Alex Easton MLA highlights the Double Standards of Sinn Fein’s Approach to Anti-Semitism.

Speaking today, Alex Easton MLA said:

“At the end of May, Sinn Fein brought forward a motion to the Dail condemning Israel for its annexation of Palestine. Not only did I find the wording of this motion disagreeable, but also morally reprehensible on the part of Sinn Fein. The one-sided motion failed to mention or condemn any actions by Hamas against Israel. Unfortunately, this kind of selective outrage and condemnation from Sinn Fein is not surprising.

“Whilst the motion submitted to the Dail is not something that I personally would have supported, I understand that there are deep and genuine feelings on both sides in this debate. However, for the Dail to endorse a motion of this nature from a party historically riddled with anti-Semitism is concerning. From its foundation, Sinn Fein has openly expressed anti-Semitic views. The most notorious period of anti-Semitism in their history is that of the Second World War, in which they worked closely with the Nazi regime. Sean Russell, the most senior IRA member to engage with the Nazis, is the subject of an annual commemoration at his statue in Dublin. Current Sinn Fein leader, Mary Lou McDonald, not only attended this event, but spoke at it. Anti-Semitism is therefore a deep-rooted and longstanding problem within Sinn Fein. Recently, a Sinn Fein TD was condemned for comments she made on Twitter a number of years ago which linked Israel with Nazism. She was not disciplined by the party. This theme reoccurred in a debate on Israel and Palestine at the beginning of this month in Belfast City Council. A Sinn Fein councillor made unacceptable remarks that compared the mentality of present-day Israeli Jews towards Palestinians to the mentality of the Nazi regime that murdered over six million Jews throughout the Second World War. He has refused to apologize. Sinn Fein are willing to publicly condemn anti-Semitism, yet seem unable to do so when it comes from members of their own party. This is why I find it worrying that the Dail readily endorsed this motion from Sinn Fein – the party’s criticism of Israel has a habit of sliding into anti-Semitic hatred and tropes.

“From a party that preaches equality, integrity and respect, the double standards are clear. Sinn Fein does not practice what they preach when it comes to anti-Semitism. This became apparent recently when I put forward a motion to the Assembly condemning anti-Semitism, expressing alarm at the rise in anti-Semitic incidents across the UK and requesting that the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism be adopted in Northern Ireland. Sinn Fein opposed my motion but thankfully it still passed. It is obvious to me that Sinn Fein’s concern for minority groups and proclaimed stance against all forms of racism and hate does not extend to Northern Ireland’s Jewish community and with someone with Jewish Ancestry does that include me.”