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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I could not stop laughing.

Timoshenko? Is that an Romanian or Hungarian name? Or one that you made up because you were caught in a lie?

Do you have more factual information, that you would like to offer?

First- Ireland is a republic  and Northern Ireland is still occupied by Protestant settlers from Scotland and England. Jordan is an Arab country while Judea and Samaria are also occupied by the Johnny come lately Palestinians. So you are right there is some similarity there.

I would have no problem with Judea and Samaria and Gaza having an equal representation Parliament of Jews and Arabs. But I am afraid that if you approached Jews they would agree while the Arabs would most likely kill you for suggesting this.

The IRA bombed mostly withing Northern Ireland and almost never English Civilians in England itself and we know about the Palestinians up to now.

If you compare apples to apples make sure that you let us know what the apples are that you are comparing and don't throw in oranges just because they fit your theory.

If however you want to discuss something be very careful that some of your tall tales do not get mixed in with the truth.

Now tell me whether Timoshenko is a Hungarian name or a Romanian one or just another invention to cover up some Tall Tales or what I consider plain LIES.


The Irish Republican Army (IRA) was setting off bombs in London too.  Not just strictly in Northern Ireland.  They killed Lord Mountbatten, the cousin of Queen Elizabeth, by planting a bomb aboard his boat.  It was 644 civilians that were killed by terrorist attacks by the IRA.  So yes, Great Britain was being terrorized by them.  But the IRA has been dismantled as a terrorist organization, because of its willingness to do so.  If the IRA can be dismantled as a terrorist organization, then cannot Hamas?  I have no desire to hide behind an alias, because it is on my driver's license and all my other legal documents.  The only thing I can say, that with your horrendous bitterness, you are definitely an enemy of the Jewish people.  Because after all, was not Hitler bitter?  None of the Arabs I have been around have tried to kill me, I am still here.

hey people, pls cool down...:)

as for my side - I had compared the peace process and reconciliation, rather than the conflict nature, which has similarities and differences. 

I am for finding resolution not for developing conflicts.

have a nice weekend.

Wow...your starting discussion has grown..I read the history of the discussion. I agree there are similarities and differences between the Northern Ireland - Great Britain conflct and the Israeli-Palestine conflct. Both of them rooted back in their ancient histories, but I think the Israeli - Palestine was the oldest conflict in the world. It is all about the competition to get the control of the resources in the area.

The location of Israel was very strategic to link the European land and the Asian one. It is the harbour area for trading in all historical time. The ancient trading to concentrate on spices makes the area to become the target for controlling. I imagine the king of Salomo might send his troops to the Spice island in Maluku which is now in the eastern part of Indonesia. It is the sources of nugmeg and clove which was needed for supporting the high lifestyles of the Romans and other people at the time. The collapse of powerful kings of Israel in several periodes wept out the local people. For generations the Israeli people were colonized by other nations up to the periode after the second war world.

So I see the needs to establish a country of Israel came out from the historical understanding of the local people. When the continued dream began to be fulfilled there have been a change in the area. That is what is needed to be discussed. Palestine people have lived in the area along with Israeli communities. The awareness among the local begins when the "Palestine" as a name was used to shape the movement. New ideological reasons have shaped the struggles of both parties. Palestine movement and zionism began the political terminologies which have involved so many other parties. In this context, it is very important to let the local people to decide what the best for them.

The conflict in the Moluccan island during the reformation periode, after the Presidency of Soeharto collapsed could be solved when other interests outside from the local people needs to be reduced and let the people in the place to discuss what the best for them. I quess my comparison seems simplying the complexity in the area of Israeli-Palestine conflict, but at least this is what I wonder whether it has to go to the direction.

Let Israel-Palestine to be freed from any international politics! Please forgive me if I sound so innocent to describe my understanding on the issue you are discussing now. Salam for you all.

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

- There is always what to learn as conflicts are human behavior and cultural phenomena. But when you learn keep inmind the differences and different development stage the communities engaged in conflict are.

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

Not sure it is relevant, the socio-economic issues are different and the culture elements are different ...

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

The Solution of Palestinian State as Arab state is important related to the Arab world changes this is very influential and not exist in the Irish case.

