May 6, 2013
The end of the friendship
By Kevin O'Neil

Well, I suppose that all friendships must come to an end sooner or later, Othello and Desdemona, Caesar and Brutus, but of this one I had nurtured higher hopes, mainly because both parties had so much in common and had mutually benefited from a very long association.

I'm speaking of the Irish and the Jews.

A few thoughts about the remarkable similarities between these two people by way, I suppose, of eulogy, or, more accurately, obituary.

Both have been remarkable for their love of freedom of thought, their intellectual boldness and their ability to "think outside the box" as we say nowadays. They are entrepreneurs, visionaries, dreamers, no ordinary people these. Unconventional, unpredictable, exciting people to be with, prone to dream of a better world and even to try and build it when they're given sufficient latitude. What a people! No wonder that a heavenly musical instrument is the chosen national symbol of the one, and a heavenly celestial body that of the other. Long live the Harp and the Star, and the ethos, the chutzpah, that lies behind them!

Neither have been exactly strangers to suffering and worldwide dispersion. Go where you will, you'll find the Kellys and the Cohens conducting business side by side, getting on very nicely together, thank you, carving out a little niche of civilization in the farthest corners of this benighted world, from Shanghai to Santiago. Sharing a love of life even when life is really too hard, singing as loudly when they're losing as when they're winning. Irrepressible, fiercely loyal to their race, totally, wonderfully biased and making no apology for it. Love them or hate them, they won't go away. Like Marciano said, "If you wanna beat me, you've gotta kill me." So with the Irish and the Jews. Like him also, they know how to punch and how to take a punch. Life for both is a celebration, a daily victory, the fighting Irish and the eternal Jew. With the face of a lion and a king, with a voice annealed by suffering, he just keeps getting up and beating the count. If ever the aliens decide to land, send in the Irish and the Jews and set up the drinks.

What a team! Ah, brave new world that hath such creatures in't!

And another thing: a mystery hangs about their beginnings, something strange and compelling; a western enigma and an eastern secret. The Nemedians and disappearing de Danaan of the Irish; the Hebrew Abraham, man "from the other side."

In the New World, we could expect such a people to make their mark, and so they did, inevitably, their derring-do and independence blazing a path for them wherever they chose to go. Men with Irish roots like Disney, John Ford, Eugene O'Neill, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. Jews such as Physicist Richard Feynman, Irving Berlin, military hero "Mickey" Marcus, Justice of the Supreme Court Louis Brandeis. Where there wasn't a path, they made one, simple! In politics, they have fought for the dignity of all men, from ploughmen to lawyers, valuing the individual as a person and never as a cog in a machine, recognizing that such a thing would be the ultimate blasphemy against the image of God in man. Catholic and Jew understand this in their bones.

Is it any wonder that these friends have stood together through long centuries? So alike, akin almost, in outlook and character.

Apart from one isolated incident in the early 20th century known as the Limerick Pogrom which was roundly condemned by most Irishmen, only one nation within the Old World can seriously lay claim to never having committed the crime of Jew-hatred otherwise known as anti-Semitism. The nation? Ireland, of course. The man? The Irishman! A thousand years of peaceful co-existence.

With what heavy hearts we read that Ireland is barring the doors of her academies of learning – those rooms where ideas are shared and developed, where the future is shaped – barring them to Jewish, yes Jewish, scholarship! Not some fruitless, backward hodge podge of ideas that have wrought devastation in far-off lands and are trying to gain admittance into the West. No. Jewish thought, the mind which was enabled to receive wisdom superior to anything else this world has produced, and continues to bear fruit like an apple tree in the midst of a heath which is beginning to look more blasted as the decades pass. The Jews will be bearing fruit until the end of this Age, whenever that may be, with or without any of us. We know of no people so favored.

To close oneself off to this! Incredible. Astounding. Short-sighted, self-destructive. Is there a word for the spoliation of the next generation? If there is, then it should be typed here and the generation that commits such a crime should be ashamed.

True it is that the Jew, the misunderstood Jew, will continue to be a people set apart, not counted among the nations, but the Jew will continue and will prosper with or without friends in this world. Neither things present nor things past nor things to come can prevent that.

But for the Irish there is no such guarantee, far from it.

The auguries do not look benign. Think of it, the Irish have been vulnerable to the free-thinking and the creativity of the mind which was uniquely shaped by the Bible, the very foundation of the Free World. We're talking about the courage and daring of original thinking, healthy morality always tempered with kindliness. We take for granted the freedom we have to be wrong, and to be excused, even forgiven when necessary, and to be allowed to learn by our mistakes without the fear that some dread penalty will be executed upon us for daring to think for ourselves. This is the Divine gift granted us via the Jews.

The Irish are sealing the next generation off from this influence and, instead, opening themselves and their children to the pall of Islam, descending as it always does, firstly over the schools and universities, suffocating free thought and forbidding all originality and inventiveness. It is no coincidence that the societies that live under this pall produce nothing for the good of humanity, nothing but grief, that is.

Before the encroaching darkness of Islam, all is fair and lovely, and above all, lively; behind it, all is sucked dry, riveted down and made immoveable in accordance with a book that has made a prison of every country where it has been harbored.

Do you seriously think that Ireland will be the one exception?

© Kevin O'Neil


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Kevin O'Neil

Born in 1951, married with 2 sons. Pastored a church for 20 years and is a self-employed landscape gardener and tree surgeon based in Surrey, south of London. Attends an evangelical church now and visits, fortnightly, an orthodox synagogue. Has three areas of particular interest: England, Israel and America.


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