Jewish Representative Council of Ireland condemns antisemitic treatment to Jewish local politician

A Jewish woman with Israeli citizenship has accused the Social Democrats of deselecting her as a local election candidate because she raised concerns about antisemitism in Ireland.

The Jewish Representative Council of Ireland made a statement condemning the antisemitic treatment she received.

“We are deeply disturbed by the Social Democrats treatment of Orli Degani, a Jewish woman of both Israeli and German citizenship, resident for many years with her family in Ireland, chosen by that party as a local election candidate in Dun Laoghaire, and deselected by it a week ago.

It is our understanding that she expressed concern privately within the party about some of the language used by its Dáil leadership in addressing the tragic Israel / Gaza war initiated by Hamas, the language’s impact on members of Ireland’s small Jewish community and its contributing to escalating antisemitism. 

The Social Democrats espouse the values of Equality, Democracy & Progress. Such values we assume embrace inclusivity and consider the impact of words used and actions taken, on minority groups within Ireland, including the Jewish community. 

We would have understood them to embrace internal party discussion on issues of sensitivity and public concern and not result in an issue so raised, resulting in the exclusion from the party’s local elections ticket of a selected election candidate. 

It is not for us to comment on the legality of the party’s action but we would be reneging on our responsibility to our community if we did not protest what presents as blatant and, for Ireland, an unprecedented act of antisemitism which totally undermines the credibility of the party’s espoused values.

Finally, an additional concern derives from the total silence, to date, on this turn of events of all our other political parties and elected politicians.”


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