Ireland must disown Genocide Joe

Joe Biden talks about his Irish connections at every conceivable opportunity. (Via Facebook)

With its sandy beaches and spectacular sunsets, Mayo is rightly regarded as one of Ireland’s most captivating counties.

Its natural beauty is at odds with the ugly way that Joe Biden habitually emphasizes his family connections to Mayo. Each time he does so, there is a subliminal message for Irish people: Who cares about America’s crimes when you have one of your own in the White House?

The US president does not have a monopoly on Mayo roots.

The attorney Blinne Ní Ghrálaigh spent her early years in the county. Her compatriots took immense pride in how she joined South Africa’s legal team recently as it sought emergency measures against Israel at the International Court of Justice.

Ní Ghrálaigh presented an incontrovertible case that Israel is eradicating families in Gaza. The eradication has been enabled by America’s military aid to and diplomatic cover for Israel.

To a lesser, though far from insignificant, degree, it has also been enabled by the double standards of the Dublin government.

While official Ireland tries to sound perturbed by the plight of Palestinians, it would not dare do anything that might upset the country’s masters in Washington or Brussels.


Ireland is a NINO: Neutral in Name Only.

For the past few decades, Shannon Airport has been a de facto US military base. The Irish government allows America’s warplanes to land and refuel there on a constant basis.

Nominally outside NATO, Ireland has been edging closer and closer to that nuclear-armed military alliance.

As an ostensible sign of “maturity”, Ireland has pledged to increase its military expenditure dramatically in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Israel’s arms industry stands to gain from these increases.

In November, the defense ministry in Dublin admitted that Ireland had spent more than $4 million on products made by Elbit Systems, the top Israeli weapons firm, over the previous five years.

The ministry claimed that under European Union law, Ireland is obligated to allow “fair competition” for tenders. As Israel is not subject to any restrictions or embargoes, its weapons makers may bid for any contracts available in Ireland.

The admission is symptomatic of a broader problem. Deference to the EU is far more important for official Ireland than defending the rights of the Palestinians or any other oppressed people.

Shamrocks with Genocide Joe

A similar deference to Washington will be on full display in the near future.

Every year, the US president hosts a reception marking Saint Patrick’s Day (17 March), at which he poses with shamrocks beside leading Irish politicians.

Sinn Féin, the largest Irish party, has rejected calls to boycott this year’s event in protest at Biden’s role in the Gaza genocide. The party’s former leader Gerry Adams has tried to fob off critics by claiming that Palestinians will “understand” the need for Irish republicans to maintain strong relations with the US.

The claim by Adams has zero credibility. No matter which way he tries to spin it, the fact remains that Sinn Féin is diluting its position on Palestine.

In 2018, Sinn Féin’s annual conference approved a motion saying it “fully supports” the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS). Omar Barghouti, a prominent figure in the BDS movement, has argued recently that “the White House should be isolated” because of its role in the Gaza genocide.

On paper, Sinn Féin is more committed to upholding the rights of Palestinians than most other Irish parties.

Yet it is actually taking a weaker stance now than the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), long its main rival in the north of Ireland. Colum Eastwood, the SDLP’s leader, has announced that he will not attend White House parties while the administration refuses to call for a ceasefire in Gaza.

The SDLP has tended to hog the “respectable” center, whereas Sinn Féin is regarded as being farther left. Yet in this instance, the SDLP appears more radical and principled than Sinn Féin.

Sinn Féin’s Michelle O’Neill will soon formally assume the post of first minister in the north. And despite a new opinion poll indicating that its attractiveness has lessened, Sinn Féin is still likely to win the most parliamentary seats during the next general election in the south.

Given the level of public anger in Ireland at Israel’s crimes against Palestinians, Sinn Féin would be unlikely to suffer any repercussions at home if it boycotted a White House ceremony. It may, however, lose some donations and encounter a hostile reaction from wealthy and influential Irish Americans by doing so.

Almost certainly, that is a key reason why Sinn Féin’s leadership will always turn up for a photo opportunity with Genocide Joe.




“While we are appalled at the idea and the allegations that agency staff were involved in a beastly terrorist attack against Israel on October 7th, that in itself doesn’t justify the suspension of funding from Unwra, either from Ireland or from the European Union,” Mr Varadkar said.


What a disappointment given Ireland's history of being oppressed for so many years by the British that my grandmother fled from starvation, landing in Boston years ago. Biden is a disgrace as is the tax dollars Americans are sending to support the Fascist Israeli government. Heartbroken to watch and then be part of the destruction of Palestinian culture and community. Thank you for this informative article.

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