JERUSALEM (JTA) –The mayor of Dublin entered Israel despite instructions to border officials to keep him out of the country.
Mícheál Éamonn Mac Donncha, a member of the leftist Sinn Féin party, entered Israel through Ben Gurion Airport on Tuesday night and reported later that he had travelled to Ramallah.
Donncha is scheduled to attend a conference on the status of Jerusalem being held in Ramallah, at the invitation of the Palestinian Authority.
A day before Donncha left for Israel, the Dublin City Council passed a non-binding resolution to expel Israel’s ambassador to Ireland in response to the killing of Palestinians during the Gaza border demonstrations.
“The city of Dublin adopted a shameful and ridiculous resolution, in the hateful spirit of Hamas and similar organizations,” said a statement issued by Israel’s Foreign Ministry. “It is utterly unacceptable that the capital city of a country which is a member of the European Union adopts a resolution that is entirely a boycott, hateful and racist. We expect a scathing Irish condemnation of this despicable resolution.”
Last year, the Dublin City Council voted to fly the Palestinian flag above City Hall in a show of support for Palestinian statehood and considered a boycott companies doing business with Israel. Ireland is rumored to be ready to recognize a Palestinian state. It was the first European country to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization and has traditionally been one of Israel’s harshest critics in the European Union.
Donncha reportedly was able to enter Israel on Tuesday night, even though Interior Minister Aryeh Deri has instructed him to be turned away, because the Ministry of Strategic Affairs misspelled his name in the document it gave to border control. When his name was entered into the border control computer the order to detain him did not show up because of the misspelling.