Ireland needs to show America moral bankruptcy of Gaza war


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Ireland needs to show America moral bankruptcy of Gaza war Ireland needs to show America moral bankruptcy of Gaza war

Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column with Dara Bradley

Our politicians love to strut on the international stage.

As popular as Covid at home, globetrotting offers opportunities for our great leaders to shine; to show their true worth.

Think Leo Varadkar hobnobbing it at EU summits in Brussels. Or Micheál Martin rubbing shoulders with foreign leaders at the United Nations General Assembly. And Eamon Ryan leading negotiations for the EU on climate finance at COP28.

They do love an ’oul foreign jaunt.

In fairness, our senior politicians possibly do punch above their weight abroad. For a small country on the periphery of Europe, Ireland’s influence is probably greater than our size merits.

But it has its limits. And we also have an inflated opinion of the sway this country has on global geo-politics. That is especially true when it comes to our lopsided relationship with America.

The terror that the State of Israel is perpetrating on Gaza is proof of that.

Yes, Ireland’s humanitarian voice has been heard at EU and UN levels. We have spoken out against the heinous crimes of Hamas, but also stood up to Israel and stood up for the Gazan people, with whom we enjoy an affinity.

But making noise is not the same as influencing. And it’s time Ireland showed how big a punch it packs.

With St Patrick’s Day around the corner, Varadkar will be getting his bowl of shamrock ready to gift to Joe Biden at the White House.

An opportunity to meet the most powerful person on the planet, the March 17 face-to-face between An Taoiseach and US President, we’re told – mostly by journalists on a beano covering the event – is the envy of other nations.

Other countries are supposedly jealous of the access Ireland has to the corridors of power in Washington for a week every year.

Maybe they are. But what good is access without influence? Of course, it offers the hosts an annual opportunity to reaffirm their Irish roots. It’s mighty positive PR for both sides. Fodder for the Democratic party’s election material to court the Irish-American vote, it also gives Irish people an opportunity to pat themselves on the back and bask in a collective, green-tinted haze of ‘aren’t we great altogether?’

But what use is the friendship involved in this staged spectacle every March, if Ireland is too meek to call out America on its support of this vile war in Gaza?

America is facilitating the terror being perpetrated on Gaza. It has facilitated the murder of thousands of civilians, including far too many children. Yet Ireland is too cowardly to criticise Uncle Sam.

If the access we enjoy to the White House is so great and if the alliance Ireland has forged with the US is so strong, why haven’t we leveraged that influence to push for a ceasefire. Why wait ’til March – why not phone cousin Biden with a few home truths?

Maybe our leprechaun leaders are too afraid or unwilling to upset the World’s superpower. Or maybe Ireland’s ‘special relationship’ with America isn’t that special after all. Instead, it’s a public relations marriage of convenience, nothing more than a patronising Paddywackery charade.

(Photo by Joe O’Shaughnessy: At a vigil in solidarity with Palestine outside UHG in late October. Ireland needs to be more vocal in calling out the USA over that country’s support for Israel’s campaign of terror in Gaza).
This is a shortened preview version of this column. For more Bradley Bytes, see the January 5 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

More like this:

Sign Up To get Weekly Sports UPDATES

Go Up