You are raising some very important concepts to take into consideration.  The way to address it, is looking at Ireland as two political entities  -- The Republic of Ireland, which just wanted independence from Great Britain, like what the Haganah and Irgun wanted.  Northern Ireland, who originally wanted independence from Great Britain, but not the majority Orangemen.  When you apply this to the West Bank, the Israeli settlers are not the majority, and probably never will be.  So this lends itself, that the West Bank is qualified for independence.  Then there is the question about the Israeli settlers.  They do not have the historical roots as deep as the Orangemen of Northern Ireland.  So that puts the pressure on:  1.  Either return the settlers back to the pre-1967 borders, or   2.  Let them stay and become citizens of Palestine.  If that takes place, then the current Palestinian Constitution would have to be amended, to have two sets of civil codes in it.  Like the Indian Constitution has two sets of civil codes in it for Hindus and Muslims.  The Belfast Agreement provided the power sharing, that encouraged the Irish Republican Army to disband, and most important of all, to hand over all their weapons.  While not exactly the same things can be applied to Hamas, but what are the alternatives that can be applied to Hamas?  This is where my answer is economic incentives.  Ireland did no have to struggle with a world, to accept its existence, like Israel has to with Dar al-Islam.  But what is slowly being recognized is that Israel is there to stay in the Middle East, and so is Dar al-Islam.  The Irish question took 9 centuries to resolve.  Our task is not to have the Israeli-Palestinian conflict take that long.

We are in the 21st century and this is good as the  socio-economy situation is much more  flexible and ideas as human rights and national rights are in general accepted across the board. 

The Plaestinians as Arab nation are different then the Israelis whose National concept is more connected to the European so The Palestinian transformation into a National state is not as straight forward, I think that effort to describe the Palestinians as same kind of nation as European miss the reality. The Arab development is not European process some influence chunk of Arab society is in pre-industrial revolution life condition and while they can be workers for post industrial societies as a whole they may have big issues to develop a modern economy without protection. 

The Jewish settlers come with post industrial world view and with strong "national" identity were many groups truly believe that they have national duty to bring back Jewish life into Judah and Samerya. if the Palestinians will be able to overcome their internal strugles where it is Hamas vs. Fatah or Ramallah Vs. Hebron (el 7alil) they will be able to help the Israelis to get back control over the Settler movement There are some signs of progress but this is very difficult process where the Palestinian mind set shifts from anti-Israel into pro-Palestine and then the practical Israelis will be able to work the internal conflict. I do not know much about Irland but I think this is a different socio economic process 

When you look at nationalism -- the desire to have your own nation-state, or to hook up related peoples into a nation-state or alliance -- they all had their origins in the later half of the 19th century.  This includes Zionism, Pan-Slavism, Ireland, and the Arabs.  Then this origin transformed into reality.  So it was the Slavs from the Turks, Irish and Zionist Jews from the British.  But with the Arabs it was more complex.  First they wanted freedom from the Turks, and possession of Mecca taken away from the Turks.  Mecca finally went to the Kingdom of Hejaz, which later became Saudi Arabia.  But the rest of the Arabs went into League of Nations' mandates of Great Britain and France.  Many claim today that these mandates all transformed into artificial countries.  Well, was not Belgium an artificial country when it become independent in 1830?  Catholic Belgium rebelled against Calvinist Netherlands, but was made into a nation to keep France in check, because Europe was still reeling from the Napoleonic Era.  When you look at the Jews in Palestine, like Ireland they simply wanted independence from Great Britain, period.  With the Arabs in Palestine, they simply did not want to be overran by Jews.  Not aspiring for a nation-state, which is the reason why they did not accept the 1947 United Nations' partition.  But let us bring this up to current context, and now they want their own nation-state.  When the Irish Republic Army was fighting against the British in Northern Ireland, it was to unite it with the Republic of Ireland, period.  But with the power sharing, that desire was given up, and they were able to disband.  Power sharing would not address the Palestinian situation, but only autonomy and independence.  So that is when you see the Irish experience break off from the Palestinian experience.

Irish - British relationship is not Zionist British relationship as British sovereignty on the Palestine territory was part of the post WW-I geopolitical agreements and Britain did not colonized the territory but remapped the region with new borders and states with the French. 

The Arabs were fighting between themselves and used the British and the French, see ( for aggression between the Arabs as example). The Arabs in Palestine did not have good enough National unity and were not able to organize a state which they never had. 

The Jews organized themselves politically before the British got control over the region and were able to bring statehood capacities that the local Arabs did not have in 1948 

1943 in Palestine: 30% of the population, own 6% of the land pay 56% of the taxes

Just to be clear, I think this productivity difference is based in culture and soci-economic structure of the different societies. Arab Palestinians are known to their hard work and willingness to work. the difference come from the different wold-view and how the people who came from Europe were different from the people from the Arab world.



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