Israeli Foreign Minister Outrages Irish- Americans
Israeli Foreign Minister Outrages Irish- Americans
Fr. Mc Manus Demands Apology
CAPITOL HILL. Sunday, December 5, 2014 — Israeli Foreign Minister, Avigdor Liberman, has shocked and outraged Irish-Americans by his cruel and brutal statement that Maggie Thatcher was right to let Bobby Sands ‘ commit suicide.’
” This is an appalling attack on an Irish patriot and hero, ” said Fr. Sean Mc Manus, President of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus and Holy Land Principles, Inc. ” It is also an outrageous insult to Irish-Americans. I have written to the Israeli Ambassador to Washington demanding an apology and that the Israeli Governments repudiates this awful racist and anti-Irish-Catholic venom.”
Fr. Mc Manus went on to explain that at the time of the 1981 Irish Hunger Strike – in which Bobby Sands and nine other young Irish patriots died — Jewish-American Members of Congress were the greatest defenders of the Hunger Strikers: ” I did a twelve- day hunger-strike outside the British Embassy. The great Congressman Ben Gilman (R-NY) — later Chairman of the House International Relations Committee — came and joined me in front of the Embassy, proudly standing with me in solidarity with Bobby Sands.”
Fr. Mc Manus concluded: ” I hope that Ambassador Ron Dormer will see the seriousness of this dreadful development and that he will get his Government to withdraw his Foreign Minister’s deplorable rant.”
LETTER TO THE AMBASSADOR
Ambassador Ron Dermer
Embassy of Israel
3514 International Drive N.W.
Washington D.C. 20008
Sunday, January 5, 2014
Dear Ambassador Dermer,
I write regarding the deplorable racist and anti-Irish-Catholic rant
of Israeli Foreign Minister, Avigdor Liberman in which he declared
Maggie Thatcher was right to let Bobby Sands ” commit suicide.”
I would hope that you yourself will see how appalling such an outburst is — particularly since you were born, raised and educated in the United States. Furthermore, you will be aware– as I state in my enclosed Press Release — that Jewish-American Members of congress, God bless them, were the most fervent defenders of the 1981 Irish Hunger Strikers.
You will, therefore, understand when we demand that the Israeli Government apologize for this cruel attack on the ten Irish patriots and heroes who sacrificed their live for Irish justice and peace.
Irish-Americans will simply not stand for such an outrageous
attack and insult by Foreign Minister Liberman. Your Government,
Mr. Ambassador, must apologize and disassociate itself from his odious
and cruel statement.
I look forward to you prompt and positive response.
Fr. Sean Mc Manus
Israeli Foreign Minister says Britain was right to let Bobby Sands ‘commit suicide’
Vigor Liberman praises how Margaret Thatcher handled hunger strikers deaths
By PATRICK COUNIHAN, IrishCentral Staff Writers
Sunday, January 5, 2014.
Israel’s Foreign Minister has praised Britain’s decision to let Irish ‘terrorist hunger strikers commit suicide’ in 1981.
Minister Avigdor Liberman made the controversial claim after the recent release of jailed terrorist, Samer Issawi after a 266 day hunger strike.
Criticizing the release, Liberman referred to the British government’s handling of the 1981 hunger strikes in Northern Ireland, led by Bobby Sands.
And he praised the stance taken by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet.
Liberman said: “More than 10 of the protesters died in the hunger strike, among them a striker that was elected at the time to the British Parliament by one of the voting regions in North Ireland.
“Despite all that, the British government under Margaret Thatcher did not submit to the prisoners’ demands. In the end the strike ended without the conditions of the striking prisoners being met.
“Every normal democratic country that aspires to defend itself, like the great democracy of Britain that I mentioned would already have returned Issawi to his cell.
“Like the British minister Humphrey Atkins said of the Irish hunger strike, ‘if he persistently wishes to commit suicide, he is welcome to pursue his intent.”
The Israeli national news website reports that Issawi called for the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers immediately after his release.
Issawi said: “The release of prisoners will only be achieved through kidnapping and prisoner exchange deals, nothing will be achieved without that.”
Liberman responded: “A prisoner that was released on conditions and calls, the same day, for the kidnapping of soldiers of the nation that freed him needs to serve his full sentence in jail without any reductions, and if he wants to hunger strike let him do that as much as he wants.”
Issawi was sentenced to 26 years in jail for terrorism in 2002 and first went free after 10 years in the deal to free Gilad Shalit. He signed a promise not to return to terrorist activities but broke those conditions and was rearrested in August 2012.
The report states that after 8 months of hunger striking, Issawi was admitted to an Israeli hospital, and offered an arrangement to stop his hunger strike and go home after 8 more months of imprisonment.
Issawi agreed to the deal, and was subsequently freed on Christmas Eve.
Liberman was named person of the year by the Jerusalem Post newspaper.