“Bar them from the Eurovision?”

In the Irish Times Miriam Lord reflects, briefly, on Taoiseach Brian Cowen’s Skibbereen Eagle moment in the Dáil yesterday

Yesterday, the party leaders discussed what Kenny described as “an outrageous act of aggression on the high seas”. The attack by Israeli commandos on a humanitarian aid convoy to Gaza was roundly condemned, but minds were focused on the fact that an Irish vessel, the Rachel Corrie , is still on course for Gaza.

Hence Cowen’s Skibbereen Eagle moment – although at least he wasn’t beating around the bush. And serious and all as the situation is, we couldn’t help think what we could do.

Bar them from the Eurovision? Give them an icy stare? Send over Willie O’Dea? (He knows how to handle a weapon.)

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  • He could send Ivor Callelly on a fact finding mission to Gaza with a one way ticket and on his own expense….

  • Greenflag

    The ‘Rachel Corrie ‘ will be boarded by the Israelis if it continues on course for Gaza as will the other ship . The same will also happen to the next flotilla of aid ships scheduled for July .

    Of course the USA and UK and other European powers could offer naval protection to these ‘aid ‘ ships but they don’t have the ‘balls ‘ or their leading politicians are in the back pockets of the pro Israeli lobby .

    The Israeli policy as directed against Gaza since 2007 has been a complete failure . They have only increased support for Hamas and even legitimised Hamas in the eyes of the world community . The USA was the last country to impose sanctions against the South African Apartheid regime and such is the power of the pro Israel lobby in the US Congress both from American Jews and Neo Con born again ‘nut ‘jobs on the far right of the political spectrum that it’s unlikely that President Obama will do much more than utter the usual pro forma remarks .

    It can’t be easy for the Israelis what with being surrounded by 1 billion people who ‘hate ‘ the very existence of an Israeli State in the region . It seems that the present Israeli Government is doing it’s best to increase the number of those around the world who have a negative view of the manner in which the Israelis treat Palestinians from 1 billion to 6.5 million .

    At this stage given their possession of a couple of hundred nuclear weapons the Israelis can even play chicken with their biggest ally the USA who are now fighting wars in Iraq , and Afghanistan with the possibility of another ‘front’ in Korea and Iran .

    So much for the ‘end of history’ . A nuclear armageddon cannot be discounted in the Middle East so my advice to all car drivers out there is start hoarding or buy yourself a donkey and cart or a bike ;)?

  • Greenflag

    correction above from 1 billion to 6.5 million –

    should of course be to 6.5 billion 🙁

    A billion here and a billion there soon adds up to a lot of people to p**s off .

  • We’re at a moment of truth for Israel now.
    Using third country passports to commit murders, and now acts of international piracy on aid workers.
    This isn’t going to go away.
    If they persist in their current line of actions, they will have manners put on them. Word from even the usual quislings in the EU is that a good dozen countries who would normally be considered pro-Israeli are now livid and keen to see Netanyahu and his merry band of terrorists humiliated.
    Turkey are set to put NATO on the spot. That will focus minds in Washington if nothing else will.

  • Rare for Ireland to sound aggressive but on this occasion entirely appropriate. Im not sure there is much more Ireland can do but condemn the actions of Israel.

    The Brits are unlikely to help, everything they do is subject to US approval, and quite apart from that the British government is full of Israeli supporters…

    The EU could act, and since many/most EU countries thoroughly disapprove of the Israeli action there is really no reason why they should not only chuck Israel out of the Eurovision song contest, they should institute strict restrictions on any imports from Israel. It is time Israel found out what a blockade is like…

  • If Craig Murray is to be believed, there is a lot of discontent among NATO officials about the US position on Israel.


  • Andrew Gallagher

    Very interesting article. It seems arrogance and hypocrisy are not always acceptable to those footing the bill!

    I hope even though the US is, apparently, riding rough shod ver all, they will absorb the repugnance on all sides and learn.

  • I don’t know about Willie O’Dea, but we should certainly send Willie McCrea and every other member of the Ulster assembly as well as all Ulster MPs on a ten year fact-finding mission to Gaza City. It might not help the middle east much, but Northern Ireland would certainly be a better place.

  • Driftwood

    America is learning from us….


    Its a real pity McCrea never graced Eurovision,he’s as camp as Ballykinler.

  • Argosjohn

    Did anyone else notice the fascist tone of this post. And is baker claiming to be Irish?: And serious and all as the situation is, we couldn’t help think what we could do.

    The five Irish heroes on that ship are making a moral statement and any of us with an ounce of humanity would wish we were with them.

    Barring these nazi thugs from the Eurovision would be a start and putting the presure on them in the European World Cup qualifiers would be another: they could always play their games in Gaza.

