The head of the Jewish community in Dublin has blasted an Irish politician for her tweets comparing Israelis to Nazis and monkeys, saying it showed the need for education.
Maurice Cohen, chair of the Jewish Representative Council of Ireland, took issue with “inaccurate, antisemitic and racist” social media posts from Réada Cronin, the newly-elected Sinn Fein parliamentarian for Kildare North.
In the posts, she said Israel had “taken Nazism to a new level” and suggested that a picture of monkeys working on computers reminded her of the Israeli embassy.
She apologised “unreservedly and wholeheartedly,” saying the tweets were “glib” and “off-the-cuff,” but Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said her comments, which she made before she was elected, should “trouble us all”.
Speaking to Jewish News, Cohen said: “It is disappointing that her offensive comments have neither been criticised nor condemned by Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald.
“Unfortunately too many people in Ireland have an opinion on everything, whether or not they have any knowledge of the particular subject on which they are commenting.
“Due to this lack of knowledge the term Nazism is bandied around in Ireland without knowing that it was, amongst other things, the premeditated, industrialised slaughter of six million Jews and many others that didn’t suit the Nazi Regime.
“A little education on what constitutes antisemitism would go a long way to correcting this problem. To that end, we would urge Sinn Féin and other political parties to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of Antisemitism.
“The definition has been adopted by most countries in Europe and as Ireland is already a signatory to the IHRA we have de facto accepted it. It is now up to our politicians to adhere to it.”