Netanyahu unabashedly told the Irish foreign minister what he thinks of his country’s biased stance against Israel.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Tuesday in Jerusalem with Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney and chided him for his country’s consistent support for the Palestinians against Israel.
The Israeli leader, according to a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office, “expressed his dissatisfaction over Ireland’s traditional stance and told the foreign minister that his country does not condemn Palestinians for incitement and for glorifying those who commit terrorist attacks.”
He also asked “why Ireland helps NGOs that call for the destruction of Israel,” the statement read.
For instance, Ireland supports Breaking the Silence (BtS), a radical left-wing NGO that publicizes anonymous testimonies allegedly given by of former IDF soldiers in order to harm the Israeli military.
Ireland, along with many European countries, ignores the main issue of the conflict, which is not the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria or the “occupation,” but the Palestinians’ refusal to recognize the Jewish state, Netanyahu charged.
Coveney later claimed in a briefing that he had a “constructive and frank discussion” with Netanyahu.
“Of course, we have clear differences on some issues, but these differences are honestly held and openly expressed,” Coveney said.
On Wednesday, in a meeting with President Reuven Rivlin, Coveney reiterated that his discussion with Netanyahu the previous day was “constructive and frank.”
‘We are Yearning for the Same Thing,’ Coveney Tells Rivlin
“The reason that Irish people are so interested in the Israeli-Palestinian relationship and conflict is because we have had a violent past ourselves, and we see this as one of the great conflicts and divisions in the world,” Coveney said. “That is why the majority of Irish peacekeeping soldiers are in this part of the world.”
“I have been to Israel a number of times, and I know there is an impression here that Ireland takes a different position to Israel. Can I say that in essence though, we are yearning for the same thing that I think the vast majority of Israelis are, which is a peaceful future,” the Irish diplomat stated.
Prior to his departure for Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), which he plans to visit on Thursday, Coveney said he would use the opportunity “to make clear Ireland’s concerns about the impact of the continuing ‘occupation’ and the fact that, as things stand, the prospects of a comprehensive peace agreement remain dim.”
Ireland is considering recognizing the non-existing state of Palestine. In October 2014, the Irish upper house of parliament called on the government to give formal recognition to the State of Palestine and take active steps to promote a viable two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.