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08th Nov 2023

Israeli ambassador calls Ireland out as not “politically neutral”

Simon Kelly

Israeli ambassador

She said she was “shocked” by the public’s reaction to the ongoing conflict

The Israeli ambassador to Ireland has called the country not “politically neutral” in respect to the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.

Speaking at the Israeli embassy, where she showed reporters footage of the initial attack by Hamas on southern Israel, Dana Erlich warned that a “wave of antisemitism” is rising internationally.

After showing the footage, which reporters were told depicted 138 people being killed, Ms Erlich said she wanted TDs and Senators to view the footage at another screening.

Despite saying she was aware of Ireland’s pro-Palestinian sentiment, she admitted that she was still “shocked” by the reaction by the public to the ongoing conflict.

She said she understood Ireland is militarily neutral, but said: “I don’t think it is politically neutral.”

Israeli Ambassador Ireland

Israeli ambassador accuses Ireland of not being “politically neutral”

Ms Erlich has came under fire recently for comments made towards President Michael D Higgins.

Last month, the ambassador accused President Higgins of repeating “misinformation” after he said that Israel was “creating a huge humanitarian crisis” and prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s declaration of war reduced the Geneva conventions to “tatters”.

In an interview with the Sunday Independent, Ms Erlich said of President Higgins’ comments: “This is misinformation. Because announcing beforehand – that is not breaking, that is in accordance with international law.

There have since been calls by some TDs, including opposition party Sinn Fein, that the ambassador should be removed from her role, as her position is “untenable”.

In response to Ms Erlich appearing at the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis on Saturday, People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy said it was “insult to everybody who opposes Israel’s genocidal attack on Gaza.”

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