    This is not as lame as fascists would make it to be. Israel, like the Nazi state it is modelled on, wants to be regarded as normal. Hitler had no interest in sport but he milked the 1936 Olympics. He only attended one soccer game, when Norawy beat the master race. He had friendlies with England (where the Brits gave the Naxzi salute – under Brit appeasement orders it has to be said).

    If the Nazi thugs of Israel want in, keep them out.

  • Thanks, Driftwood – truly bizarre.
    Wille McCrea and Daniel O’Donnell should do a charity version of “Ebony and Ivory”, I think that’s the Middle East’s only hope.
    By the way, America is also learning from Nelson McCausland:

  • Pete Baker

    “Did anyone else notice the fascist tone of this post.”

    No, that’s just you.

    *shakes head*

  • Driftwood

    Do the pro Hamas/Al Queda/Taliban supporters in the Republic of Ireland actually support Sharia law? Possibly yes given their tacit support to those groups, and their unquestioning approach to Clerical child abuse.by the Church in that state,
    I think we in the United Kingdom should continue down the progressive road we have travelled for several decades-notwithstanding the DUP ‘Deliverance’ cavemen.
    Israel is actually more progressive than NI, with a functioning critical press and local government. Neither of which are prevalent here.

  • Driftwood

    Do NOT get me started on child abuse. As for supporting Sharia: in your dreams. None of which has anything to do with the unprovoked attack on ships in international waters.

    If you cared about children that care would extend to Palestinian children.

  • Driftwood

    Just assumed your great Sharia law applied there also.

    What do the Swiss do? Never looked into it but it seems to work fine. Let’s go with the Swiss, notwithstanding Orson Welles Prater district monologue in the Third Man.

  • RepublicanStones
  • Driftwood

    I suppose sending Jedward to Gaza would raise their spirits.

  • Driftwood

    Why are they sending a ship-named after a terrorist- to provoke conflict anyway?


  • Mack

    “with a functioning critical press”


  • Driftwood

    Yes, really.

  • abucs

    As far as i am aware the Government of Israel is at war with the Government of Gaza and vice versa.

    As such, it is completely legal for one to enforce an economic blockade against the other under international law.

    The Israelis stopped a flotilla of ships likely carrying supplies bound for the territorty of the enemy they are at war against.

    That “peaceful” flotilla was offerred safe passage to a neutral port where humanitarian supplies could be checked and passed on to the civilians in the country at war with Israel.

    This is a reasonable request and it was refused. The “peaceful” flotilla continued on into a war zone; was boarded by one of the warring parties and then actively tried to repel that boarding by force by brutalising Israeli soldiers.

    Several people were killed. The immediate circumstances and reasons for those deaths are not yet known fully by the public.

    I am extremely concerned about what appears to be the media-led construction of public thought with a wilful ignoring of the fact that there is a war going on.

    If either now or a few years ago a convoy of international supplies were bound and targetted for the people under Taliban control/influence, or that of Sri Lankan Tamal, Kurdish Turkish, Sudanese Christian or IRA control/influence each Government which was in conflict with those groups would want to search the contents of those supplies and control what gets through.

    Each Government’s soldiers would react with force if faced with force against them.

    The idea that some international group could just waltz into those areas and deliver whatever they liked while the Government they were in conflict with would just sit on its hands is totally unrealistic.

    If people were serious about this situation they would lobby the EU to offer international peace observers/soldiers for the Gaza strip to oversee aid and to keep the peace. Hamas will not have them there because Hamas is still fighting a war.

    If Hamas are fighting a war then Israel is justified to blockade Gaza. If people enter into that warzone to supply one side, the very least they can expect is to be checked for weapons by the other.

    The media should be promoting the dialogue between Hamas and Israel and criticising the stupidity of the “peaceful” flotilla. This one-sided, media led frenzy and demonising against Israel is actually prolonging the conflict and thus the misery in Gaza, like it did in NI.

    The media and the public thought it is constructing is not helping the situation.

  • Hamas is a truly evil regime. It promotes suicide bombing, has no qualms about murdering fellow Palestinians and does not seem interested in peace at all. Rather, it appears to be content, by its actions, to make life worse for ordinary Palestinians to create a show for the worlds media in order to win a propaganda war against Israel. Palestine has per capita more international aid per capita than anywhere else in the world. When ordinary Palestinians are in such difficulty, it begs the question “where does this money go?” – to arms dealers? into the pockets of a select few? Who knows?
    If you want an example of what Hamas is doing to Palestinian children, then take a look at the link below, this example is well documented so you don’t have to rely just on Wiki
    The Flotilla people know what Hamas was like – probably better than the rest of us. They also knew that Israel would stop them and thus hand Hamas a propaganda victory – their actions were either therefore solely aimed at damaging Israel or enhancing Hamas’ grip on power. Either that or they were nothing more than useful idiots.

