By an overwhelming vote of 42 to 11, the Dublin City Council decided to hoist the Palestinian flag above the city hall to show its support for a Palestinian state.
The vote was taken on Monday night and the flag raised up soon thereafter.
An appeal by Israeli Ambassador to Ireland Ze’ev Boker not to approve the proposal was brushed aside.
In a letter to council members before the vote, Boker noted that many Israelis who came to Ireland to work and have made their homes in the country would be offended.
“What sort of message does this vote send to them?” he asked rhetorically, and warned that such a move would be “highly politically charged.”
The Israeli community in Ireland now numbers close to 1,500, most of whom are employed in high tech.
An attempt at evenhandedness was rejected as well, in the form of a proposal by a Fine Gael party council member to fly both Israeli and Palestinian flags to recognize “the suffering of civilians on both sides.”
The flag-raising motion was sponsored by a councilman from the left-leaning People Before Profit party, and garnered support from Sinn Fein and other left-wing parties. The larger centrist Fine Gael and Fianna Fail party councilors opposed the motion.
Shocking as the decision may be, it is in keeping with Irish sentiment on the Mideast. Ireland was the first European country to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization and has traditionally been one of Israel’s harshest critics in the EU.
In 2014, the country gave the Palestinian delegation in Dublin diplomatic status.