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(Wissam Nassar / Maan Images)

Thank you, Sinéad O’Connor, for boycotting Israel

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Sinéad O’Connor, an artist willing to put principles ahead of money. (Man Alive!)

I vividly recall the first time I saw Sinéad O’Connor live. She looked shy and fragile as she walked onstage. And then she began her song “Troy,” whispering to us one second, screaming at us the next. It was enchanting and haunting.

That was 26 years ago. Ever since then, I’ve admired O’Connor as a woman of talent and courage. So I felt a bit hurt when she rejected me in a distinctly 21st century manner last month: by blocking me on Twitter.

All I had done was to ask politely that she cancel a gig in Israel.

This morning my admiration was fully restored when I read in the Irish magazine Hot Press that O’Connor had decided to withdraw from her Israel show.

“Nobody with any sanity, including myself, would have anything but sympathy for the Palestinian plight,” she said. “There’s not a sane person on earth who in any way sanctions what the fuck the Israeli authorities are doing.”

O’Connor’s interview suggests that concert promoters are offering enormous fees to musicians willing to ignore the Palestinian-led call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. O’Connor was promised “100 grand” (she didn’t specify the currency) to play Caesarea — a town between Tel Aviv and Haifa — in September. Normally, she would only expect one-tenth of that amount for a show.

Timely

Her decision is a timely gesture of solidarity. Caesarea (known as Qisaryia in Arabic) was conquered by Zionist forces headed by Yitzhak Rabin, a vicious military commander who later became prime minister, in 1948. Benny Morris, the Israeli historian, has written that the Palestinians of Qisaryia suffered from “outright expulsion.”

Today, the Palestinians are still being terrorized by Zionist forces. Israel is bombing schools, mosques and hospitals in Gaza.

To its eternal shame, the Irish government abstained from a vote in the UN Human Rights Council calling on Israel to respect international law this week.

With a few exceptions, I have long been ashamed of Ireland’s politicians. I would prefer not to share the same nationality as these lickspittles, so eager to please their masters in Brussels and Washington.

Vindicated

I am proud, though, to hail from the same island as Sinéad O’Connor. Her cancellation of a gig in Israel is by no means the first time that she has put principles ahead of financial considerations.

In the US, she is best known for tearing up a photograph of Pope John Paul II on the television program Saturday Night Live.

That protest undoubtedly had adverse consequences for her record sales. Yet she has been vindicated in moral terms: it has been proven that the Catholic Church’s hierarchy engaged in a massive cover-up of child abuse.

My aforementioned first encounter with O’Connor was at an anti-apartheid concert in Dublin, marking Nelson Mandela’s seventieth birthday.

Later in that 1988 gig, she performed a duet with Christy Moore, a balladeer with a deeply soulful voice. Unaccompanied by musical instruments, they delivered a poignant version of “Irish Ways and Irish Laws.”

Empathy

Their message was readily understood: the oppression that Ireland has endured gave us some insight into what the black majority in South Africa was experiencing. One verse reads: “Eight hundred years we have been down/The secret of the water sound/Has kept the spirit of a man/Above the pain descending.”

A “die-in” held outside the Irish foreign ministry this week made a similar point. No matter how supine our government may be, ordinary Irish people empathize strongly with the Palestinians.

Thank you, Sinéad O’Connor, for boycotting Israel. You have given the Palestine solidarity movement a boost at a very depressing time.

And I have forgiven you for blocking me on Twitter.

Comments

Thank you so much David Cronin. Palestinians (heart) you x

Every musician on earth should do the same, is one of the few weapons that we have.

Great article man, and have shared this amongst those, like myself, who are utterly outraged and devastated by the genocide currently taking place in Gaza at the hands of Israel. Well done to your good self, and to SOC too. She has been the subject of scorn, laughter and ridicule in this country but I stand fully behind her on this issue, as would many (if not most) rationally-thinking, and decent men and woman of Ireland. Its just a pity that our own Government can't find ( or simply lack) the courage to condemn whats happening in the Middle-east right now. I guess that they have too much to lose in the "political sense", and have given up on their own law of ethics and morality. Shame on them, and history will remember their abstinence from doing the right thing as humans forever!!!!!! THIS IS NOT THE IRELAND COLLINS AND PEARSE DIED FOR!!! FREE PALESTINE!!!

Great article sir! Glad to know that there are rational thinkers like yourself and David, who has commented too, who know that Palestine is the victim here.

I have a small request for you and anyone who comments/reads your article. Please update your status with your name, where you reside and that you #supportGaza with the hashtag. Also, add the statement 'follow this trend and update your status'.

Once again, thanks :)

Liked your message on "There was no potato famine.
Like this.
Like your style.

