Category: Irish Politics
Ireland Worshipping at the Holocaust Shrine
The Irish Independent newspaper published a report on a speech delivered at a new Holocaust exhibition in Dublin on January 23, 2012 by the Justice Minister Alan Shatter. (State ‘did nothing for Jews in WWII’, By Breda Heffernan, The Irish Independent, Tuesday January 24 2012)
Mr. Shatter accused Ireland of turning its back on the suffering of the Jews during World War Two. He proclaimed that the Irish State had lost its “moral compass” during and after the war. He said, “In the period following Hitler coming to power and preceding the Second World War, the doors of this state were kept firmly closed to German Jewish families trying to escape from persecution and death.”
Shatter told his audience that records unearthed by the Minister from the Department of Foreign Affairs while he was researching the period many years ago show that the then Irish Ambassador to Germany, Charles Bewley, recommended the Government refuse visa requests from Jews to protect Ireland from “contamination”.
Shatter was referring to Charles Bewley.
A spokesman for the renegade and criminal Real IRA, in an interview with the Guardian headlined “Real IRA says it will target UK bankers.”
By a margin of 390 to 5 the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation calling on Britain to widen the scope of the Inquiries Act with regards to the 1989 murder in Belfast of Irish human rights lawyer Pat Finucane. In effect the Americans are demanding that Britain hold a more public inquiry into reports of “collusion” between the security forces and the UDA in the killing of Finucane. Apparently the nation that currently holds hundreds of people without trial in Guantanamo, refuses to let human rights groups and media in to see them, and is considering ‘star chamber” style private trials of terrorist suspects isn’t happy with what they deem to be the lack of openness in Britain’s inquiry into the killing. The White House agrees with the House of Reps.
The House decision was welcomed by Sinn Fein and Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern, who of late has been involved in lobbying U.S. politicians to reject the House immigration bill which he says will hurt what he calls “the undocumented”. Congressmen, particularly Peter King of New York, who supported the more restrictive immigration bill have come under increasing attack in the Irish-American press for supposedly abandoning the interests of Irish-Americans. Perhaps the vote in the House was just a sop to the Irish American lobby.
But it just goes to show what power ethnic lobbies have. Most Irish moved to America in the 19th century and are indistinguishable from other Americans yet in 2006 a lobby to protect their ethnic interests exists. If the millions of immigrants today from Latin America get their act together and imitate the Irish, Cubans, Albanians and Jews, they will have considerable clout with U.S. politicians.
Sinn Fein/IRA’s long-awaited step towards peace has been taken. It is not all it might have been, even for Blair and Hain - though there are plenty of positives for them to spin. Unionists, ever wary, will say it is not enough, and they will feel fully justified. The IRA continues in existence - it has not quite transmogrified overnight into a dewy-eyed Old Boys’ Club. It is not decommissioning. Its statement merely says:-
A “just and lasting” peace, one might add, at the close finally ... perhaps ... of an unnecessary and monumentally unjust war of racial hatred.
The aggressor has declared peace without entirely, irrevocably removing the threat of future violence. Its victims, such as those of the Claudy Massacre of 31st July, 1972 - commemorated in the bronze statue to grief featured in our banner today - know another peace. Or, as survivors, they have had all prospect of peace taken from them.
If you are not an Ulsterman please take some time to study this website, and this one, and this. They are educational. Sinn Fein/IRA will doubtless go down in Irish Catholic history as partisan heroes, as if they had battled Nazi Germany these thirty-six years. The reality of what they have done is profoundly different and as many of us as possible should strive to remember that.
IRA/Sinn Fein is in trouble. Its supporters in America have finally understood that the Peace Process was not a peace process in quite the sense they thought it was.
In his 1995 book, Rebel Hearts, journalist Kevin Toolis explained …
Since the late eighties the IRA has been involved in a complex political process to align the Dublin Government and their electoral rivals, the SDLP, in a pan-nationalist front to negotiate a British withdrawal. By politically dissolving the border so that the mass of nationalists in Ireland can be consolidated into one powerful negotiating bloc, Republicans hope to reorder the political stalemate that has marooned them as a minority within the Catholic minority inside the boundaries of a hostile Protestant majority-dominated state.
The aim of the current republican leadership’s pan-nationalist strategy is to achieve a ‘historic handshake’ with the Crown, like that between South African President De Klerk and Nelson Mandela before his release from prison in 1989 which indicated an intention to negotiate political change The ANC did not overthrow the apartheid regime overnight or map out an exact plan for the transfer of authority but from that moment on power flowed steadily De Klerk to the future President Mandela. Similarly in Ireland power would at first trickle, then flow from the Crown into nationalist Ireland until the balance of power was so weighted in the nationalist/republican’s favour that a section of the Unionist community would break away and strike a political deal with the ancient enemy.
Can it really be true that IRA/Sinn Fein has reached the end of its bloody road? Normally, it would be unwise to entertain the slightest suspicion that history is leaving it behind, so irreducible are the communal divisions in the North. But there really does appear to be a fork in the road for IRA/Sinn Fein. It can transform itself into a regular political party of the mainstream or it can cling to its thuggery, its criminality and its arms and lose its broad base of support. Since the Northern Bank robbery, the money laundering affair in the Republic and now, most tellingly, the brutal murder of Robert McCartney it can no longer do both.
Yesterday’s news that in talks with the dead man’s family it offered to shoot the killers for them only underscores its profound detachment from the public mind. There seems to be no way back from this position. It is arguably the most hopeful moment in the last four painful decades in Northern Ireland.
No word if the chimps are in the country legally, or political orientation.
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