Non-Jewish Founder of Israel Society on Ireland Campus Encourages Peers to Join Activist Movement Following Success of First-Ever ‘Peace Week’
The founder of Ireland’s only on-campus Zionist student society told The Algemeiner Wednesday that he encourages his peers around the country to “jump into the pro-Israel movement,” as his group has been enjoying a positive response to their first-ever “Peace Week.”
Alan Lyne, president of the Israel Society at the almost entirely non-Jewish Maynooth University, said, “Students who stumbled upon our [Peace Week display of a] mock Western Wall were intrigued and stayed to ask questions — and we consider every good conversation or debate we have with someone a success. That’s what other universities’ students need to realize: just find five, 10 people as passionate as you are and give [pro-Israel activism] a shot; if you succeed even a little, it’s a step in the right direction.”
“Though many Irish are brainwashed from a young age to identify with Palestine, the university students I’ve encountered are concerned with doing their own research, and don’t intend to rely on what they hear from the media about the Middle East,” Lyne said. “Ireland’s campus environment is ripe for groups like ours to have an impact.”
“When you tell people that if it weren’t for Israel they wouldn’t have that smartphone in their hands, they listen,” he noted, adding that he doesn’t believe concentrated efforts of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement will come to Maynooth anytime soon.
In addition to the Western Wall, which was up Monday and Tuesday for Maynooth students to post notes of support on, the society’s Peace Week programming will include a mini-Israel film festival and Hebrew lessons.
Last month, as The Algemeiner reported, a scheduled lecture by the Israeli ambassador to Ireland at Trinity College Dublin was cancelled at the last minute, due to a protest by the school’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine.