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August 30, 2016 7:00 am

‘Time to Stand by Ireland’s Jews,’ Declares Belfast Columnist in Wake of Cemetery Desecration

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A desecrated Jewish grave in Belfast. Photo: Twitter.

A desecrated Jewish grave in Belfast. Photo: Twitter.

Following the desecration of 13 Jewish graves at a cemetery in Belfast on Friday, “It’s time to stand by Ireland’s Jews,” an Irish columnist wrote on Monday.

Henry McDonald of the Belfast Telegraph said that the act of vandalism “appears to have been something more organized, more targeted, more pointed” than “mindless drink and drug-fueled behavior.” According to McDonald, “The vandals used hammers and blocks to break up the headstones, while a larger mob looked on encouraging their actions. There is clear evidence here of forward-planning.”

McDonald said that some have pointed to the recent fining of the Celtic soccer team by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) over fans’ display of Palestinian flags during a recent game against Israel’s Hapoel Be’er Sheva as the catalyst for the vandalism. However, McDonald declared, “[W]hatever the motivation, or even the rights and wrongs of the Israel-Palestine question, it is undoubtedly the case that the desecration was motivated by anti-Jew hatred.”

Further elaborating, McDonald detailed the “dualistic, simplistic and narcissistic” views of many of his countrymen:

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There is a depressing binary attitude in Northern Ireland in relation to the Israel-Palestine conflict. If unionists happen to be pro-Israeli and fly the Star of David flags on lampposts in loyalist working-class districts, then naturally nationalists must wrap themselves up in the green, red, white and black colours of the Palestinian cause. In this simplistic black and white vision of a conflict infinitely more complex than our own, there is no room for any grey nuances. You cannot, say for example, be a supporter of a free and independent Palestine while at the same time backing Israel’s own right to exist free from the exterminationist tendencies of so many in the Arab world.

According to McDonald, only around 80 Jews live in Northern Ireland. “It is only recently that the community has been building up enough numbers again to have its own rabbi despite the long benign legacy the Jews who settled in this society from the 19th century bequeathed to us all,” he wrote.

McDonald said both unionists and nationalists in Northern Ireland “owe a great deal to the Jewish influence on politics, culture and business.”

Concluding his op-ed, McDonald called on residents of the area near the cemetery where the vandalism took place to turn in to police the “bigoted morons” responsible for it.

Among the most eminent Belfast-born Jews is the late former Israeli President Chaim Herzog. Herzog’s Polish-born father Isaac served as the chief rabbi of Ireland from 1921-36 and his son, also named Isaac, is the chairman of Israel’s Labor Party and heads the oppositionist Zionist Union — a joint electoral list comprised of Labor and the Hatnuah Party.

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  • Franklin Delano Paskutnik

    Whether the culprits are Catholic or Protestant is quite immaterial – the basis of anti-semitism is and always has been Christianity. Remember the murderous passage in the gospel of Matthew : “His blood shall be on us and our children!”.History has shown that Christians through the ages have taken this advice faithfully.Perhaps the Christian credo should read : “Love thy neighbour – as long he is not a Jew!”.

    • Franklin Delano Paskutnik

      Correction :- the last line of my comment should read : “Love thy neighbour – as long as he is not a Jew!”.

  • Mike

    Morons indeed, who do not know even their own history, such as the Irish nationalists/socialists who fought along the jews of the International Brigades in Spain; or what of a Jewish Lord Mayor of Dublin who helped run armaments for the Hagganah? I used to be proud of an Ireland that had escaped the centuries of seething English anti-Semitism. That has been replaced by shame, as Ireland has frantically adopted the European version.

  • I am an Irish Catholic. I am also the Author of x4 Books on the subject of The Holocaust. Those who desecrate graves are not Irish. They are not Catholic. They are either idiots, racists and both. As for the irs! The Irish did not give these people any mandate to act on their behalf. Living in Birmingham, I experienced the contempt the ira showed for all lives, Irish too!

  • Sidney Sands

    That any Jews still want to live in Ireland, with their record as it is in Scotland of anti-Semitism, these two countries so supportive of the Palestinians, and anti Israel, do not deserve to have Jewish people in their countries. May they have a plague of Muslims invade and live amongst them.

    • Jack Snakes

      “A plague of Muslims”
      A religious bigot has the cheek to comment on religious bigotry… Irony bypass alert…

  • So now we can stop pretending that anti-Israel feeling, especially in Ireland, has nothing to do with antisemitism. We know who is to blame, the Irish Catholics who support the IRA. They have so much in common with the Palestinians, believing in terrorism, religious fanatics or marxists, full of hatred for Jews.

  • nat cheiman


  • rad

    Almost no live Jews left in Northern Ireland so the wretched of the earth attack the dead…..

  • Why be suprised? Emonn de Velara sent condolences to Germany upon the death of Hitler. It is called Irish foundational antisemitism.

  • Pat

    As an Irish Catholic, I am ashamed by this outrage. May G-d continue to protect Israel.