Anti-Semitism in the Kerry School: Yes, it was Trócaire

News of the appearance of anti-Semitism among the schoolchildren of Cahirciveen has spread like a prairie fire. Coláiste na Sceilge have now released an official response, which denies the journalist Sarah Honig’s allegations:  

As Principal of this school I was shocked when I read the contents of the blog by Ms Honig. The students and teacher vehemently deny the remarks attributed to them.

Part of our mission statement states that ‘we are committed to developing people who are fair, caring assertive…’ and we are .

Colaiste na Sceilige has worked with the Trocaire Pamoja –together for human rights – Project for the last number of years.

Last year our students looked at Uganda and raised money for Trocaire for two mobile HIV clinics by singing Christmas carols.The year before it was Honduras and they raised money for Trocaire to build a house for a family.This year it was Palestine and they raised money for Trocaire to buy olive trees for displaced Palestinian families.

The lesson content provided by Trocaire states clearly that ‘Trocaire is neither pro Palestinian nor pro Israeli’ and having spoken to the teacher and students it is clear that the material was delivered in an unbiased manner. Anything else would be entirely unacceptable.

Students read newspapers ,watch the news and are in touch with the world around them. Ms Honig has referred to the plethora of anti Israeli feeling in the media.

We try to teach our students to be critical thinkers to examine both sides of an issue. We may not always be satisfied with the conclusions students draw and can only try to set them right when they go wrong.

By making such allegations, and indeed publishing photographs of children on a website without parental consent, the writer has been irresponsible and has done our school and the people of Kerry a great disservice.

John O’Connor

School Principal

It is not certain from the Principal’s statement whether the school received the controversial Trócaire education pack, which Justin Kilcullen told Richard Humphreys, who raised a stink about them, had not been sent to schools. It could be earlier Trócaire propaganda. It wouldn’t surprise me if Kilcullen lied about not sending out the material. Kilcullen is Ireland’s pious fraud, a proven liar who is noticeably overpaid in comparison with other Irish charity chiefs. I certainly don’t believe Trócaire uses the money it raises to plant olive trees in Palestine. Its far more likely that it uses the money, or at least the majority of it,  to fund far-left NGOs that bash Israel. That, however, is not the way Trócaire is marketed.

Articles from The Kerryman newspaper on the matter here and here.

NOTE: It has been put to me that Trócaire’s involvement is really a minor matter in all this. The central point is that schoolchildren and a teacher have been accused by a journalist of anti-Semitism and are contesting that allegation.

I do not quite agree that Trócaire is a tangential issue. It is very likely that Trócaire whipped up the climate of hate in the first place by providing the schoolchildren with a biased, misleading, simplistic, good vs. evil account of the Israel-Arab conflict.

Anti-Semitism in Irish Schools: Is Trócaire Responsible?

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.

Email them here: info@colaistenasceilge.ie

Here are the email addresses for all local TDs:

brendan.griffin@oir.ie.
michael.healy-rae@oireachtas.ie
tom.fleming@oireachtas.ie

together-we-will-get-rights-for-palestine

Some of the children in question, Cahirciveen

Women in Combat

800px-Flickr_-_Israel_Defense_Forces_-_Female_Infantry_Instructors_Prepare_for_a_Combat_Exercise,_Nov_2010

The Amazons, the mythical race of female warriors who lived on the fringes of civilization,  were said to cut off their right breasts to enable them to effectively throw javelins and use a bow. In some accounts, they could not have sex, or restricted intercourse to one encounter per year. It is telling that to be warriors, the Amazons had to give up all marks of femininity and even the organs identifying them as women.

There is truth in the myth of the Amazons. Captain Katie Petronio of the Marine Corps recently told CNN that the missions she endured over seven months in Iraq caused her to stop producing estrogen, rendering her infertile. She also admitted to only doing a fraction of what her male colleagues did.

