The Jewish community in the Republic of Ireland (total population: 3.8 million mostly Roman Catholics - 91.6 per cent and Protestants, the only significant religious minority - 3 per cent) is a small, but long established community, which comprises approximately 1000-1600 people who mostly live in Dublin (0.04%). There has been no reporting of anti-Semitic incidents in recent years. The Garda reported the existence of several far-right individuals or small groups, none of whom however have come to the fore publicly. Most of the incidents referred to in this report come from information supplied by Jewish organisations in Ireland.
Many incidents reported are considered to be one-off and unusual occurrences, with no evidence of a systematic targeting of the Jewish community in Ireland. The police provide discreet presence at the synagogue in Dublin on certain occasions. According to the Intercultural Office, there appear to be good relations between the local police and representatives of the Jewish community and meetings have been held between Garda Racial & Intercultural Office and Jewish communal leaders in the period in question. However, one representative of the Jewish Representative Council of Ireland contends that there is increased apprehension in the Irish Jewish community. This anxiety relates primarily to recent events in Europe, such as the increased electoral support of the far right, as opposed to any marked change in attitudes amongst the Irish population.
1. Physical acts of violence
There have been no reports of physical violence against Jews or their properties during the period of 15 May-15 June.
2. Verbal aggression/hate speech
The Israeli embassy has received a number of hate telephone calls in the last month but has not logged the exact number. The embassy received a piece of hate mail on 10 June, written on a brown paper bag. The Garda Racial and Intercultural Office reports that there have been a few threatening and abusive phone calls to Jewish residents in the Terenure district of Dublin, where the synagogue is located. These were dealt with by local Garda.
On 19 April 2002, Dublin graffiti equating Jews with Nazis and the Star of David with a swastika was found near the main synagogue in Dublin.
Amnesty International ran an advertising campaign on Israel and the Occupied Territories. A copy of the advertisement was returned to the office with the words “Hitler Was Right” written over it.
Media and public discourse
A survey of national newspapers for the month 15 May – 15 June shows no verbal attacks on Jews in public discourse or by Irish politicians. A representative of the Jewish Representative Council maintained that there had been some concern about the tone of some correspondence in the Irish Times and in debate on Israel’s policies on the Joe Duffy programme of RTE radio, but that ultimately it was not deemed to be anti-Semitic but essentially hostile to Israeli policy.
The website National Socialist Are Us contains a section called “The New Folk” where White supremacist and “Aryan” ideology is expressed. The website also contains links to other white supremacist sites including Stormfront. In its report on racial incidents May-October 2001, the NCCRI referred to this website and concerns about it and two others run by the Irish Fascist Party and Irish National Front.
3. Research studies
There were no reports or studies focusing solely on anti-Semitism in the period monitored.
4. Good practices for reducing prejudice, violence and aggression
There are no examples of good practices to report.
5. Reactions by politicians and other opinion leaders
Nothing to report.