Israeli plaque removed after attacks http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-28766816
Belfast is a funny city.
I mean in 90% of Northern Ireland (and by extension, Ulster), the Orange Order organises reasonably decent commemorative events for Loyal men and women to commemorate the Battle of the Boyne (although there is some dispute over whether or not it was really a as decisive a victory as it has been claimed…but I digress). But in Belfast, with its hardened attitudes, parades are incredibly contentious issues.
So when nationalists sought to commemorate the sacrifice of the hunger-strikers recently, the loyalist community had no desire to allow such a march to pass unscathed. And so followed PSNI riot gear, armoured cars, fireworks, etc etc.
But what is most interesting about all of this is the fact that at these parades, non-traditional flags have started to be flown. At first it was the nationalists supporting Gaza and the Palestinians as they identified with the minority community being subjugated by the larger and more powerful Israeli state. But this in turn led to the Loyalist community marching with their own support flag, that of the Star of David, the national flag of Israel.
Now one must ask oneself, do Loyalists truly believe in the Right of Return, in the deep seated need to pray at the Wailing Wall, or the rights of the settlers in Kibbutzen? They probably don’t, but they do know that the Palestinians don’t like the Israelis and anything the Nationalists like, the Loyalists must hate in turn.
One wonders what they both think of regarding oxygen, food and water…..the dreaded compromise surely!
So with this new found pro-and-anti-Semitism sweeping Belfast, it comes as little surprise that the thugs (those who can read at least) have targeted any public support for the state of Israel, even any acknowledgement of its existence, however tenuous. Regrettably this has even come to include blue heritage disks denoting the birthplace of historical figures like the late Chaim Herzog, Israeli President, whose family was born at Cliftonpark Avenue, Belfast in 1918 and who emmigrated to Israel at a young age. Despite Herzog’s record of unfailing support for the state of Israel (right or wrong), surely a place-marker to a man long dead (and even longer departed from his birthplace) should remain above matters.