Thank you for hearing me
Thank you for loving me
Thank you for seeing me
And for not leaving me

Thank you for staying with me
Thanks for not hurting me
You are gentle with me
Thanks for silence with me

Thank you for holding me
And saying "I could be"
Thank you for saying "Baby"
Thank you for holding me

Thank you for helping me
Thank you for helping me
Thank you for helping me
Thank you for helping me
Thank you for helping me
Thank you for helping me
Thank you, thank you for helping me

Thanks, Sinead....

thankyu sinead i am confident
the lord will reward yu here n the hereafter ameen n god bless

And thank you, David Cronin. The dead are not truly dead, and the wronged are glorified. As one of the few who wait for the world to honour Sinead's stand against the Church's abuses.

Thank You, Sinead!

EVENTS AROUND IRELAND
25 July – [Belfast] Unison White line picket at Belfast Royal Hospital – Belfast Royal Hospital, Outpatient’s Gate, Falls Road, Belfast
25 July – [Athlone] Vigil for Gaza – 7pm, The Library, Athlone
25 July – [Dundalk] Vigil for Gaza – 1pm, Market Square, Dundalk
25 July – [Blanchardstown] Stop the Slaughter in Gaza protest – Blanchardstown Centre roundabout, Whitestown, Dublin 15
Saturday 26 July - [Dún Laoghaire] Solidarity with Palestine Protest – 10am, Graduate Pub Roundabout, beside Killiney Shopping Centre, Dún Laoghaire
Saturday 26 July – [Dublin] March and Rally for Gaza – 2pm, Full Details to be confirmed, Dublin City Centre
Saturday 26 July – [Belfast] March to US Consulate – Stop the Slaughter in Gaza! – 3pm, Assemble Gates of Botanic Gardens, march to US Consulate
Saturday 26 July – [Cork] Bocyott Israeli Goods – March and rally for Gaza – 1pm, Assemble at Daunt Square, Cork
Saturday 26 July – [Derry] March for Gaza – 2pm, Assemble at Railway station, Duke Station march to Guildhall Square
Saturday 26 July – [Limerick] Solidarity Vigil with Gaza – 2pm, Thomas Street, Limerick
Saturday 26 July – [Ennis] Vigil in Solidarity With Palestine – O’Connell Square (The Heights), Ennis
Saturday 26 July – [Carrick-on-Suir] Demonstration in solidarity with the people of Gaza – Assemble at Nano Nagle Centre car park, Carrick-on-Suir
Saturday 26 July – [Ballina] Solidarity demo for Palestine –3pm, Humbert’s Monument, Humbert Street, Ballina
Saturday 26 July – [Cobh] Protest for Gaza – 2pm, Casement Square, Cobh
Saturday 26 July – [Waterford] Demonstration for Gaza – John Robert’s Square, Waterford
Saturday 26 July – [Tipperary] Protest for Gaza – Market Square Car Park, opposite Excel Centre, Tipperary
26 July – [Bundoran] Candlelight vigil for Gaza – 8pm, Outside the Tourist Office, Bundoran
26 July – [Tralee] Vigil for Gaza – 1pm, Town Centre, Tralee
27 July - [Blackrock

We want to boycott zionist products and make ppl aware about it plz provide with a reliable list of zionist product or brand.

Look for 729 at the beginning of the product bar code.

https://www.google.com/images?...

stop israeli terror in palstine

I have always admired her ever since I saw her nothing compares 2 u film clip as a 9 year old.a striped back video clip with just her and a black background I new we were witnessing something amazing.thank you Sinead you have given hope to the millions of Palestinians that do not have a voice but with people like you I hope we can make a difference and we are #FreePalestine

Who the hell do Britain think they are giving something away that didn't belong to them in the first place to the Israelis .this needs correcting get Israel out of there and let pales tines live I. Peace in their own land !!!!

for you mr. Cronin, thank you for support #Humanity and make human more human than before.

a huge hug from me to you and Sinead O'connor.

israeli and their fans maybe hate both of you so much, but i.. just me. a strange person from another world of you, love you both.
i want to see you, and shake your hand and say "thank you very much mr. Cronin"

#ICC4ISRAELI

I knew she'd come through. It's not always as easy for others as our judgmentalism might lead us to believe and even very good people compromise a bit to get along. But I knew her sweet Irish heart would prevail.

One day we will all come to realize that Sinead O'Connor is one of the greatest human rights activists we have, and she has sacrificed her career more times than I can count because of her principles. Given the hell she went through as a young person, and the pain that misguided public perception has caused this fragile but powerfully talented human being, I would have expected her to give up long ago. She is a true warrior, and a beacon of light showing those of conscience how to do the right thing. Buy her albums, pack her concerts, and pay this woman back a hundred times over for her sacrifice!!!!! Sinead, we love you and we honor you for all you have done for humanity throughout your life and works. Blessings be!

In all this tragedy and murder Sinead must muse with disdain and disappointment the great crusader and fellow countryman Bono,he seems to have disappeared, lost in action, maybe time to start a new band,
UHypocrite!

Hello all. Thanks David and Sinead.

David: We could have used one or two more links to that important, and revealing, vote. You have one that leads to an audio and picture, which is better than nothing.