I was following this story over the last while, Dave emailed me to try and highlight the position. It is a curious argument that has developed.
Anne Bayefsky started with writing an article in the Wall Street Journal last week.
She then was interviewed on RTE’s Five Seven Live. The former Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Michael O’Kennedy, then responded on the same radio programme.
Atlanticblog had picked it up already here.
John Ihle over at Back Seat Drivers has added his two cents worth here.
Ireland has shepherded resolutions on religious intolerance through U.N. bodies for nearly 20 years without introducing anti-Semitism. In mid-November current events prompted demands in the Irish Parliament for an explanation of this omission from Foreign Minister Brian Cowen. The shabby excuse offered at that time was to sacrifice Jewish rights on the U.N.’s alter of “consensus and a wide level of co-sponsorship.” In plain language, to Ireland, Arab and Muslim opposition to condemning anti-Semitism meant . . . cut and run! Irish unwillingness or inability to stand up for principle at a time when it is assuming the Presidency of the European Union, does little to enhance the credibility of either the U.N. or the EU as honest brokers in the Middle East peace process.
The behind-the-scenes story of this Machiavellian plot involves an Irish breach of a deal struck between Foreign Minister Cowen and Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom only two weeks ago. Israel agreed to drop efforts to include “anti-Semitism” in the religious intolerance resolution in exchange for a promise from Ireland to introduce a new resolution specifically on anti-Semitism. But after the General Assembly’s Third Committee adopted the resolution on religious intolerance minus any reference to anti-Semitism, Ireland refused to carry out its side of the bargain.