Why does Ireland hate Israel?

  • JPost: Relations between Dublin and Jerusalem are not particularly good. Of all European Union member states, Ireland is probably one of the most critical/hostile toward Israel. And if this changes, it will probably do so only for the worse. Polls show that the adamantly anti-Israel Sinn Féin, currently in the opposition, is likely to increase its representation in the next parliament, boosting the chances of it being part of the government and determining Ireland’s foreign policy.

 Irish Foreign and Defence Minister Simon Coveney speaks during a joint press conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Tehran on February 14, 2022. (photo credit: STR/AFP via Getty Images)

(Irish Foreign and Defence Minister Simon Coveney speaks during a joint press conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Tehran on February 14, 2022)

Some see the roots of Ireland’s present-day anti-Israel antipathy in traditional Church antisemitism. Catholicism has been an integral part of Irish nationalist identity, and only in the 1960s did the Second Vatican Council formally absolve the Jews of culpability in the crucifixion and its accompanying theologian antisemitism.

OF COURSE, in today’s Ireland the Church has lost much of its previously held clout; referenda passed with large majorities enabling same-sex marriage (2015) and repealing the constitutional ban on abortion (2018). But European experience demonstrates that secularization doesn’t necessarily mean that antisemitism dissipates; this oldest of hatreds merely metamorphoses from a focus on deicide to its more modern manifestations.

A 2014 ADL survey of antisemitism in Ireland found that 52% of the population agreed with the statement that “Jews are more loyal to Israel than to this country,” 30% that “Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust,” 28% that “Jews have too much power in the business world,” 27% that “Jews think they are better than other people,” 25% that “Jews don’t care what happens to anyone but their own kind,” and 21% that “Jews have too much control over global affairs.” Read more

Opinion: I could make this the shortest opine in our history with 1 number:


  • 78.3% of Ireland is Catholic (Replacement Theology)
  • 2.6% of Ireland is Anglican (Covenant Theology)
  • 0.4% of Ireland is Presbyterian (Covenant Theology)

Let’s get some definitions:

REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY/ SUPERSESSIONISM: A system of theology that essentially teaches that the church has replaced Israel in God’s plan. Adherents of replacement theology believe the Jews are no longer God’s chosen people, and God does not have specific future plans for the nation of Israel.

Replacement Theology may be either Amillennial or Postmillennial. It is currently the most widely held belief in Catholic teaching as well as the World Council of Churches, the Presbyterian Church USA, the Methodist Church, the Lutheran Church (ELCA), the Episcopal Church and the United Church of Christ.

Covenant Theology defines two overriding covenants: the covenant of works (CW) and the covenant of grace (CG). A third covenant is sometimes mentioned, namely, the covenant of redemption (CR), which logically precedes the other two covenants.

Covenant Theology remains the majority teaching for Protestantism since the time of the Reformation, and it is the system governed by Reformed or Calvinistic teaching.

One more statistic: 7% of Ireland has no religious affiliation.

Therefore 81.3% + 7% = 88.3% of Ireland has little to no Biblical understanding of God’s plan for the redemption of the Jews. While the plan is somewhat different for Jews and Christians, both will come to salvation through belief in Jesus Christ and the pardon for sin that His blood provides.

Ireland’s anti-Semitism is not unique in the EU. Christian anti-Semitism in Europe is as old as the Church Age:

  • Replacement Theology: 2-5th century AD – God changed His mind and transferred the blessings of Abraham to the church
  • Blood Libel: 12th-14th centuries – Jews accused of using blood of Arab children to make matzoh
  • Spanish Inquisition: 15th century – Convert to Catholicism or die
  • Reformation: 16th-17th centuries – Protestant/Catholic churches continue Replacement Theology
  • Covenant Theology: 18th century – Protestant shift ‘the church is Israel’
  • Pogroms: 18-19th century Russia – government sanctioned murder of Jews
  • Nazism: 20th century “Final Solution” – 6 million Jews were murdered
  • EU Boycott Divest Sanction: 21st century against products made in Israeli settlements
  • US Democrat Party: 21st century House of Representatives condones anti-Semitic tropes against Israel

There is an alternative, much smaller theology (5-10%) that began in the 19th century Evangelical church just before the Jews started making their way back to the land. Dispensational Theology is based on a literal translation of the Bible, in the tradition of the Apostles.

Dispensational theology teaches that there are two distinct peoples of God: Israel and the Church. Dispensationalists believe that salvation has always been by faith—in God in the Old Testament and, specifically, in God the Son in the New Testament.

See our paper “Two Trains: Israel and the Church in Prophecy” HERE

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