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B’nai B’rith International CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin and AJIRI-BBI Chair Richard P. Schifter sent a letter to the New York Times regarding its recent article highlighting Ireland’s unjustifiable attempts to turn Israel into an international pariah (“Biden Loves Ireland, It Doesn’t Love Him Back”, New York Times, March 27, 2024).

From Daniel S. Mariaschin, B’nai B’rith International CEO and Richard P. Schifter, AJIRI-BBI Chair:

To the editor:

It is a shame that Irish public opinion has swung so extremely against Israel during its just war of self-defense against Hamas terrorists (Una Mullally “Biden Loves Ireland, It Doesn’t Love Him Back”, March 27, 2024).

Ms. Mullally is unfortunately correct in depicting this mood in Ireland and among Ireland’s leaders.

But attempts to turn Israel into an international pariah are misguided and unjustified. Some Irish leaders have indeed made pro-forma and weak denunciations of Hamas’s barbaric attacks on Israeli civilians on October 7.

But they have reserved almost all of their ire for Israel’s actions in self-defense. The blood of all Palestinians who are dying is solely on the hands of Hamas.

Zionism is the movement for self-determination of the Jewish people. Just as the Irish people carried out a valiant and heroic struggle against foreign tyranny, the Jewish people did the same in Israel.

In the aftermath of the Good Friday Accords, which brought peace to Northern Ireland, Ireland sees itself as a role model for conflict resolution. It can play a constructive role between Israelis and Palestinians as well. But not by blatantly taking sides, and not by lending a hand to Israel’s delegitimization.

Daniel S. Mariaschin, CEO, B’nai B’rith International AND Richard P. Schifter, Chair, American Jewish International Relations Institute-B’nai B’rith International (AJIRI-BBI), Washington, D.C.