Artists urged not to boycott Israel
The 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 sole focus of the Irish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) was to intimidate Irish artists into not going to Israel.
He accused the group, who targeted 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 had been called a “Zionist pig” by a person protesting outside the Fine Gael Ardfheis who he had recognised from various 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.
“I say to others that they should not be intimidated. It encourages a continuation of this type of behaviour and intimidation,” he said.
Dervish pulled out of a concert tour of Israel citing an “avalanche of negativity” and “venom” directed towards them on social media outlets.
On the band's Facebook page, singer Cathy Jordan wrote: “In hindsight, it was very naive of me to think our motives would not be misunderstood and misrepresented.”
IPSC founder Dr Raymond Deane denied there was any intimidation of the band.
He said Mr Shatter's comments were the “type of psychological projection you always get from Israel's supporters.
"Intimidation and bullying is about the only tactics they (Israel) 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”.