Mention of Israel Banned at Irish National Holocaust Memorial

The event's intended host criticized the decree and was fired in response; decision causes uproar among Irish and British Jews.

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The organizers of Ireland's Holocaust memorial event have banned any mention of Israel at the county's annual ceremony and fired the event's host for the past 12 years because of his objections, the British Jewish Chronicle reported Thursday. The Holocaust Education Trust Ireland, an independent nonprofit organization, runs the annual national Holocaust Memorial Day, which will be held next month in Dublin.

Before this year's memorial day event, Yanky Fachler who was to host the event, was told not to refer to the Jewish state or the State of Israel during the event, the Jewish Chronicle reported. Fachler lodged his objections with HETI, and after 12 years of hosting the event was fired.

The news of the ban on mentioning Israel has caused quite an uproar in the Irish, and British Jewish communities, especially as it seems that two of the trustees behind the ban are Jewish.

The Irish president, prime minister and other senior officials have attended and addressed the ceremony over the years, and this year Irish President Michael Higgins will be in attendance, as will the Israeli ambassador to Ireland. The event is held on the Sunday closest to United Nations International Holocaust Memorial Day

On Tuesday, Ireland’s lower house of parliament approved a nonbinding resolution calling on the government to formally recognize the state of Palestine. The measure passed unanimously in the state's lower house, the Dáil ireann. It was sponsored by the left-wing Sinn Féin party. It calls for a State of Palestine on the basis of the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. The motion is similar to one passed in October by the upper house of Parliament, the Seanad ireann.