Saturday, December 13, 2014

Ireland: Fury over Israel ban at Shoah memorial

Organisers of a national Holocaust memorial event have banned any mention of Israel. The trustees of Holocaust Educational Trust Ireland (HETI) have instructed the host of the country's main Shoah memorial event in January "not to refer to the Jewish State or the State of Israel during any part of the ceremony".

The ban follows a similar bar imposed just days before this year's Holocaust Memorial Day in Ireland, when long-standing host Yanky Fachler was told to avoid mentioning Israel. He reluctantly complied when his objections fell on deaf ears but, afterwards, complained in writing to the organising body, HETI - only to be told the rule will again apply at January's event at Dublin's Mansion House.

Six days later, Mr Fachler then received a letter from HETI chair Peter Cassells telling him he was being replaced after 12 years in the job. Mr Fachler said: "Four days before HMD this year, Lynn Jackson of HETI gave me an ultimatum that I was not to mention Israel in my narrative as the MC. I felt like I'd been hit very hard in my stomach. I couldn't believe it. I was absolutely shocked. "I was not going to pull out four days before the event but I said this was very wrong, very dangerous. I believe that it plays directly into the hands of everyone who doesn't like Jews or Israel and I find it very sad that apparently the two Jewish members of the board did this."

More: Jewish Chronicle

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