DUBLIN (JTA) — An Irish college awarded one of Israel’s harshest critics with its historical society’s gold medal for "outstanding contribution to public discourse."
Middle East pundit Robert Fisk, whose columns are carried by Ireland’s most widely read daily newspaper, the Irish Independent, used his acceptance speech at Trinity College to condemn Israel’s operation in Gaza as “grotesque.” He suggested that the Israeli point of view in the Middle East conflict should be treated with the same respect as the Nazi position after the liberation of the concentration camps following World War II.
The award came as the Irish media erupted in outrage over reports of civilian deaths at a United Nations-run school in Gaza, prompted in part by the angry reaction of the Irish head of UNRWA in Gaza, John Ging. Ireland’s foreign minister, Micheal Martin, who has condemned the Israeli government on several occasions since the fighting started in Gaza, said he was “appalled” by the incident.
Meanwhile, hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists marched on the Israeli Embassy in Dublin in one of several protests planned for cities around the country in the coming days.
The Israeli ambassador to Ireland, Zion Evrony, will be meeting with members of the Irish Jewish community Thursday night to discuss media reaction to the Gaza operation.