One should be very afraid of the prospect of gender ‘equality’ in combat. What do feminists mean by it? Forty percent of female soldiers in the British army got pregnant within months of arriving in Iraq. This earned them an immediate trip home. Female British Military Police unable to get pregnant simply refused to go on foot-patrol because it was “too dangerous”. Male MPs had to do double-patrols. The Daily Star got these figures from the Ministry of Defense after a Freedom of Information request. I cannot recall the BBC ever reporting them. I have never seen a debate in Parliament on the subject. The Official Line is that Girls Can Do Anything. The madness goes beyond Britain. According to Steve Sailer (writing in 1997), for every year a coed warship is at sea “the Navy has to airlift out 16% of the female sailors as their pregnancies become advanced”.

The Israeli Example, The Nature of War, and Why The Israeli Example Does Not Apply

Somebody will inevitably bring up all those pretty girls in the Israel Defense Forces. I contend that Israel is not necessarily a success in this regard, and certainly not an example for America or any other country to emulate. I also believe that women who meet the criteria for the armed forces should still be excluded from the military as much as possible, even if the criteria haven’t been lowered to facilitate greater gender integration.

For a start, one expects that forcibly integrating combat units would have the same effect as forcibly integrating sports, given the sometimes astounding physical requisites of both endeavors. Most world-class female athletes cannot compete against world-class male athletes. In fact, the top women in most fields of sport would not even be able to compete against the top male high school equivalents. So, sensibly, we don’t do mixed basketball games.

Disparities in physical abilities are a clear indication that opening up combat units to women will not double the talent pool, as some have absurdly argued. Most women are unable to carry the standard gear a US soldier is required to schlep around at all times. Factors like this mean that the only way gender integration would work is if female combat units were to only take on other female combat units, as we do in sport. This arrangement may be negotiated, but one cannot expect armies to adhere to this.  The massing of the troops on weak points is standard practice. In the words of Field Mar­shal Paul von Hindenburg, “an operation without Schw­er­punkt is like a man without character”. Some civilized nations may indeed be persuaded to sign up to this, but the likes of the Taliban certainly wont.

But lets go beyond physical differences and presume that a military can easily have women in combat.

Martin Van Creveld, in my opinion the greatest military historian and theorist of our time, largely dismisses the argument that women are physically incapable of fighting alongside men. This I do not quite agree with, but I’ll leave my objections aside for the moment. In his Transformation of War, he provides the example of the highly effective Palmach, the elite all-volunteer strike force of the Haganah, the pre-state Jewish militia that later formed the core of the IDF. The Palmach had a higher rate of female participation and sexual integration than any military force before or since. Women were particularly valued for intelligence gathering, arms smuggling, and transmitting messages. There were plenty of women throughout the Haganah, too. Famous ‘sexpert’ Dr. Ruth Westheimer was a sniper (where her diminutive height of 4 ft 7 in proved advantageous). However, as the British left and the Arabs armies massed, the IDF was officially established and a near complete winnowing out of women began. After the war, Israeli women were confined to being secretaries, telephone operators, and the like, though they were still subject to the draft.

Now, war has throughout history been the most important male preserve. The association between war and manliness is so strong that in some languages the word for “man” and “warrior” is the same. One can go farther and say that in most societies, things are considered important to the extent that they are the preserve of men, though this is perhaps changing in certain places. Teaching and secretarial work, when dominated by men, enjoyed a far higher status than they do today. Female penetration of a field beyond a critical point will cause men to desert. This applies to war.

So what made the Palmach work?

It was all in the context. The Palmach were a small band of semi-underground insurgents facing the mighty British Empire as well as the Arab foe. With such a disparity in power, numbers, and equipment, women can be allowed to participate without undermining the significance of what the men are doing. Female participation can be rife in other insurgencies, including that of the Palestinians. In Ireland, examples can be found in women like Countess Markievicz.

Women largely vanished from important roles in the IDF for decades, training with weapons discarded by the men or those that were extremely plentiful. The reason why women continued to be drafted and receive weapons training at all is closely related to why they were welcomed by the pre-state Zionist militias. Israel was outnumbered, outgunned, and surrounded by foes. The Soviet Union was around to support its enemies. Israel’s wars have been seen as wars for survival, close to home, and certainly not optional adventures or crusades thousands of miles away. Even today, with peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, Israel fears failure in a way that the surrounding Arab nations don’t. Few countries face threats of an existential nature like Israel, and certainly not the United States. However, even though its women get trained in the use of arms, very few females serve in Israel’s combat units.

