Israeli envoy: activists have 'sexual identity problems'

Palestinian supporters have demanded that Israel's deputy ambassador to Ireland be removed after she allegedly described Israeli human rights activists as suffering from "problems of sexual identity".

Israel's Channel 10 TV published the full transcript of a diplomatic communiqué which it claimed that Nurit Tinari-Modai had sent to the Israeli Foreign Ministry. It quoted her as saying "The activity of those activists against the state is, in my evaluation, not necessarily ideological but grounded in psychological reasons generally of disappointment with the parents, [or] sexual identity problems."

She recommended: "You have to try and hit their soft underbellies, to publish their photographs, maybe that will cause embarrassment from their friends in Israel and their family, hoping that local activists would understand that they may actually be working on behalf of Mossad."

Martin O'Quigley, chair of the Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, urged the Dublin government to demand that Israel withdraw Ms Tinari-Modai. Neither she nor anyone from the Israeli Foreign Ministry was available to confirm if the communiqué was genuine.

Mr O'Quigley said: "This type of behaviour is indicative of the mindset of apologists for apartheid Israel. They have no legal, political or moral arguments. Instead of questioning Israel's illegal actions and occupation, they opt to attack human rights activists' characters and motivations."

Last updated: 11:08am, June 14 2012