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December 15, 2014 2:38 pm

‘Nothing Has Changed’ at Irish Holocaust Educational Trust Declares Fired MC, as Organization Backtracks on Israel Ban

avatar by Ben Cohen

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Yanky Fachler addresses a Warsaw Ghetto Uprising commemoration in Dublin in 2013. Photo: Michael FitzGerald, ClontarfMedia

The Master of Ceremonies who was fired from hosting Ireland’s forthcoming Holocaust Memorial Day on January 25 after being told he couldn’t refer to Israel at the event has called on the organizing body, the Holocaust Educational Trust Ireland (HETI), to explain how it arrived at the decision to ban any mention of the Jewish state.

Yanky Fachler, the long-standing host of the event, spoke to The Algemeiner shortly after HETI apparently backtracked on the decision, announcing in a press release that there “is no ban on mentioning Israel at the Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration in Ireland. Israel will be referred to and the Israeli ambassador has attended and participated in the ceremony since its inception in 2003 and will do so again in January 2015. Holocaust Education Trust Ireland (HETI) has this week reassured the Jewish Community in Ireland of this.”

But Fachler – who has not been reinstated to his post after he was told in an October 13 letter from HETI Chair Peter Cassells that “we will be engaging a new MC” – pointed out that in reversing of the policy, HETI did not explain how it arrived at its decision in the first place.

“My question would be, why they did do what they did,” Fachler told The Algemeiner during a telephone interview. “They came to an absolutely unacceptable decision, and someone must be held accountable for it. I don’t know how they did it, or why they did it, but we need to know how they got to this decision.”

Fachler also pointed out that HETI had yet to apologize for the original announcement. HETI’s undated press release merely corrected the original announcement of a ban on mentioning Israel, before going on to briefly describe its work in Ireland delivering “educational programs through primary, post-primary and third level.”

Fachler said that he did not expect to be reinstated to his post as MC, adding that he was not seeking such an outcome. “In the unlikely event that I was to be asked, I would not be prepared to do it because I don’t think anything has changed at HETI,” he said.

Fachler, a well-known broadcaster and author in Ireland, said that there had long “been tension” with HETI’s Board, none of whom have resigned because of the scandal, over his forthrightly pro-Israel views.

In his own letter to Peter Cassells protesting the original decision, Fachler said that HETI was “creating the impression that it is more concerned with dead Jews than live ones.”

As The Algemeiner reported last week, the announcement of the Israel ban led to a major furore in Ireland, with Jewish groups and former government minister Alan Shatter among those who condemned the decision.

The Algemeiner sent three separate emails to HETI requesting to speak to Mr. Cassells about his original decision, but only received the HETI press release announcing that mention of Israel would be permitted in response.

Meanwhile, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading US-based Jewish advocacy organization, has called for the resignation of those HETI trustees who “voted to exclude references to ‘Israel’ or ‘Jewish State’ from the proceedings of Holocaust Memorial Day…offending the survivors who have made it their home and decoupling the history and destiny of the Jewish People from the Jewish State.”

The Center’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, also demanded an investigation by the Irish authorities over whether HETI may have violated its charitable status with its original ban on mentioning Israel.

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  • Baba

    As someone mentioned, Ireland has always been and will continue to be anti-Semitic. Ireland was a terrorist state and empathize with the creatures called Palestinians (which they are not) and will always be against Israel. The EU will soon get their just rewards in the near future when their so-called civilization is overrun by more radical Muslims intent on a continent of Shariah law and run only by Muslims. The EU is cowardly; their leadership is disgusting and vile filled with ignoramuses who are too chicken to take back their countries. If necessary, civil war should take place and drive these disgusting excuses for human beings back to the middle east. Those in Ireland who love these diseased minded things should go live in Gaza for awhile and then let’s see if they have good things to say about these fantastic people!

  • Myron Robinson

    Ireland is notoriously anti-Semitic, anti Zionistic & anti Israel. The Irish are a self righteous & opinionated Nation who are useless at whatever they do. Their hatred of Judaism is well documented. Name one invention that Ireland has created or for that matter what Ireland has contributed to Humanity. The answer is Zilch. Let us not waste our time on such an insignificant Country

    • Martin Gleeson

      First “splitting of the atom”,Ernest Walton 1903/1995.
      Very few Irish people are anti- Israel as such. To some extent Israel’s PR. problem is it’s awesome military success.(I do understand that Israel can not afford to lose any war).Not too many people follow the Mid-East that closely,people tend to feel sorry for “the (apparent)little guy”.
      There have been quite a lot of “over the top” posts and misunderstood history on here.