In Israel, a post-1973 expansion of the army strained available manpower and created a demand for skilled operators. Women were found to make good technicians, communicators  and weapons instructors. As a result, the presence of women was increased noticeably at all ranks. On the whole the job they have done has been excellent, though women still tend to get assigned the worst positions. However, there has also been an enormous social cost to this. Jobs got considered undesirable by men precisely because they began to be done by women. Thus, these roles are not seen as a display or test of manliness, a fundamental part of the traditional culture of war, in what is a very macho culture in the first place. More women at all ranks has in fact made it tougher to attract first-class manpower.

As a side-note, it must be said that Israeli women, from the Palmach and beyond, have always performed admirably in certain crucial capacities like Intelligence. Since the time of Rahab, and Judith’s beheading of Holofernes, women do have some innate advantages in this field that men will find difficult or impossible to acquire.

Its a Symptom

That the US military is now prepared to take women into combat infantry positions indicates that its role as an actual fighting force is coming to an end. It is a symptom of the demise of the style of war that arose after the state asserted its monopoly over conflict at the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. Since the late 1980s and early 1990s, military theorists have pointed out the fact that we are living through the greatest transformation of the nature of war since 1648.

State-run armies are being made obsolete by nuclear weapons keeping the peace on the one hand, and low-intensity conflicts featuring non-state actors on the other. Against non-state opponents, the US military has lost in Lebanon, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan. The wars that matter are now fought by gangs, tribes, and militias. They fight for pride, for God, for women, for money. Essentially, the old pre-state causes.

What can a state do with a useless army? Turning it into an equal opportunities jobs program is one option.

The student pro-life movement begins

How great it was to attend the London Launch of the Alliance of Pro-Life Students last night. Yes, active pro-life students in the UK actually exist. Founded only last February, APS has generated a fantastic amount of support and enthusiasm. That was evident at the swellegant, elegant cocktail party at the Thistle Hotel in Marble Arch yesterday.

A bunch of shrill idiots set up what they called a Posh-Party-Picket to greet us outside the front entrance. They were noisy in the extreme, but none managed to infiltrate and disrupt the soirée, which has apparently happened at APS launches elsewhere. I took the protest as good news. It shows APS is being taken seriously.

Lord David Alton gave a speech that could only described as inspiring, copiously quoting Chesterton and dropping in a little Talmud and old Irish wisdom for good measure. He made special mention of the travesty of gender-selective abortions, which has left India and China deprived of hundreds of millions of females, and western feminists in a state of remarkable indifference. Its hard to believe this man was once a Lib Dem.

The lovely Eve Farren, the South African born recent graduate who runs APS, spoke eloquently about her own journey to the pro-life cause and the difficulties faced for activists in this area. APS has been subject to terrible harassment from campus feminists and the usual suspects. Its ranged from disruption of their outreach activities to motions to make various universities officially pro-choice. How strange it is that so many campus women’s organisations care far more about promoting abortion than they do about lobbying for facilities to help students who are pregnant, or already have children. Its a sad truth that its easier for a young lady on a London campus to find an abortion than a creche.

Farren also stressed that APS is dedicated to working with reasonable feminists and pro-life groups across the religious spectrum. They even work with a group called Pagans for Life.

You couldn’t meet a nicer group of people than the folks at this gathering. They are also dedicated and intelligent. No wonder some people are so scared. I foresee a bright future for APS.

