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In Ireland, there is widespread belief that Palestinians are living under an Israeli apartheid system, with many also viewing Israel’s actions as genocide. This sentiment is unique compared to other Western European countries, where sympathy for Palestinians is much lower. The historical experience of being Britain’s first colony has created deep empathy for Palestinians in Ireland, leading to a surge in pro-Palestinian actions since the conflict began. Protests in Ireland are diverse in terms of attendees, bringing together people from various backgrounds and professions.

One distinctive chant that emerged at pro-Palestinian demonstrations in Ireland targeted the annual St. Patrick’s Day meeting between the Irish prime minister and the American president in the Oval Office. The chant, “No shamrocks for Genocide Joe,” became a rallying cry at protests across the country, symbolizing the demand for a boycott of the White House visit. This chant was echoed in street murals, social media campaigns, and public rebukes of President Biden by notable figures like Bernadette Devlin McAliskey and Sally Rooney.

The focus of Irish ire extended beyond just demanding a boycott of the White House visit; President Biden himself became a target of criticism at protests and in the media. Critics, including Sally Rooney, pointed to his perceived role in the conflict in Gaza, labeling it as “Biden’s war.” In a symbolic gesture, a group of people in County Louth, where Biden’s great-grandfather was born, gathered at a graveyard to denounce the president for betraying his Irish roots. The level of agitation and pushback against President Biden in Ireland underscores the depth of feeling and solidarity with the Palestinian cause.

The sense of solidarity with Palestinians in Ireland has translated into a wide range of actions aimed at raising awareness and calling for an end to the conflict in Gaza. Protesters in Ireland have organized concerts, fundraisers, and demonstrations across the country, drawing participation from various sectors of society including trade unionists, athletes, journalists, politicians, healthcare workers, and members of the L.G.B.T.Q. community. The scale and diversity of these protests in Ireland highlight the widespread support for the Palestinian cause.

The unique historical context of Ireland’s colonial past has helped shape the strong empathy and support for Palestinians among the Irish population. This shared experience of overcoming British colonization has fostered a sense of solidarity with other oppressed groups, including Palestinians. The depth of feeling and engagement with the Palestinian cause in Ireland is evident in the widespread participation in protests and the adoption of symbolic gestures, such as the “No shamrocks for Genocide Joe” chant, to draw attention to the issue.

The wave of pro-Palestinian actions in Ireland reflects a broader trend of increased global awareness and activism in support of the Palestinian cause. The engagement of diverse groups in Ireland, ranging from ordinary citizens to public figures, demonstrates the depth of solidarity with Palestinians and the demand for an end to the violence in Gaza. The strong public reaction in Ireland, including public rebukes of President Biden and calls for a boycott of his White House visit, underscores the intensity of feeling and the commitment to standing in solidarity with Palestinians in their struggle for justice and peace.

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