      • Martin Gleeson

        PS. I sadly agree with you that there are many self-righteous and I’ll informed people in this country. I think a more fragmented media has lead to a certain “dumbing”of debate.
        However, it’s hardly unique to Ireland.

  • Few people remember that the Irish Republic sent Germany a letter of condolence in 1945 on the death of Adof Hitler. Few knew at the time that Churchill had plans for how to deal with a German invasion arriving from the Irish Republic.

    • Martin Gleeson

      Sir, “a little learning is a dangerous thing” .Should anyone wish to “drink a little deeper” it’s possible to google this event. It’s not as it seems at first. It’s long in the past one of little importance.
      As for the commeration I believe the State of Israel must be central. The only true home of individual freedom in the Mid-East.
      Perhaps countries like Ireland that are farthest removed from the region understand the existential threat least. I think the “penny is dropping” quickly in some parts of Europe,( France ,Germany, it’s taken a while).
      With falling oil revenues it might just happen that “the Arab spring” becomes the “Arab long hot summer”



  • Let me assure you Ireland in general is antisemitic. If you saw the propaganda advert for Palestinian refugees shown on prime time tv in Europe with young mothers and babies starving (fake of course) you would see why this nation is so ignorant. I have a house here and I can tell you now there are more German’s descended from Nazi escapees than you would believe. Ireland is insignificant a small spot on the map of the world with a population of 5 million two mega mosques and umpteen muslims coming in in droves because Suadi has bought up their OIL by paying bribes to elite society members who have since moved off to sunshine climbs. The Irish are not taught International history in their Catholic Schools curricular. Woe betide Ireland when she starts getting Jihads in her population. Already 4 muslims
    have been detained by the Egyptian government for being members of the Muslim Brotherhood. It is rare to read anything about the muslim invasion in the papers believe me. One has to make one’s own observations. I cannot even get to a synagogue with ease the nearest is Dublin where there is a mega mosque built with Saudi money.

  • debra

    I would say it is impossible to have holocaust memorial day without mentioning Jews, or Israel. How can anyone detangle these three words ?

    • MAGGIE

      who forget to be on guard soon will lose his country for the Muslims invadors/ the muslims came to western countries as misrrable people but really they are about world Muslim Jihad/ the stupid Irish will learn it ON THIER OWN FLESH/sooner than they will get it / but it will be too late for them/ A SUSIADAL NATION/

  • david Jackson

    Living in Ireland as I do, I cannot but accept that the Irish media is biased in their coverage of Israel. That is true of the media in many other European countries too but is even more pronounced here. I have just read the most recent article in the Algemeiner and the comments attributed to Efraim Zuroff and Shimon Samuels of the Wiesenthal Center in the Dec 15th Jersusalem Post report on Holocaust Memorial Day in Ireland and their statement that they have rushed off a letter to the Irish President Michael D. Higgins, who I understand is to deliver the keynote address at this years ceremony. It seems that the Algemeiner, the Wiesenthal Center (not for the first time) nor the Jerusalem Post, no more checks its facts when Ireland comes to its attention than does the Irish media when writing about Israel.

    Lets start with Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2014 in Ireland which took place in January. Yanky Fachler, the MC, says there was a ban on him mentioning Israel at HMD 2014. I presume he speaks for himself as MC rather than the 30 invited speakers that evening. He says that he was instructed not to mention ‘Israel’ or ‘the State of Israel’ and that he reluctantly complied. On Oct 7th he received a letter, quoted explicitly in the Jerusalem Post article, stating that this policy regarding the MC is also to apply in 2015 when there will be a new MC. A silly and impractical policy in my opinion for the organisers to try and impose on a MC but the Algemeiner the Wiesenthal Center, the Jerusalem Post and others, seem to have jumped to the even sillier conclusion that this was an attempt to prevent any or all of this year’s invited speakers (including our President) from mentioning Israel. It’s a ridiculous conclusion for Fachler to have suggested is or was true based on what he was told and the letter he received.

    I was at the 2014 Memorial Day. The MC contrary to what he says did mention Israel on several occasions. How could he do his job otherwise? For instance, he referred to ‘Yad Vashem as Israel’s Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes Remembrance Authority’ and he introduced ‘the Ambassador of Israel’ to the podium in his own words as ‘The Ambassador of Israel’. More importantly, a theme of the 25 minute keynote address given by the Irish Minister of Justice, Alan Shatter, was that Israel today was under threat of a ‘second Holocaust’ from its enemies. The Minister also mentioned that of the six million citizens of Israel today, many are descendants of Holocaust survivors who went to live in Israel. There certainly was no ban enforced on mentioning Israel or the State of Israel in 2014 and as far as I know the real issue was that the MC in his penultimate closing remark wanted to say that “we must prevent the memory of the Holocaust being …(used) to deny the State of Israel a past and a future”. The organisers insisted on ‘The Jewish people’ being substituted for ‘The State of Israel’ in that closing remark. The MC argued for his choice of words but eventually agreed to the change. Hardly a ban on mentioning Israel.