A Word On David Norris’s Book

I didn’t want to bring this up at first, because I thought all copies of A Kick Against The Pricks would end up pulped or remaindered by Christmas. Norris’s self-aggrandizing behavior, bitterness, and wishful thinking in relation to the sexuality of certain historical figures should have accomplished that better than any critic. I also simply wanted to leave the whole Presidential brouhaha of 2011 behind me. Yes, I am proud of playing a part in what many Irish people have told me was the most entertaining political spectacle ever seen in the country, though I may disagree on that point. That really hit home again when I visited Cork over the Christmas period. The final outcome may not have been ideal. Certainly, Gallagher was robbed of a victory only because Higgins was the media’s next favorite candidate. The effort to do good all seemed so futile.

Now, I am more convinced the country had a lucky escape.

One thing I respected Mr. Norris for at the height of the controversy was his condemnation of the nasty conspiracy theories that were floating about. He did this immediately after he made his exit on a Today FM interview, something which I told the people there I was most satisfied with. I made sure to mention to all journalists who asked that I thought he acted like a gentleman and I respected him for it. This was rarely reported of course, as the media would prefer a bitter conflict on matters like this. Norris made it clear he did not believe in the nonsense when he announced his re-entry to Ryan Tubridy (who referred to ‘dark forces’ rumored to be at work).

So, what a shame it was to open page 313 of A Kick Against The Pricks and see Norris blaming the whole affair on a conspiracy operating out of the Israeli embassy in Dublin. I don’t want to give this the dignity of a response, only to say that Norris provides no evidence for this point whatsoever.

My remaining respect for David Norris is gone entirely. He truly is a disgraceful tramp.

The SWP and the disturbing “Disputes Committee”.

So, it seems the Socialist Workers Party doesn’t believe in the bourgeois British justice system, and has decided to take matters into its own hands.

Just a few days ago, transcripts of an SWP conference were leaked on the internet.  They reveal that a certain leading member of the party, known as ‘Comrade Delta’, was accused of rape by a female colleague. Rather than call the police, the SWP referred the matter to a ‘dispute committee’, and freely admitted that several of Comrade Delta’s friends would be on the panel.

You may be surprised to hear that Comrade Delta was found innocent.

Now, this raises some interesting questions from the libertarian standpoint. I do believe there is room for competing systems of arbitration and justice, but I can’t help getting a feeling of revulsion in this case. Don’t think that’s just me out to get the socialists. The Conservative Party or some other group secretly handling criminal matters internally, for the good of the organisation or ideological movement, would be equally off-putting. It becomes truly disgusting when a movement sees it as alright for the accused to be judged by a group of his own friends.

Besides, how would they have punished Comrade Delta if he had been found guilty? Does anybody believe mere expulsion from his party amounts to justice?

The SWP should be subject to a police investigation, though I’m still inclined to believe that consenting adults are entitled to resolve their problems this way. What bothers me is the SWP’s secrecy. It all leaves too much room for abuse. Even in an institution composed of many good and decent people, there is a tendency to suppress potentially damning facts. I”ve written about this before.

I’d be genuinely be interested in the SWP’s ideological reasoning here.  Why keep such an important aspect of the SWP a secret? If the SWP were more transparent about this and stressed that everybody went through the system voluntarily, I might have some respect for their position. Why can’t they just say that this is what the SWP offers, and invite people to come on board if they wish? Maybe many more would be attracted to their unique courts system.

Now, there are ominous parallels with cults that have secret teachings, such as Scientology.

And any attacks the atheistic SWP have made against the Catholic Church’s internal investigations procedures when it comes to abuse look very, very hollow indeed.

Does Irish Aid fund IPSC lectures?

Irish Aid is Ireland’s official overseas development programme, part of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Since  December 6th last year the Irish Aid center (a government office) has been hosting various anti-Israel lectures, set to continue until February. Most of these lectures are given by members of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Trócaire. This includes Garry Walsh, Israel/Palestine Officer at Trócaire, who is also the former National Coordinator of the IPSC. Not one speaker could be described as friendly to Israel. Indeed, some of the lectures would seem to promote its destruction.

The Irish Aid webpage links directly to this Facebook page promoting the events. What is the extent of Irish Aid’s cooperation here? Are they just letting them use the venue? Irish Aid has given €116 million to the highly compromised charity Trócaire between 2007 and 2011. What else are they doing?