Tag Archives: Irish

The Irish and the Jews – Ireland and Israel

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

I was trying for the past few days to think of a modern ethnic analogy to Jews, searching my mind for something to compare Israel to in modern and less-modern times.

Finally it dawned on me.  The Irish and the Jews have a surprising similarity in history.  Pre-diaspora Jews revolted, revolted, revolted against the Roman Empire occupation.  And for 500 years the Irish revolted, revolted, revolted against the British depredations of Ireland.

Both groups have profound ethnic identification, geographic identification with ‘homeland’, and conspicuous religious doctrinal loyalty.  Both groups have been reduced by starvation, by ethnic bigotry from ruling governments, by slaughter.  Both have been endlessly persecuted by those with the power to persecute them.

For 500 years the British did everything a civilized power could do to empty Ireland of Irish and for 2000 years the European states and Russia did everything they could do to rid themselves of Jews.

All that ended with the Irish independence resulting from the last revolt in 1922, and the creation of the State of Israel following WWII.

During the decades following independence Ireland flourished for the first time in its history.  Became, over the decades, the seventh most developed country in the world and among the wealthiest in GDP.  Probably the most peace-loving country in the modern world in the 5/6th of the island where British no longer rule.

Israel flourished, too, though it couldn’t be accused of being peace-loving.  Almost every moment of Israeli history includes brink-of-war scenarios.  The early 20th Century British clich’e, “The Irish brought most of their troubles on themselves,” found its way into Israeli explanations of their difficulties with their own Irish/British analogy.

In view of the similarities that contrast between warlike and peace-loving is surprising.  Rhymes more with relations in Northern Ireland and with the British.  Religious partisans might suggest it’s the difference between the Old Jehovah and the New Jehovah.  But history argues otherwise. 

Seems a lot more likely that, while Ireland is strictly neutral, Northern Ireland is still aligned with the British and by extension, the US.  So is Israel.  And while Ireland is finally completely free of British oppression, Northern Ireland isn’t, and by contrast adopted something akin to Zionism in an attempt to rid itself of Britain and the British.

Terrorism, intimidation and threats.  All the usual suspects from the bad old days.  Jews and Irish.  Israel and Northern Ireland. 

Something to ponder.

Old Jules