Eire Do Deo: Can Ireland Teach Us About Israeli-Palestinian Peace?

"Eire do deo" is Irish for "Ireland is forever."  Like the Jews and Palestinians, the Irish too have a convoluted history.  Ireland was not settled by a single group of people, but by waves of people.  We associate Ireland as a Celtic nation. but the Celts too came to Ireland in waves.  This migration did not leave the island united, so it was several kingdoms.  But one of the kings did eventual become High King of Ireland, usually through bloody warfare among the various kingdoms.  This disunity is what made Ireland vulnerable to outside invasion.  The first to come were the Vikings.  The Vikings settled in large numbers, and founded Ireland's major cities.  Dublin, the capital, was founded by the Vikings, in fact its name "Dublin" is Norse for "Black Pool."  Brian Boru was King of Munster, but eventually became High King of Ireland.  In 1014, he defeated the Vikings at the Battle of Clontarf, and drove them out of Ireland.  But fighting among the kings of Ireland was to return after that, and in 1167 the kings of Leinster and Connacht called upon the help of the English.  The English King John was proclaimed "Lordship of Ireland" by Pope Adrian IV, who is the only English pope that ever existed.  English domination was to continue, and in 1536 King Henry VIII became King of Ireland.  Two things happened after that, the land was no longer owned by the Irish, and Protestant settlers (Orangemen) from both England and Scotland settled in Ireland, especially in the northern part.  Everything that Irish farmers produced went into rent and taxes.  Potatoes were introduced into Ireland in 16th century, and the moist climate of Ireland resembled the Peruvian Andes, where the crop originally came from.  After paying their rent and taxes, the only thing Irish farmers had left to eat was potatoes.  Until the 1840's, when a blight hit the potato monoculture of Ireland.  From 1845 to 1852, it is estimated that between 1,000,000 to 1,500,000 Irish died, and over 1,000,000 emigrated.  When World War I took place, it was empires trying to undermine each other.  The British sent T.E. Lawrence or "Lawrence of Arabia" to start an Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire, and Irish rebels were to seek German help to rebel against British rule.  That happened from April 24 to 30, 1916, when the Irish with armaments secretly sent by Germany launched the famous "Easter Rebellion."  Ecstatic Irishmen were printing banners, manifestos, and flyers that they were finally freed from the brutal, repressive rule of Great Britain.  But were they?  The rebellion was quickly put down, and Ireland after that was placed under control of the paramilitary Black and Tans.  But after World War I, negotiations were to take place between British Prime David Lloyd George and the Irish rebels.  In 1921, the Anglo-Irish Treaty proclaimed Ireland free of British rule, except the 6 northern counties, which became known as Northern Ireland.  But the Emerald Isle's troubles were not over.  For sectarian violence was to continue between the Irish and the Orangemen in Northern Ireland, with Northern Ireland under British military occupation.  But on April 10, 1998, the Belfast Agreement was to bring about power sharing between the Irish and Orangemen, and the removal of all British army bases in Northern Ireland.  In 2005, the Irish Republic Army was to disband, and international arms inspectors were to accumulate all their weapons.

How much of the Irish experience resembles the Israeli-Palestinians conflict?

How can what was used for Ireland to achieve independence, be applied to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

How can Northern Ireland's Belfast Agreement, be used to halt sectarian violence between Israelis and Palestinians?

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The Northern Ireland Belfast Agreement only kicked in when Britain became so sick of Protestant intransigence that the UK threatened to cancel all funding - a substantial sum. That was the point at which the Protestants accepted the deal.

It will be the same in Israel.

There has been some ongoing discontent because there is still significant discrimination against Catholics within Northern Ireland.

With types of agreements, many times a strong international mediator is needed, for necessary arm twisting.  The Irish Catholics now have their representation in government, but as for other issues such as housing and employment, there probably still is discrimination.  But at least Northern Ireland is an example of how power sharing can be addressed.  The Oslo Accords began, but were never finished.  I am just forever grateful that the Palestinian recognition as non-member nation status, did not lead to Israeli cancellation of the Oslo Accords.

actually, there are a few Israeli-Palestinian  organizations who share the Irish experience - Combatant for Peace, Friends for Ever, One Voice, I think that People to People too.  Just a few among others.

