Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Ireland and the Lechi

And there are those who complain and criticise the attempt of Yair Stern to obtain German backing in 1941 for his war against the British Mandate regime in Palestine while Ireland was not much different in 1916:

The first paragraph of the Easter declaration was a political winner – until you started thinking about it. "In the name of God and of the dead generations from which she receives her old tradition of nationhood," it said. "Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag and strikes for her freedom." The problem lay in the expression "through us" – not because the Irish signatories doubted it, but because no one had elected them to stage this romantic, bloody and ultimately hopeless military operation against the British on behalf of the "sovereign independent state" which they had declared...The "killer" came in the second paragraph of the declaration

in which Thomas Clarke, Sean Mac Diarmada, PH [Padraig Henry] Pearse, James Connolly, Thomas MacDonagh, Eamonn Ceannt and Joseph Plunkett claimed that they were supported by Ireland's exiled children in America "and by gallant allies in Europe". This was a killer paragraph in every sense of the word. For the "gallant allies" were the Kaiser's armies, which were at that very moment slaughtering British soldiers in the titanic war in France and Flanders. While the British, along with 80,000 Irishmen in British uniform, fought the Germans who had invaded "little Catholic Belgium" in 1914, Pearse and his friends – and not all of his comrades were his friends – were fighting for little Catholic Ireland on the side of Britain's enemy.
If its creators had not declared for Germany, the British might have been able to brush the Rising aside as a violent but hot-headed local rebellion. But for a British government facing the German onslaught in 1916, this was an act of gross treachery, one that would inevitably provide Pearse with the blood sacrifice of which he spoke so admiringly. 


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