A three-letter acronym is treated with great reverence in Ireland: FDI.
Foreign direct investment is an absolute priority. For years, leaders have expressed a desire to make Ireland the best small country in the world to do business.
Such thinking at least partly explains why the Dublin government has not taken any concrete action in response to Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza.
Following an investigation by lawmaker Catherine Connolly, Ireland’s Department of Enterprise and Trade has admitted it recently issued 100 work permits to Israeli software engineers.
The permits were granted as part of an ‘intra-company transfer’. Under the arrangement, chipmaker Intel’s staff in Israel have taken jobs at the company’s Irish factory.
This important detail has not been reported – as far as I know – in the mainstream media.
That’s despite how Intel was in the news last month when it and a few other companies pulled out of the Web Summit, a major conference.
The companies were irritated by the way Paddy Cosgrave, the then CEO of the summit, had exposed Israel’s war crimes. Cosgrave resigned under pressure from the titans of technology.
Intel is headquartered in California and has major factories in both Israel and Ireland.
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, announced in June that Israel would spend $25 billion to develop a new factory in the country. According to Netanyahu, the deal was the largest investment ever in Israel.
Long before this announcement was made, Intel’s Israeli and Irish offices were known to be working together on numerous projects.
This collaboration is a taboo subject in Ireland. With few exceptions, politicians are reluctant to say or do anything that might displease big business.
The Irish governing coalition has not only refused to impose economic sanctions on Israel, but also rejected calls for other types of action. Last week, the government in Dublin voted against motions calling for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador and the formal referral of Israeli violence in Gaza to the International Criminal Court.
After these debates, Michel Martin, the Irish Foreign Minister, flew to Israel. The comments he made while posing for a photo with Eli Cohen, his Israeli counterpart, gave the impression that Israel was a victim rather than an aggressor.
Martin is far from the worst political representative in the European Union. Because he has pushed for a ceasefire, there is the impression that Ireland is critical of Israel.
In reality, all EU countries have supported Israel and allowed the country to sell a genocidal war as an act of self-defense.
Spain’s Ione Belarra was a rare voice among European governments in their efforts to bring Israel’s leaders to justice for their crimes.
Her willingness to open up may be a factor in how she was removed from her post as minister this week.
Another Spanish politician Josep Borrell is head of the EU’s foreign policy.
In an interview with Al Jazeera, he declined to judge whether Israel is committing war crimes, noting that he is not a lawyer. His lack of qualifications did not stop him from accusing Hamas of war crimes.
Perhaps unintentionally, Borrell underlined how the EU embraces the oppressor and blames the oppressed.
Although the EU feigns concern for the Palestinians, it has in fact been siding with Israel for decades. No one can doubt it any longer.