Rumours surround Ireland’s upcoming Holocaust Memorial Day

According to Yad Vashem, the World Center for Holocaust Research in Israel have banned representatives from Israel from attending a Holocaust Memorial Day in January in Ireland’s capital, Dublin.

No comment or response has been issued from Irish officials.

Recently, Jewish organisations and Israel has become increasingly concerned over the treatment and actions of the Irish Government.

This month, both Irish and French parliaments voted to recognise the Palestinian state within its 1967 borders. The move has been heavily criticised by Israel’s foreign ministry because it says it takes the focus away from first establishing peace.

Israel has also accused Ireland’s parliament of using anti-Semitic language towards Israel.

The said banning of Israeli officials from the upcoming Holocaust event has only deepened tensions for the Israelis. This has caused sadness and confusion for Israel, since it gave a home to the remaining thousands of Holocaust survivors after World War II.

Further it is reported that organisers of the event, the Holocaust Educational Trust Ireland (HETI), have been asked to not refer to Israel or a Jewish State during the ceremony. HETI’s board has been undergoing reorganisation recently with many rumours flying around about why and who is being replaced.

Some are worried about increasing hostility towards Israel and that the Irish people could be influenced by the public statements and actions of the Irish parliament, the Shalom Life reports.

So far no public announcement has been made about a ban on Israel attending January’s memorial ceremony. Responding to the rumours the Jewish Representative Council of Israel said it would be unacceptable and the Jewish community would be horrified.

Ireland’s Holocaust Memorial Day takes place every year around the last Sunday of January. The event has taken place for years to honour the memory of those who suffered and lost their lives during the Holocaust. Six million Jews and another five million other victims were mistreated and victimised during World War II because of discrimination against their nationality, ethnic origins, sexuality, disabilities, their religion or political beliefs.

The day is inclusive of all walks of the victims’ lives and to bring attention to the need or education and tolerance. Ireland was one of the countries to sign up to the Declaration of Stockholm in 2000 along with 43 other countries. They agreed to memorialise the Holocaust on an annual basis.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE