioners and maybe check out the talent , as some of our holy men were known to do.Many an innocent young girl ended up in the Magdalene Laundry as a result of a “consultation” with one of our holy men.

    Hope that throws some light on the subject for you.

    So , put your feet together and get ready .See how many times you can tap your feet in a second.Flatley,s record is 35.Check him out on U tube and you will see what I meant about focusing on the feet.

    • a blah chick on June 25, 2015, 1:29 pm

      I knew you would come through, amigo!

      Thanks so much for that information. I recall thinking that it sounded like an “urban legend” so I didn’t take it too seriously.

      I love folk dancing but especially any that require banging out rhythms with the feet, which is my I love American tap and Irish dancing. I’ve seen the high kicks done by these dancers and it is truly amazing the skills that are necessary for what seems a rather simple maneuver.

      • amigo on June 25, 2015, 6:39 pm

        Your welcome to Ritzl and ABC.

      • RoHa on June 25, 2015, 7:16 pm

        That’s the trouble with having a real Irishman around the place. Punctures all those Disney tales.

    • RoHa on June 25, 2015, 7:14 pm

      “Many an innocent young girl ended up in the Magdalene Laundry as a result of a “consultation” with one of our holy men. ”

      And frequently not so innocent after the “consultation”.

      • amigo on June 25, 2015, 9:17 pm

        “And frequently not so innocent after the “consultation”. RoHa.

        But the perpetrator is always innocent. A lot like Israel really.

    • Froggy on June 25, 2015, 10:24 pm

      amigo : “There is however some truth in Irish dancing being kept from the clergy.However this mostly referred to the local gatherings in parochial settings , usually on a “Platform” in the open .These were closely watched by the local clergy who usually had very little else to do but police their parishioners and maybe check out the talent , as some of our holy men were known to do.”

      Gweebarra Shore (Kevin Boyle)

      Photograph, faded in sepia
      Look at that, there’s your grandparents
      And what about that crew
      I’ll tell you a story, and maybe some more
      About Derryloughan on the Gweebarra shore

      There’s Maeve O’Neill, she sits in an empty house
      Paper sheets piled on her mantelpiece,
      Letters from her sons
      All in America, gone to the war
      None would come back to the Gweebarra shore.

      Big Con the Jar
      Called in to pay us his best regards
      Said he’d just finished the Kinlochleven dam
      In moleskins and corduroys off for the night
      Away into Glenties to look for a fight

      Twas hard enough just makin’ a living
      But if you were stuck, Fletcher the prophet
      would fix your window pane
      And tell of the wonders he’d seen the world o’er
      And why he’d not fight in this war to end wars

      And Annie Friel, she didn’t think much of theology
      She put it like this
      Ah now, that’s a mighty plan
      But what of that Canon who says we can’t dance?
      Him with his toilet brought over from France!

      And the music man old Johnny would come with his pots and pans
      And play with a beauty to cut your heart away
      And one then another would take to the fore
      And sing the old songs of the Gweebarra shore

      And Maeve O’Neill still sits in the empty house
      Paper sheets piled high on her mantelpiece
      Letters from her sons
      All in America, gone to the war
      Not one came back to the Gweebarra shore

      In ’83 I saw it all planted
      With forestry, the house all grown over
      Now all is sad romance
      Look at the photograph, see it once more
      That’s Derryloughan on the Gweebarra shore.

      As sung by the late Maggie Boyle:
      http://www.folkradio.co.uk/2014/11/maggie-boyle-gweebarra-shore/

    • lysias on June 26, 2015, 10:20 am

      As a young girl, my mother used regularly to walk from her home in the village of Lisdargan near Dingle in Kerry several miles eastward to the town of Annascaul, dance all night at a dancing session in the fields, and walk back home the next morning. Never heard about any priests being in attendance.

      • amigo on June 26, 2015, 11:18 am

        “As a young girl, my mother used regularly to walk from her home in the village of Lisdargan near Dingle in Kerry several miles eastward to the town of Annascaul, dance all night at a dancing session in the fields, and walk back home the next morning. Never heard about any priests being in attendance. “Lysias

        Maybe the good people of “the Kingdom” (Kerry) gave the right message to those tyrants and they stayed away.Certainly they were present at parish dances in my youth in the late fifties and early sixties.

        Fortunately their power and influence are greatly diminished.I do not consider all of them bad.I have known some very fine and decent priests.

      • John O on June 26, 2015, 12:23 pm

        Brings back happy memories of my mother’s youngest sister in Westmeath. My dad and I were visiting her about 20 years ago. On the wall of the pub was an old photo of the local ceilidh band who entertained the village when she was a teenager. She recalled how the pianist was a little too fond of the liquor and usually had to be tied tied to his piano-stool to stop him either wandering or falling off. Happy days!

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