After Post story, Irish politician apologizes for 'Jewish lobby' comment

“There is an effort to suppress any criticism, and any speaking out against the suppressive policies of Israel,” Collins said.

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August 11, 2019 19:46
1 minute read.
ireland

Flag of Ireland. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Niall Collins, the Foreign Affairs spokesperson for Ireland's leading opposition party, apologized last week week for intimating that Jews control America's conversation and squelch criticism of Israel.

According to a report in the Sunday Times, Collins – asked about the comment last week – replied: “If my comments caused offense, I regret this and sincerely apologise. It absolutely was not my intention to offend anybody.”

The Jerusalem Post reported two weeks ago the comments Collins made in an interview with a Pakistani-English news channel during a program dealing with what the program asserted was suppression of criticism of Israel.

“There is an effort to suppress any criticism, and any speaking out against the suppressive policies of Israel,” Collins said.

Collins added that that this was a “form of extremism” that has been emboldened because “the present Israeli government, and the policy of constantly building settlements and how they treat the Palestinian people, is being entirely, 100% supported by the American administration and the Trump administration.”

But, he said, “I wouldn’t entirely blame the Trump administration either in terms of when we’re apportioning blame to the United States, because right across corporate America and right across America, I think at every level there’s a huge Jewish lobby who have helped to create the problem we are now discussing.”

Israel Foreign Ministry spokesman Nizar Amer told the Post at the time that Collins’s “absurdly exaggerated understanding of Jewish influence is very disturbing.”

Collins was a key player earlier this year behind a bill that would criminalize selling goods or services from settlements or Jewish neighborhoods in east Jerusalem. That bill, which was opposed at the time by the Fine Gael party-led government, was passed by the Irish Senate but has not completed its passage through the lower house of parliament.


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