embassy aide sacked for criticising Gaza air strike
By Ed O'Loughlin in Dublin
July 27, 2002
Israel's embassy in Dublin said yesterday it is sacking a press
officer who wrote a letter to Irish newspapers condemning the Israeli
air force bombing of the Gaza strip this week.
In a letter published in yesterday's Irish Times Dr Noreen O'Carroll,
an Irish citizen employed by the embassy, wrote that "I am
sick at heart at this, as I am at each and every attack on Israeli
Fifteen Palestinians were killed and hundreds more injured when
an Israeli F-16 fighter bomber dropped a one-ton bomb to assassinate
the military chief of the extremist Hamas militia and his bodyguard.
Dr O'Carroll's letter said "a missile attack on an apartment
building, after midnight when children and adults are asleep in
their beds, is no more justifiable than a suicide bombing. I am
appalled and ashamed of the current Israeli government for sanctioning
this and other similar operations."
She added: "I am also appalled and ashamed of Prime Minister
Ariel Sharon's cold-hearted response to it, stating that it was
'one of our greatest successes'. Has he any heart, any moral sense
The letter concluded that "there is a huge divergence of opinion
within both the political establishment and civil society in Israel
about the policies of the current Israeli government. I want to
put it on record that such divergence of opinion also extends to
the 'local staff' of Israeli embassies."
In another version of the letter published in the rival Irish Examiner
Dr O'Carroll quoted the Jewish-Italian writer and Holocaust survivor
Primo Levi, who wrote that in such matters "silence is complicity".
The letters were signed by Dr O'Carroll in her capacity as "press
officer, Embassy of Israel, Dublin". Yesterday, the chargé
d'affaires in the Dublin embassy, Boaz Rodkin, said that Dr O'Carroll
had been suspended and further action would follow after consultations
with the Israeli foreign ministry "at the end of the
day she will not be able to come back to work", he said.
Mr Rodkin added: "Nobody in their right mind expects an organisation
to keep a press officer who speaks against it. It's extraordinary
what she did."