Despite ban, pro-BDS Dublin mayor enters Israel after name gaffe

Dublin Mayor Mícheál Mac Donncha arrived in Ramallah despite a ban issued by Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, after the Immigration Authority received his name misspelled.

Dublin Mayor Mícheál Mac Donncha (photo credit: @LORDMAYOROFDUBLIN/TWITTER)
Dublin Mayor Mícheál Mac Donncha
Despite Interior Minister Arye Deri banning Dublin Mayor Mícheál Mac Donncha from entry to Israel due to the his long-standing activism in the BDS movement, on Tuesday night the Irishman tweeted, “I am in Ramallah,” after entering via Israel.
Donncha is a member of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which supports boycotts of Israel in nearly every possible area – from the diamond industry to agricultural produce. The organization provides its supporters with a guide to identifying products from the Jewish state, and calls on them not only to avoid purchasing these products, but also to act for their removal from the shelves in Ireland.
The organization also calls for the boycott of Israeli companies and of international companies that operate in Israel, and is working with Irish officials to stop arms trade with and impose an arms embargo on Israel. The Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign also encourages a cultural boycott against Israel.
In addition, Donncha is making efforts on the national level in Ireland to denounce Israel, and is working to expel the Israeli ambassador.
As a result of Donncha’s actions, Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry, the body responsible for formulating recommendations to the Interior Ministry (which is in charge of the Immigration Authority), recommended that he be denied entry into Israel in order to participate in a Palestinian solidarity conference in Ramallah and to protest against the killing of a Gazan in the violent incidents by the border fence.
However, despite the order from the interior minister, Donncha entered Israel. He tweeted in response to the announcement that his entry was banned: “I can confirm I am in Ramallah and preparing for tomorrow’s conference.”
The Immigration Authority explained that it had indeed received a warning about Donncha’s expected arrival, but the name that was given to it by the Strategic Affairs Ministry was misspelled, so when the mayor arrived, the ban was not enforced.
The Strategic Affairs Ministry responded to the Immigration Authority’s assertion on Wednesday, saying that Donncha’s name was transferred in full as it appears on the Dublin Municipality’s official website.
A senior Strategic Affairs Ministry official said the Interior Ministry is trying to deflect the blame for the mishap.
On Monday night, the Dublin City Council, led by Donncha, voted to adopt a tough resolution that supports the application of BDS principles against Hewlett-Packard.
In December, Donncha was a speaker at a demonstration organized by the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign in front of the US Embassy in Dublin following President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.