Spurn 'cultural fascism' over Israel, says Shatter

Wed, May 9, 2012, 01:00

MINISTER FOR Justice Alan Shatter has urged Irish artists not to give in to “cultural fascism” by signing up to a boycott of Israel.

Mr Shatter said the focus of the Irish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) was to intimidate Irish artists not to visit Israel.

He accused the group, who targeted traditional music group Dervish last week and forced the band to cancel their three-date tour of the country, of an “utter lack of respect for the constitutional rights of Irish citizens”.

Mr Shatter said he was called a “Zionist pig” by a protester outside the Fine Gael Ardfheis who he knew from anti-Israeli protests. “They are willing to talk to the Minister of Justice like that. I have broad shoulders, but to target a group of musicians like Dervish is totally unacceptable,” he added.

Dervish had pulled out of a tour of Israel, citing an “avalanche of negativity” and “venom” directed at them on social media outlets.

IPSC founder Dr Raymond Deane denied there was intimidation of the band. He said Mr Shatter’s views were the “type of psychological projection you always get from Israel’s supporters. Intimidation and bullying is about the only tactics they have because they don’t have truth or justice on their side. They like to pretend they are the victims when they are the victimisers.”