  • Henry94

    I’m having a hard time buying into the consensus on this issue. Of course the safety of Irish citizens is the first priority of the Irish government. But suppose the blockade busters had their way and ships could move freely in an out of Gaza. Wouldn’t Iran use that position to supply rockets so Hamas could resume their bombardment of Israel. And Israel would retaliate causing many deaths in Gaza.

    How can you work for that outcome and call yourself a peace activist. An activist by all means but not one looking for peace.

  • Cynic

    Argos John

    Well if we adopt that line on Israel there are a few more countries we will have out kick out as well starting with Russia

    Funny you didn’t mention those

  • Cynic

    “unprovoked attack”

    …it wasnt provoked and its doubtful if it was intended as an attack

  • Greenflag

    ‘driftwood ‘

    Do the pro Hamas/Al Queda/Taliban supporters in the Republic of Ireland actually support Sharia law?

    You have lost it driftwood 🙁 Supporting the delivery of necessary food and medical supplies to the people of Gaza does not mean support for Hamas or Al Quaeda or the Taliban or support for Sharia law .

    The Israelis have you brainwashed already ;(

  • Ulidian

    Bavarian Orange Order

    Why wouldn’t they want to “damage” Israel?


    1) If Israel’s government is at war with “Gaza’s government”, then the latter’s “military” are perfectly entitled to fire rockets into the former’s territory – it can’t be deemed “terrorism”. Is that now Israel’s position? They can’t have their cake & eat it.

    2) I believe international law permits boarding parties if a “conflict” really exists (see above), but they can only respond with self defense if they’re attacked. Sorry, but you can’t reconcile nine dead with self defense.

    3) How does “demonising” Israel prolong the conflict? The Zionists have done pretty much what they please for decades, without being called to account & punished. That will undoubtedly continue until massive external pressure is brought to bear on other governments. Let’s be honest – the latter have done & will continue to do nothing meaningful until they’re forced to squirm.

  • Ulidian


    I doubt the “blockade busters” advocate complete unfettered access to Gaza’s ports for all.

  • Greenflag

    ‘but suppose the blockade busters had their way ‘

    The ships can be loaded at ports under UN inspection to ensure that only humanitarian and necessary supplies are loaded . Given Israel’s real security concerns the Israelis should be permitted to inspect these ships at the port of lading .

    Israel will continue in any event to reserve the right to retaliate against HAMAS attack on their territory.

  • TheHorse

    Whether you support Israel or not the majority of countries and governments around the world have condemned the actions of Israel that resulted in the deaths of civilians, except the USA and Britain and how could they, their well oiled killing machines are doing this on a daily basis in far off countries around the world. We are being told that the IDF soldiers were attacked whilst boarding those ships but to date there has been no evidence from Israel that the people killed were those alledged attackers. Israel if it has nothing to hide, must prove that those people who were killed were killed in self defence, otherwise why should the rest of the world believe a nation who’s past deeds have proved they have no regard for international law or the geneva convention.

  • Ulidian,
    you said: “Why wouldn’t they want to “damage” Israel?” (in reference to the people of the flotilla.

    – if they were also thinking that, then it would undermine the purported humanitarian nature of their project.

  • Ulidian

    Bavarian Orange Order

    As far as I’m aware, their “project” is a political one.

  • abucs

    1) That is my position and how i see it. I do not speak for Israel. So if you are asking me if HAMAS are perfectly entitled to fire rockets at Israel then my answer is yes. If there is a war going on, which there is, they are entitled. Are they entitled to fire on innocent civilians – that is a different question.

    2) Of course “self defence” are your words, not mine. I stated the truth that we do not know the immediate circumstances or reasons for the killings. Neither i would assume do you. If Israeli army personel acted when there lives were not in danger then i have no hesitation in condemning those actions. But that does not somehow change the right they had to board and search the vessel which refused a reasonable request to be diverted. Nor does it excuse a biased Western media reporting.

    3) Israel have withdrawn from Gaza and Lebanon more than once under international pressure only to be attacked again from those areas. As well they handed back Sinai to the Egyptians in the 6 days war which was captured only after an unprovoked attack on Israel. They do not do anything they wish. A silly Western media presenting one side of the arguement will encourage HAMAS to continue the struggle and not seek peace. The Western media and the choreographed outrage are thus prolonging the conflict.

    HAMAS rightly know that a few rockets here, a suicide bomber there and an Israeli family shot over there and a few abducted Israeli soldiers every now and then are perfectly acceptable to the Western media – that is a disgusting situation for the Western media and the people they influence to promote.

    And they are promoting it if the reasoning is that the above is allowed while Israel has no right to blockade Gaza and search all incoming traffic.

  • Argosjohn

    The resistance fighters shoot a few fire crackers into Israel, an illegal, nuclear armed state. The thieving thugs respond with massive air bombardments.

