There are people who’ll tell you it’s impossible to ride two horses at once. They haven’t talked to Eamon Gilmore, obviously. Shortly before the Israeli killing of the leader of Hamas, I got a call from presstv (google them). They wanted to know what I thought of the Irish government’s decision to push for the boycott of goods from the Jewish settlement areas in the Middle East. So I did a bit of research on it and discovered that much of it revolved around a lengthy letter written by Eamon Gilmore to the chair of the south’s Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Pat Breen.
In it, Eamon manages to make much of the possibility that the south will use its period of Presidency of the EU Council to push other member states to mount this boycott. So far so good. Except then Eamon says, in effect, there’s no point in trying to do it, because many of the other states won’t join in.
See what he did there? Hopped one leg very nimbly onto a second horse. When I was asked on presstv what I thought of it, I made two points: (i) that Mr Gilmore and his Irish Labour Party colleagues have something of a reputation for getting agitated over injustice in other countries, the degree of their indignation often measured by its distance from Ireland and Ireland’s powerlessness to act; and (ii) that while it’d be nice to see Ireland lead the EU in a move to highlight some of the terrible deeds done by Israel to the Palestinian people, it wasn’t exactly good strategy to start by saying you didn’t expect to get anywhere.
I haven’t heard what Mr Gilmore has had to say about the recent killing of the Hamas leader and the brutal bombing raids by the Israelis in recent days. Thank God.