Israel sacks press officer
Monday July 29, 2002
The press officer of the Israeli embassy in Dublin has been sacked after she took the extraordinary step of writing letters to newspapers condemning the air strike on Gaza last week, which killed 15 people.
Noreen O'Carroll, an Irish citizen, wrote to the Irish Times in her official capacity, saying she was 'ashamed' of the Israeli government for launching the attack, which killed the leader of the military wing of Hamas.
In a separate letter to the Irish Examiner she quoted the writer and Holocaust survivor Primo Levi's remark:'silence is complicity.'
She told the Irish Times in an interview on Friday, the day the letter was published, that while she was revolted by suicide bombings she did not think state force should be used against civilians.
'Error is too benign a word to use in a context like this,' she said.
Asked why she had signed the letter with her job title, she said: 'I am not a diplomat, I am an Irish citizen, doing an administrative job. I don't think it would make the slightest bit of difference if I had signed it with my home address.'
In her letter to the Times she wrote: 'I am sick at heart at this, as I am at each and every attack on Israeli citizens.
'A missile attack on an apartment building, after midnight, when children and adults are asleep in their beds, is no more justifiable than a suicide bombing.
'I am also appalled and ashamed of prime minister Ariel Sharon's cold-hearted response to it, stating that it was 'one of our greatest successes.' Has he any heart, any moral sense at all?'
A diplomat at the embassy was quoted as saying: 'Nobody in their right minds expects an organisation to keep a press officer who speaks against it.'