    It is quite simple really. One either supports the right of Israel to leech off the West and to brerak all norms of law and decency or one takes the side of humanity.

    They even smirch the Red Crescent/Cross movement by insisting on a different symbol. (there should only have been the cross as that is what is on the Swiss flag).

    They stop the RCM operating in occupied lands it controls. There is another international group they should be booted out of.

  • Ulidian


    The words “self defence” aren’t mine – they’re taken from the relevant international law. As for the blockade, Greenflag’s comments are spot on.

  • TheHorse

    Does anyone actually believe that Israel with all the intelligence networks and spy satellites it has that it did not know what cargo was on those ships and the identities of everyone aboard them. If they have the ability and resources to track down its enimies around the world then execute them using the aliases and passports of people from other countries, flee the scene with apparent ease, absorb the international outrage then use lethal force again against civilians from another country in international waters then they need to be viewed as a rogue nation and should be brought to account for their actions, either through international pressure like what is being directed at Iran and North Korea or by boycotting all Israeli products.

  • RepublicanStones

    As well they handed back Sinai to the Egyptians in the 6 days war which was captured only after an unprovoked attack on Israel.

    Tell blatant lies much abucs?

  • Cynic

    “The resistance fighters”

    terrorist murderers targetting civilians

    “shoot a few fire crackers into Israel”

    home made explosive rockets targeting on communities full of women and children

    ” an illegal, nuclear armed state”

    Its not an Illegal state

    “The thieving thugs respond with massive air bombardments.”

    … and why shouldn’t they if they are under attack?

    ” One either supports the right of Israel to leech off the West”

    … jusy how dopes it leech. The Palestinian movements are the biggest international leeches on the planet

    ” and to brerak all norms of law and decency or one takes the side of humanity.”

    What humanity? A humanity that oppresses people in Gaza and kills the internal opposition? A humanity that vows to wipe out another ethnic group?

    They even smirch the Red Crescent/Cross movement by insisting on a different symbol. (there should only have been the cross as that is what is on the Swiss flag).

    So its ok for a red crescent but not an Israeli symbol. It may have escaped your notice that the Israelis arent either Muslim or Christian. So are you a religious bigot or just a racist?

  • RepublicanStones

    It may have escaped your notice that the Israelis arent either Muslim or Christian.

    Really? have you informed the israeli arabs that they’re jewish?

    And Cynic, what form of resistance would you permit the Palestinians to use, bearing in mind that under international law, a people under occupation (which gaza has been since 1967) have the right to resist that occupation?

    So are you a religious bigot or just a racist?

    If you don’t like either, why do you support Israel?

  • bke

    Boycotting Israeli products is near impossible, The vast bulk of Israel exports tends to be stuff like anti-virus software, mathematical alogrithms, operating systems, electronic components, vaccinations, pharma. ingredients, machine tools, and other high end stuff that you dont make in NI/UK, You could of course stop buying Israeli agricultural products but this is more likely to hurt finanically Israeli Arabs/ West bank Arabs.

  • I dont care who it hurts I always check and I never knowingly buy anything with Israel anywhere on it.

  • Greenflag

    Quite right Horse . The Israelis have proved beyond doubt that they have no regard for international law . They deserve the title of rogue nation and pariah state .

    The sooner the West gets it’s act together and starts imposing sanctions on Israel then the sooner may come a change in regime . Better still Israeli citizens should be considered persona non grata in ALL EU countries and forbidden entry until such time as the Israelis lift their blockade of Gaza.

    Past time for the EU and USA to take off the gloves in dealing with the Israelis . Nothing else will work .

  • RepublicanStones

    Conall acquitted himself well on H&M tonight. I had to laugh at Jeffrey attempting to tell Prof Milton-Edwards about the particulars of the situation in Gaza and Hamas. Incorrectly stating that Israel is not an occupying power. Noel asked Jeffery is it Israel right or wrong, and he didn’t really deny it.

  • abucs

    By unprovoked attack i mean that shells were raining down on Israel from the Golan heights, the Arab armies of Lebanon,Egypt, Syria and Jordan were mobilised on the border with Israel, the Egyptians had enforced a blockade on the Israeli port in the Red sea cutting off oil supplies. The countries of Kuwait, Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Iraq had contributed forces to an Arab co-alition and dozens of attacks upon Israel had occurred in each of the years 1965, 1966 and 1967.

    During all this Arab leaders were making comments about wiping Israel of the map and filling the ground with Jewish blood.

    I guess in NI we should know that there is always some prior provocation but my main point there was that the lands Israel captured in the 6 day war came from the need to defend itself.

    After the war Israel gave back 93% of the land it took. This point was to negate the point made that Israel only responds to force and by implication this is what Western governments should do.

    Israel does negotiate, it simply wants a guarantee of future peace.