By Doreen Wachmann
DUBLIN’S controversial mayor Mícheál Mac Donncha signed a document as he left Israel last week, promising not to enter the Jewish state again without permission.
It came after Councillor Mac Donncha, pictured above, attended a Palestinian conference in Ramallah after having backed an Israel boycott, as well as a bid to expel Israel’s ambassador.
He had been able to enter the country despite government instructions to keep him out as Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs had misspelt his name and he managed to pass through Ben Gurion airport security.
Displayed at the Ramallah conference, which took place on Yom Hashoah, were pictures of Mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammed Amin al-Hussseini, who was a Nazi collaborator.
At Dublin’s Yom Hashoah commemoration, Jewish Representative Council of Ireland chairman Maurice Cohen said: “As Ireland’s Jewish Community gathers in Dublin to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, it is most distressing to see Dublin’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Mícheál Mac Donncha, attending a conference that glorifies Nazi collaborator al-Husseini.
“Al-Husseini, whose image dominates the backdrop behind the conference top table at which the Lord Mayor sat, was one of the most egregious antisemites of the 20th century.
“He personally discussed with Hitler the murder of Jews and helped the Nazis recruit Bosnian Muslims for the Waffen-SS.”
After the war, the Yugoslav authorities sought al-Husseini’s arrest for war crimes.
Mr Cohen added: “The situation in the Middle East is much too important for foolhardy ignorant interference of the kind that we have recently witnessed from the Dublin City Council and the Lord Mayor.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on Facebook: “I have one message for the mayor: You should be ashamed of yourself.”
Ireland’s ambassador to Israel, Alison Kelly, was summoned to Israel’s Foreign Ministry over the incident.
Rodica Radian-Gordon, deputy director of Israel’s Foreign Ministry’s Europe department, expressed her “astonishment and deep disappointment” that the mayor chose to participate in a “blatantly anti-Israel event” .
She added that this was “especially disturbing” on Holocaust Remembrance Day.
She said: “The Israeli government expects an official public response from Ireland with regard to the conduct of both the Dublin City Council and the Dublin mayor, who are waging a campaign of discrimination and hatred against the State of Israel.”
Ambassador Kelly said that her government opposed the anti-Israel legislation, which was subsequently postponed.