As Ireland’s Jewish Community gathers in Dublin this evening to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, it is most distressing to the Irish Jewish Community to see Dublin’s Lord Mayor, councillor Mícheál MacDonncha, attending a conference that glorifies Nazi collaborator Haj Amin el-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 twentieth century. He personally discussed with Hitler the murder of Jews, and he helped the Nazis to recruit Bosnian Muslims for the Waffen-SS. After the war, the Yugoslav authorities sought al-Husseini’s arrest for war crimes.

The unfortunate timing of the Lord Mayor’s attendance at this event can only be explained by either ignorance or antisemitism. 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 from the Lord Mayor. If the Lord Mayor’s presence at the conference was not out of ignorance, then we can only conclude that we are witnessing our Lord Mayor displaying blatant antisemitism.

The Jewish Representative Council of Ireland hopes and prays that a speedy solution can be found so that all the people and religions of Israel and Palestine can live in peace and harmony with one another.

Maurice Cohen, Chair
Jewish Representative Council of Ireland