Anti-Semitism in Irish Schools: Is Trócaire Responsible?
January 28, 2013 2 Comments
Some of you have already heard of the Israeli columnist Sarah Honig’s ill-fated trip to the little town of Cahirciveen, Co. Kerry. In the course of her visit, she was solicited by children from a local secondary school raising funds to ‘Free Palestine’. When she questioned who they were freeing Palestine from, the children replied with “the Jews” and then explained to her that “Jews are evil” and ”crucified our Lord”. Honig recounted what she heard to a nearby teacher organizing the affair, who nodded in agreement with the words of the children.
Having gone to a school in Ireland where one teacher (of Christian Doctrine, God help us) referred to Arial Sharon as a “monster” and others expressed fierce support for Palestinian national aspirations, the attitude on display in Kerry is not surprising.
Yet I must say it upsets me to no end that Honig had this experience in the South of Kerry, in a town not far from Sneem. In Sneem the founding Patron of the Ireland-Israel Friendship League is interred; the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and later 5th President of Ireland, Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh. His grave was visited in 1978 by his good friend, the 6th President of Israel, Chaim Herzog, who was born in Belfast to the Chief Rabbi of Ireland. Herzog also unveiled a monument to Ó Dálaigh in Sneem Culture Park in 1985.
The pernicious influence of Trócaire may be at work here. Officially the overseas development agency of the Catholic Church, Trócaire has direct access to Ireland’s Catholic schools, and it has in recent years gotten heavily behind causes like anti-Zionism, gender equality, and climate change. I have previously written about the absurdity of a former National Coordinator of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign being the Israel/Palestine Officer at Trócaire. Last October, Trócaire earned the scorn of the very sound Catholic philosopher, Mark Dooley, for their trendy left-wing ideological battles. A week ago the Dublin Labour Councillor Richard Humphreys criticized Trócaire’s highly biased education packs on the Middle East that they planned for distribution in schools.
The school in question would appear to be Coláiste na Sceilge secondary school, Cahirciveen.
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