|The Director for International Relations at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Dr. Shimon Samuels on Wednesday sent a letter to Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen saying that "the Center was struck by the timing of an event in Dublin, sadly reminiscent of financial scapegoating of the 1930's."|
"In the midst of Ireland's greatest post-war crisis, a poster illustrating an atomized Europe around a Star of David, invites the public on December 3 to an Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign book launch/wine and cheese reception," read the letter.
"The book, 'Europe's Alliance with Israel: Aiding the Occupation', apparently, presents the EU as encouraging 'the apartheid state of Israel' and "calls for a continuation and deepening of international activism and protest to halt the EU's slide into complicity...it explores the complex political ties that have prevented European countries from holding Israel to account," the Wiesenthal Center explained.
"Who are these complex political ties?" Samuels questioned, saying that "the poster, and book cover it features, arguably fit the 2004 "working definition of anti-Semitism" of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, to which Ireland is, ipso facto, party."
Samuels explained that in the late 1980s he had "led a mixed caucus of Irish-American and Jewish-American United States senators and congressmen to Jerusalem and Dublin, co-organized by the Irish Development Authority. The declared purpose of the hosts was, to adapt from the empathy of American Jewry for the Jewish State, a program to enhance the affinity of Americans of Irish origin to the economy and land of their roots - then enjoying an economic boom."
"Anti-Semitic scapegoating has too often served to deflect attention from economic suffering," Samuels wrote. "In the 1930's, this led democracies into the abyss."
Samuels urged Cowen "to publicly condemn the timing of this poster and the book cover's subliminal message."
"In wishing Ireland a speedy recovery, we are confident that the people of Ireland will never allow the circumstances of the meltdown - reportedly, extortionate bank fees, obscene bonuses and mismanagement - to be camouflaged by antisemitism," Samuels added.
Article and comment contribution of Aryeh:
This is no doubt all because of Israel's occupation of Gaza. Just ask the humanitarian former President of Ireland. After all it could not possibly be due to the consistent stupidity and incompetency of one Irish Government after another. Nor the stupidity and incompetency of all the other EU Governments over the past fifty plus years. It must be the fault of the Israelis. That is after all what all the good and decent people of Europe believe.
I have to say the sound of European bellies grumbling with hunger will be a pleasant change from their usual grumbling about how the Jews are the cause of all their problems. May they all have a long, painful and irreversible economic collapse, may they suffer all the humiliations, pain, suffering and death that they have given us over the past 2000 years and may it rain upon them ten thousand fold.
Gloom, anger spreads as European economies teeter
Funding from EU, IMF may not stem debt crisis, analysts say
By Alan Clendenning and Shawn Pogatchnik
DUBLIN | Anger and fear about Europe's seemingly unstoppable debt crisis swept through the continent Wednesday. Striking workers shut down much of Portugal, Ireland proposed its deepest budget cuts in history and seething Italian and British students clashed with police over education cuts.
Amid it all, analysts were deeply skeptical about the future, saying even the desperate efforts of governments, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) might not be enough to prevent countries from defaulting or banks from going under.
The Irish Stock Exchange saw a bloodbath in bank stocks as investors pushed the panic button and bond traders were betting that it would only be a matter of time before Portugal and possibly Spain would be the next countries begging for outside help.
In Lisbon, strikers all but closed the airport, stranding passengers who couldn't get in or out of the country.
Government policies have "sent people into poverty and misery," said union leader Manuel Carvalho da Silva, noting that Portuguese civil servants will see wage cuts averaging 5 percent next year.
Italian students occupied university buildings and piazzas to denounce education cuts being debated by Parliament, clashing briefly with police in Rome and blocking five main bridges over the Arno River in Pisa.
In Britain, students decried government plans to triple tuition fees.
While Irish bank shares plummeted for a third straight day amid fears investors would be wiped out, yields on Portuguese and Spanish government debt shot up sharply because of rising concerns that their debt loads will prove unsustainable and put them next in line for European bailouts.
Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen announced Wednesday he now expects the EU-IMF bailout loan to total 85 billion euro ($115 billion). Some experts accused Ireland of minimizing the true scale of its financial disaster, saying Ireland probably needs a bailout of 130 billion euro ($175 billion) because of looming defaults on residential mortgages.
"The government is completely in denial about the amount of money they'll have to borrow," said Constantin Gurdgiev, a finance lecturer at Trinity College Dublin.
He compared Ireland's plight to that of Greece, which received a 110 billion euro ($145 billion) EU-IMF rescue bailout in May.
"Our economy is more than three times overindebted than Greece. If Greece is insolvent, where does that put us?" Mr. Gurdgiev asked.
Eurasia Group, a New York-based research and consulting company, warned that the problems of the 16-nation eurozone won't stop with Ireland. It predicted a rescue plan for Portugal could be unveiled early next year, when Portugal must sell government bonds to finance spending.