Breakfast with the Ambassador

star-rep-of-irelandIreland4Israel on FacebookCrashing the Irish party

Last week I crossed off another belated life milestone – embassy reception. To be fair, it wasn’t exactly at the Irish embassy but I did have a chance to speak with the new ambassador.

My purpose was clear and like an eagle I approached my prey, Dublin Commissioner for Start Ups, Niamh Bushnell. That’s pronounced NEE’av  [ˈniːəv], with two syllables, by the way, but apparently Neev is acceptable. (Wording from all conversations from memory).

Q: Have you made contact with Jerusalem Mayor, Nir Barkat, also in an another life a high-tech entrepreneur and anxious to bring employment generating projects to his city?

A: Well no. I’ve only been in Israel two days and I’m returning tomorrow. 🙁

Q: Do you consider your presence here a BDS fail?

A: Discussing politics is the Ambassador’s job. Would you like to meet her?

Even an eagle misses two strikes from three!

Ambassador Alison Kelly was previously ambassador to the Czech Republic and Ukraine and, although I didn’t know this at the time, for five years, Director for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation and Deputy Political Director, Department of Foreign Affairs, Dublin. If I had I would have asked if Ireland, surrounded by enemies sworn to its destruction had the Bomb would it join the Nuclear Non­Proliferation Treaty? Another time, perhaps?

Q: Have you made contact with Jerusalem Mayor, Nir Barkat, also in an another life a high-tech entrepreneur and anxious to bring employment generating projects to his city? 

A: Well no. I’ve only been my position in Israel ten days. (Do I sense a pattern here?)

Q: Ireland has the reputation of being the second most anti Israel nation in Europe. Do you consider the presence of the Commissioner for Start Ups here a BDS fail?

A: As ambassador I represent the government of Ireland and fulfil their policy. (Definitely a pattern!)

When I persisted Ms. Kelly started to explain about Irish opposition to colonialism. To which I countered that Sinn Fein supported Israel in 1948, something she conceded. I wish I had the presence of mind to ask, Why is English colonialism of Ireland from the 11th century unacceptable but Arab colonialism of Israel from the 7th century acceptable? Unfortunately staircase logic being what it is, I did not. Another time, perhaps?

After that the conversation became simply pleasant. I offered that my personal experiences in Ireland had never included hostility and we discussed Herzog as a Jewish-Israeli-Irishman (not the  1922-35 Chief Rabbi of Ireland’s grandson!)

Did anything worthwhile come from this meeting?

I introduced the idea of joint ventures with Jerusalem, the city, and gave them the Five Minutes for Israel business card, to be lost among 50+ other business cards. I also suggested both ladies check out Like for Israel: Ireland on Facebook. I hope they do.

Ms. Kelly and Bushnell, welcome to Israel. I suspect it will be much more complicated than any of your previous posts. 


From Embassy website

Perhaps it’s time for the Irish Embassy in Israel to update their website?
Amb. Eamonn McKee and Pres. Shimon Peres have moved on to other activities.

About David Guy

B.A./B.C.A. (Communication and Media Arts) University of Wollongong, AUSTRALIA M.A. in Government (Diplomacy and Conflict Studies) Inter Disciplinary Center, Herzliya, ISRAEL Twitter @5MFI
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