Brian Lenihan in Israel Begging for Help

Israel should do what is in its own economic interests, but not treat Ireland like an enemy

A colleague in Israel has informed me of an unbelievable but true story in the Israeli economic newspaper Calcalist. It is not available in English, but I will try to scrounge around for a translation later. Calcalist is saying that the Israeli financial authorities gave instructions to investors to sell stocks of about 1.5 billion dollars invested in Irish funds, due to a change in Ireland’s international credit rating. Apparently, the Irish government are seriously concerned that his might cause a chain reaction throughout the world, further damaging the already severely injured Irish economy. Included are international funds based in Ireland from the early years of the Celtic Tiger. The article says Brian Lenihan came to Israel urgently last month, to persuade Israels’ Finance Minister to help.

I am not an expert in finance or translation from Hebrew to English (I am working on both!), but it appears the Israeli authorities, instead of instructing investors to sell within 50 days, lengthened the period of time to 180 days, this due in a major way to opposition to the move by Israeli insurance companies.

The elephant in the room here is the Fianna Fáil party’s consistent populist anti-Israeli and pro-Arab policies. It is amazing to think that Fianna Fáil Deputy Chris Andrews actually advocated using forces from the Irish Navy in May 2010 to assist a Turkish Islamist organization, with a record of running weapons to Al Qaeda, as well as other groups, land a number of vessels in the Gaza Strip to defy the Israeli maritime blockade. Some of these boats contained aid, but the BBC subsequently reported that at least two-thirds of the medicines were out of date and dangerous to consume. Israeli authorities wanted to bring in the aid through the land crossings, used almost every day to bring goods into Gaza. However, aid was not the issue to Islamist group ‘IHH’ on the ship ‘Mavi Marmara’, who fought violently to defy this reasonable measure. It was the only ship out of six in the convoy to do so. Ireland is supposedly a neutral country, and Fianna Fáil supports this policy. Or on paper at least.  Taoiseach Brian Cowen and current Fianna Fáil leader Michael Martin actually supported Andrews in his desire to effectively declare war on a nuclear power with one of the world’s strongest militaries. Martin would subsequently make a farcical ‘humanitarian’ visit to Gaza, of all places, where there has not been one recorded death by starvation since the blockade measures began in 2007. This was not long after a devastating earthquake in Haiti which killed hundreds of thousands, and the murder of around 120 Muslims of the peaceful and non-political Ahmadiya sect in Pakistan, while at prayer, by Islamists in the mold of IHH.

It prompts the question: why should the Israelis help the Irish out of their predicament? The Israelis don’t look at it in that way, and are making a concession to Ireland which may not be a smart business move. Now, the Irish people don’t deserve to be punished for the stupid deeds of it’s populist Israel-bashing government, and their biased elite media centered around state broadcaster RTE and trendy-lefty newspaper The Irish Times. Yet I do not believe the Irish deserve special treatment that could harm Israel interests.

A weaker part of me wishes the Israelis would tell Fianna Failure to just go fuck themselves.

'Peace Activists' on the Gaza Flotilla. Questioning this is Islamophobic, you Cultural Imperialist.



About Cranky Notions
Reactionary. That fella from the Norris scandal.

3 Responses to Brian Lenihan in Israel Begging for Help

  1. Oisin says:

    I doubt very much that Israel was the only country that Lenihan has had to go begging to in recent times, or the most important. You grew up in Ireland yet a part of you wishes that “the Israelis would tell Fianna Failure to just go fuck themselves”. A move that would damage our already battered economy. So much for loyalty. As for Irish media bias, pot and kettle mate.

    • True, to an extent Oisin. Lenihan has certainly had to do a lot of travelling recently, though not of the good kind.

      However, for a non-EU country, that isn’t the US, Israeli investment in Ireland is proportionally quite high, with a number of Israeli plants operating over there in the areas of pharmaceuticals and technology, such as Teva in Waterford.

      What stands out in this case is the ruling party’s hostility to the country in question. It certainly gives the Israelis an incentive to respond in the negative, to say the least. Michael Martin and others essentially repudiated the long Irish tradition of neutrality. This is the country whose leader, in the interest of neutrality, signed Hitler’s book of condolences in the final days of WWII. He was the only leader of a liberal democracy to do so. News about Jewish victims in Nazi Germany was heavily censored in the Irish newspapers and newsreels for some reason. The change in attitude when it comes to Israel is astounding.

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