Number of visits

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Time to protect the integrity of the Irish passport

There was always one thing about being Irish when you were abroad in the miserable 80’s. Your nationality was respected. When Reagan and Thatcher ignored how other EU countries felt on matters, being Irish was very unusual. I recall hitchhiking on the continent and speaking in German with a driver who only discovering I was Irish started to speak in English. Ireland may not have been wealthy but a value was laid on our culture. The use of Irish passports and false Irish ID on an aircraft used to organise the arms to Iran campaign was never explained and there was a sense that relying on US investment to boost our economy meant turning a blind eye on something that could not be proven
Irish diplomacy may it be worldwide in its reach however one advantage we’ve always had as a nation is that the absence of a colonial past gave us a standing as a nation in international matters that few European countries can enjoy. Such is the regard that every Irish foreign minister has been to Gaza, that is until recently when Micheal Martin was denied entry to Gaza by the Israeli government.

About 3 weeks it was reported that at least 3 people carrying Irish passports were suspected by the authorities in Dubai of involvement in a high profile murder of of Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. Hamas are the effective power in Gaza and are engaged in a bitter and prtracted war with the Isreali state. Israeli intelligence Mossad are strongly suspected of involvement in the murder. All of which begs the question how did they get weapons into the country to execute this man and what became of the weapons afterwards?
We know how they got in because the team used false passports from 4 different EU countries to enter Dubai. Where the team are now is not certain but its my guess that they wouldn’t be too far from Jerusalem! The Israeli ambassador has been called in and ask to explain, but he’s shrugged his shoulders saying he knows nothing.

We’re well used to the US identifying rogue states whose actions deviate from the norm. Irish passports are biometric and extremely hard to forge and as a result valuable. The effective devaluation of this passport undermines the value of citizenship in much the same way as the issuing of fraudulent dollars by North Korea could damage US economic interests. Its my view that Israel is as much a rogue state as North Korea and will damage any other nations interest in any attempt to promote its own.
The time has come to withdraw our ambassador there until such a time that Israel behaves like a normal democracy. At a time when cutbacks need to be made in Departmental budgets why should we retain links to an unfriendly nation when others closer to home may see diplomatic missions shut down? Its time the Ferrero Rocher should be off the menu in Jerusalem

No comments: