Northern Ireland could be like Palestine

What’s the word for denying reality time after time after time?

Upon the arrival of Sinn Fein President and Northern Irish Republican leader Gerry Adams into the Middle East, Israeli officials will give him the cold shoulder – “We expect all dignitaries who come here to make it clear that they will not dignify Hamas with a meeting,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor.

On Adams’s previous 2006 trip, he met with Hamas officials, and during his stay he advocated dialogue between the group and Israel, even without the precondition of Hamas’s recognition of the Jewish state. Israel should not set as a prerequisite for official engagement a refusal to see Hamas officials.

As a foreign observer, and one bringing with him a breadth of knowledge from a lifetime of dealing with the complexities of Northern Ireland’s ethnic and religious conflict, Adams has every right, and indeed he should meet with Hamas; likewise, official Israel should not shun him for so doing.

Text and images ©2023 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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