There are, sadly, innumerable Irish Israel-haters, among whom the permanently angry hard-line socialist and top-notch hater Richard Boyd Barrett of People Before Profit-Solidarity is particularly vicious.
Published: 5 December 2023
AHamas supporter, these days he’s bellowing on the streets of Dublin about Israel as a “filthy colonial regime” which we must “resist” and “bring down” through intifada.
Anyway, I thought that today I would counter some of the demonisation of Israel which is so reminiscent of the way in which IRA apologists have for decades smeared the RUC as war criminals, by stressing the positive.
I follow on X (formerly known as Twitter) that fine investigative journalist David Collier, who does so much to challenge the wicked allegations flung every day at a country that is fighting for its survival.
Since its citizens are accused of all kinds of evil, he decided to provide brief descriptions of a cross section of that extraordinary diverse and racially and religiously tolerant country.
They might help explain why Israelis will fight to the death.
If you want to see photographs, look David up on X @misthal.
Avraham Kiryati, Jewish, whose ancestors escaped the fifteenth-century Spanish inquisition, was eight in 1929, when Arabs massacred the Jews of Hebron, including his uncle.
Eden Alene, Jewish, was born in Jerusalem to Ethiopian refugees, one of 130,000 or so Jews of Ethiopian descent; she will sing for Israel in the 2024 Eurovision song contest.
A Christian Israeli Arab, Elinor Joseph was born in the village of Jish in northern Israel; she is in a combat role in the Israeli military.
Yaakov Horovitz was born in the 1930s in Egypt into a successful business family; arrested in 1956, they had to sign over all their possessions and were expelled from their country and ended up as in Israel.
Ruth (no surname given) survived the Holocaust by jumping from a train headed for the camps and joined partisans to fight the Nazis. Her granddaughter is an officer in the Israeli army.
Ismail Khaldi, an Israeli Beduin, born near Haifa, has been a policeman, a soldier and is now a diplomat in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Pe’er Tasi is a successful singer from a family of refugees from Yemen; there are about 450,000 Israelis of Yemenite descent.
Eli Amir, born in Iraq, this successful writer was one of a million Jews from Arab countries who were ethnically cleansed.
Behruz Baradarian, a shopkeeper, was born in Iran and fled in 1979 after the Islamic revolution; he is one of over 130,000 of Iranian descent living in Israel.
Ninet Tayeb is a successful musician, singer-songwriter, composer, DJ, model and actress. Tunisian refugees, her parents arrived in Israel separately; tens of thousands of Israelis are of Tunisian descent.
Yossi Cohen, the director of Mossad, was born in Israel into a family whose Israel roots go back nine generations.
Gadeer Kamal-Mreeh, the first female from the 150,000-strong Druze-Israeli community to become a member of the Knesset, is a politician and journalist.
Natan Sharansky, who became a successful Israeli politician, was internationally known as a vocal and uncompromising rufusenik, one of those persecuted Jews who wanted to leave the Soviet Union. He spent nine years in Soviet jails and was the first political prisoner released by Gorbachev; ultimately a million Jews escaped.
Sarah Avraham, born in India, is an Israeli kickboxer who moved to Israel after the 2008 Mumbai attacks. One of approximately 85,000 Israeli Jews of Indian origin, in 2014 she won the Women’s World Thai-Boxing Championship.
Beram Kayal is an Israeli Muslim (one of over 1.5 million Arab Muslims), a successful footballer who plays for Brighton & Hove Albion and has 44 senior caps playing for Israel.
Amir Ohana, the openly gay minister for justice, was born in Israel to refugees from Morocco; about one million Israeli Jews claim Moroccan heritage.
Daniel Gal was born in Algeria. When he was a little boy Jewish businesses were seized by the state and his persecuted family fled to Israel.
Salim Joubran, a Christian Maronite, served as a justice in the Supreme Court of Israel from 2004 until recently.
Jonathan Elkhoury, a gay Christian, had to flee Lebanon to escape Hezbollah.
“I think the point is made,” said Collier. “The idea Israel is some European colony is a lie spread by haters seeking to delegitimize the Jewish state.”