Has there been a significant difference in sympathy for Israel between the public in Ireland and in the UK?


There's fairly lengthy article in Foreign Policy that attempts to explain why the Irish have been supportive of the Palestinian cause, actually its champions in Europe according to that article. The argument/explanation goes along a combination of factors from the Irish identification with the [most] oppressed to the "Vatican factor". The article also says that in contrast, Great Britain "has always been viewed as pro-Israeli", but it's not terribly clear if by this it means its foreign policy or public opinion. At least in recent times, the UK public opinion doesn't seem incredibly sympathetic to Israel (in that conflict), but it's conceivable that the Irish public is even less so.

Corroborating the picture of the Irish being pro-Palestinian, an article in the Economist paints the Ulster unionist parties (DUP and UUP) as the most pro-Israeli in the UK, e.g.

In 2014, when the British House of Commons voted on the principle of recognising a Palestinian state, five of the 12 “no” votes came from the DUP.

while Sinn Fein being on the opposite end, with the IRA having a history of some cooperation with Palestinian armed groups.

But Northern Ireland is not quite the UK, so I wonder if comparing the UK as whole with (The Republic of) Ireland have there been significant differences in public sympathy toward Israel, and if so in what time frame? (E.g. did these differences diminish in the aftermath of the Good Friday Agreement?)


Posted 2020-02-03T01:25:15.950

Reputation: 76 605

6Northern Ireland politics are their own thing.If you look at the DUP to try to understand what people in the republic or Ireland or even the UK outside of NI you are going to end up confused. You are better off trying to understand RoI, UK (-NI) and then NI separately. – None – 2020-02-03T08:38:23.260



Arabs suffered colonialism by the English, the french and the Spanish.

and during the 40s and 50's their struggle against colonialism (as per their culture) means a struggle for all those under colonialism not only their own countries.

Arabs draw a lot of similarities between their situation and the Irish under British rule.

Thus after gaining independence a lot of sympathy and call to action were made to support all anti-colonialism struggle around the world (this explains why they were always demonized and why they were kept busy by inventing a country that keeps them busy with their own local troubles)

You can check for example the United Arab republic (later separated into Egypt and Syria) rules in supporting, training and sponsoring the African/Indian/Malay (Indonesian and Malaysian)

Muammar al-Gaddafi Adopted the Irish struggle personally and had a lot of ("terrorist") trained and funded in Libya.

That made solid connection between the Irish and Arabs which resulted in them getting in depth knowledge of the Palestinian struggle which exists until now.

Nice to mention : "an ode to my free homeland" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ERFXIntNhQ The song that Arabs sang while 3/4 their countries did not gain their independence. yet they mentioned the struggle of African, Malay, Indian, by name, saying our fight against imperialism will only end when our brothers under the tyranny of imperialism are free too.

Sami AlTafi

Posted 2020-02-03T01:25:15.950

Reputation: 480

1While criticism of UK, France and Spain's colonialism of Arab countries is very warranted, especially after WW1, I find it very odd you do not mention the Ottoman Empire. To some extent, Turkey facilitated the Western takeovers as the countries in question had not been independent states for centuries so their, justified, national aspirations could be dismissed out of hand. Iraq's partitioning, for example, would have been very different if the area had had its own established states and borders before the UK took over. – Italian Philosophers 4 Monica – 2020-02-06T23:13:51.780

@ItalianPhilosophers4Monica Arab nationalism is new only in the 1940's started to take shape

People looked at the Ottoman empire as their own country, only the last decades of the Ottoman when they became nationalist themselves and tried to force Turkification on other communities that Turks and other nations under their rule spread apart and they saw Ottoman as decaying state.

Arab nationalists used resistance to Turkification for short time before it became a struggle against colonialism to justify their grip on power, as opposite to the Caliphate most people were looking for. – Sami AlTafi – 2020-02-06T23:38:57.350

@ItalianPhilosophers4Monica the clash with the Turks was short and limited and ended with the collapse of their empire. the hard times were under the English, the french and the Spanish. – Sami AlTafi – 2020-02-06T23:39:13.060

@ItalianPhilosophers4Monica Iraq, or any other country would have existed with the fall of the Ottomans, wither it was the UK or whatever, they made a mess of the border lines, but the density of population defined most of those countries (i.e. Egypt was the Nile, Iraq was the two rivers, Syria was the Sham etc.. ) and those local definitions existed early on before the colonization times – Sami AlTafi – 2020-02-06T23:44:46.200