Ex-minister in dispute over flag


A former Irish government minister has expressed disappointment that his criticism of Dublin City Council’s decision to fly the Palestinian flag has been rejected.

Earlier this month the council voted to raise the flag over City Hall as “a gesture of our solidarity with the people of Palestine living under occupation”.

Mr Shatter, a member of the Irish Jewish community who served as a Minister for Justice and Minister for Defence from 2011 to 2014, wrote to Brendan Carr, Dublin’s Lord Mayor, describing the move as gesture politics that “can play no meaningful role in the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”.

Mr Carr wrote back pointing out that there was no “legal impediment to flying other national flags on the building”. He described himself as “a strong supporter of the Palestinian cause”, but stressed he did not vote for the motion.

He added that “Dublin will remain a very welcoming place” to Jews.

Referring to Ireland’s wartime neutrality, Mr Shatter responded that the country “looked the other way during the Nazi era. By ignoring the complexity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict Dublin City Council had chosen to look the other way again.”

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