Yes, I have thoroughly dealt with Combatants for Peace and One Voice.  I must admit my experiences with Ireland are not as thoroughly as the Israeli-Palestinian issue.  But there was one time that the media was just filled about casualties from sectarian violence there.  The most sickening I heard was about people attending a funeral in Londonderry, and were ambushed and all shot to death.  But the most promising was how the Irish Republic Army (IRA) could get away from armed violence, and how international arms inspectors could go in and accumulate all of their arms.  IRA chief Gary Adams was allowed simultaneously to represent the Sinn Fein in both the parliament of the Republic of Ireland and the National Assembly of Northern Ireland.  So these are all definitely role models to be followed.  An Israeli lawyer wants to start a national parliament for both Israelis and Palestinians, where both the Knesset and Palestinian National Assembly would have veto power over this joint parliament.  If they can go through with that, then would be able to replicate the situation with Gary Adams.  This Israeli lawyer was able to explain to me, what this joint parliament would have the authority to do.  But it sure got ridiculed by the Jewish extremists, for they are a deadly group of people to deal with.  The same ones who were on this website, calling me a Nazi all of the time.

sure enough, basically  the Irish conflict is not the same as the Israel-Palestine one. but the way to reconciliation, and building a bridge to overcome differences, argument etc is very very similar.

who is the Israeli lawer, Tim?

Unfortunately, I cannot remember his name.  But I am sure, if you look up "Joint Israeli-Palestinian Assembly" you can find out who he is.  I was oblivious to it at first, but he explained in thorough detail what it was all about.  But the biggest difficulty of all, is how to overcome people attitudes about this,  I remember how some of the Jewish extremists would be outraged if I mention anything about other peoples' sufferings.  "How dare you do that, our suffering is greater!"

It is amazing how Jews and Palestinians are trying to make their own suffer bigger and more traumatic than of the other. like a competition .....

You hit the nail right on the head, when you said "competition."  When I was on the Advisory Council of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and had no trouble at all to get the council to vote on including the Armenian Genocide and the Parajmos -- Roma people's genocide -- as part of the exhibit too.  But I had a nut who was outraged that I was on the council, so he tried to contact them to get me removed.  The council got back in contact with him, and said we have never had a Timothy Upham on our council.  He said to me "you are such a liar."  I said to him, if you are going to slander me, why do not you at least use my correct first name, which is Timoshenko.  Which goes to show, that extremism can make anybody stupid.


The Israeli lawyer is Aymen Zaben, and the joint Parliament is part of the Israeli-Palestinian Confederation.  They will be voting for a President, Vice President, and Parliament.  Candidates will be coming out of Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza  To learn more, read:


It is true a good case can inspire to another problem. Hope there will be somebody answer your questions. I think some of the Irish inisiators have tried to inspire the Palestine struggles for her independent. This year I met my Indonesian friend, Putri Gayatri who got married with an Irish Politician, George Galloway. I think he won his election this year due to the issue of Palestine that was carried in his campaign. You might like to check in detail on these relevant cases. Thanks for bringing up this issue. Salam

I imagine the issue that carries Irish voters now is the economy.  Despite the bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund, the Irish economy still grew by 1.3%.  Unlike other European Union countries and Great Britain, there was negative growth.  But I like that Ireland's embattled history, especially in Northern Ireland, can serve as a role model for power sharing and coexistence.  The big difference is that Americans of Irish descent are not a big factor in Ireland's politics, and there are 22 million of them.  Unlike American Jews who are an enormous factor in Israel's politics.  Some of them can take on some very ugly views on what justifies as support for Israel.  But my personal support for Israel, is that the nation can coexist with its neighbors, and be a nation among nations in the world.  Because all nations have something unique to offer.   If you look at Indonesia, for centuries it produced the most esteem spices in the world.  The Muslims took control of the spice trade first, which brought Islam to Indonesia, then the Portuguese, then long time colonial master, the Netherlands.



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