    As for the 2015 ceremony if a similar closing remark is to be used by this year’s MC, whoever that may be, then I am in agreement that ‘the Jewish people’ is a more appropriate phrase in that context than ‘the State of Israel’. On the other hand when it comes to the invited speakers in the 2015 ceremony and to the contribution of the President himself, I expect Israel, the survivors, their children and grandchildren to feature prominently. That is as it has been in every other year that I have attended. I shall be amazed if that is not also the case this year. Perhaps you might care to actually view the video of one of the previous Irish HMD ceremonies.

  • Mickey Oberman

    Ireland is contagiously close to England which is now almost at the point of no return to becoming another Islamic Satrapy.

    The virus is spreading rapidly throughout what were formerly the British Isles.

    Elizabeth, the now titular head of what once was, has visited more than 90 countries as a goodwill ambassador. But with her nose still out of joint because some rag tag Jews chased her mighty army out of what remained of the Palestine mandated territories after Britain, in dishonouring its mandate, broke it up, has never set foot in Israel.

    It appears that she has set the pattern for the rest of the late British Empire to emulate.

  • Adele Winston

    This issue deserves to be put in the spotlight, and explanations called for.

  • Liz

    Sick anti-Semites. Would probably not teach the Holocaust if they didn’t have to.

  • Henry E

    …of course, HETI is more concerned with “dead Jews than living Jews”. The international community is terribly uncomfortable wth Jews – Israelis – who are strong and unwilling to cower to EU and Arab demands.

  • citizenstat

    The people who have somehow gained control of HETI are barking mad! Many, if not most, Holocaust survivors found refuge in Israel. HETI would pat them on the back with one hand and knife ten in the back with the other!

  • The Jews and Israel are one. To ‘uncouple’ is to murder them. No different then to claim the brain can live without the heart.

    Anti-semitism has ‘morphed’ yet again.

    Greek idolatry defiled Jewish BELIEFS, Nazi racial purity exterminated the Jewish BODY, and Islam seeks to destroy the Jewish STATE. As the world watches…again.

  • Remember on May 2, 1945 Ireland was the only country to send condolences to Germany on the death of Hitler. Antisemitism is foundational to Ireland.

    • Martin Gleeson

      Sir, when in 1945 German industrial militarism ( which began with Kaiser Wilhelm,later morphed into Nazism) was finally dismantled brick by bloody brick. While the Red Army and others were taking a gruesome revenge (on the women mostly) of Germany. At the time when all Hitler’s old friends were busy keeping their heads down, DeVelera who was not a friend or admirer of Hitler went to the German Legation in Dublin to offer “condolences” for that monster.
      Why did he do this disgraceful and ridiculous thing?. I believe the intended audience for this ridulous piece of theatre was Winston Churchill ( avowed British Imperialist,and opponent of DeVelera).From anywhere else in the world this may seem unbelievable,it is unbelievable.
      Had Sir Winston choked on his cigar (which he might almost have done )on hearing the news of this stunt,DeVelera would have gone to the British Embassy the next day.
      Sometimes truth is strange,so strange that you couldn’t make it up. I am no apologist for DeVelera but though he may have been an enonomic disaster(over one million people emigrated from this small country during his tenure)on thing he was not was anti-Semetic.

  • Tabitha korol

    Thank you to all who are vigilant against the anti-Semitism in times like these.

  • Shalom Ben

    while I am not seeking any payment for my work, it would be nice to be credited with filmimng thye video from which you took the screen grab being used to illustrated your otherwise excellent article.

    It was taken from the following recording…


    Michael FitzGerald

    • Ben Cohen

      Done, thank you Michael.

  • victoria brandeis

    love when hatred is in the open… me an opportunity to have greater choices towards truthfully documenting theories or philosophies that are filled with personal hatred and intent.


  • Eric R.

    I think all Jews, Irish or otherwise, should boycott this ceremony and in fact, call for it to be cancelled.

  • AlanB

    HETI has NOT ‘backtracked’

    The ban on the MC mentioning ‘Israel’ or ‘the Jewish State’ remains.