Wire

Irish ambassador plants tree as symbol of strengthening ties with Israel

“Operation Swords of Iron” has created increased tensions between the two countries, and sparked anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian protests, alongside tough criticism from Irish politicians.

Irish Ambassador to Israel, Sonya McGuinness, plants a tree in the Ben Shemen Forest on Feb. 12, 2024. Credit: Yoav Lin, KKL-JNF Photo Archive.
Irish Ambassador to Israel, Sonya McGuinness, plants a tree in the Ben Shemen Forest on Feb. 12, 2024. Credit: Yoav Lin, KKL-JNF Photo Archive.

Sonya McGuinness, Ireland’s ambassador to Israel, planted a tree in the Ben Shemen Forest during a Keren Kayemet LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) ceremony as a symbol of strengthening ties between the two countries.

During the planting ceremony, the ambassador remarked: “We have all endured a difficult and traumatic period since Oct. 7, Israelis as well as us as guests of this country. This morning, we contemplate the fact land was here before us, and it will stay after we have gone. When we stand here together in peace, we are reminded that peace is what unites us, not what separates us.”

Israel’s “Operation Swords of Iron” has created increased tensions between Ireland and Israel, and sparked anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian protests in the European country, alongside tough criticism from Irish politicians.

Last week, players on the Irish women’s basketball team refused to shake hands with their Israeli counterparts before a match between the two sides. Anti-Israel protesters also rallied outside of the Library of Trinity College Dublin, temporarily closing down the building as they called for the Irish university to boycott the Jewish state.

Nonetheless, the ambassador took part in the traditional KKL-JNF ceremony on Feb. 12 with the aim of renewing ties between the two countries.

Orna Toeg, manager of the Scotland, Ireland and South Africa section for fundraising and external relations in KKL-JNF, said: “Together we planted a tree that symbolizes hope, growth, and a message of unity. We see before our eyes a future of solidarity and mutual responsibility. I welcome the ambassador and hope for fruitful cooperation in the future between KKL-JNF and our friend, Ireland.”

Ben Shemen Forest
Ben Shemen Forest, Israel. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.
About & contact The Publisher
Since its establishment in 1901, KKL-JNF has been developing the land of Israel, strengthening the bond between the Jewish people and its homeland. See more at: https://www.kkl-jnf.org/.
Releases published on the JNS Wire are communicated and paid for by third parties. Jewish News Syndicate, and any of its distribution partners, take zero responsibility for the accuracy of any content published in any press release. All the statements, opinions, figures in text or multimedia including photos or videos included in each release are presented solely by the sponsoring organization, and in no way reflect the views or recommendation of Jewish News Syndicate or any of its partners. If you believe any of the content in a release published on JNS Wire is offensive or abusive, please report a release.
Comments
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates