Israel’s ambassador to Dublin concerned Ireland’s recognition of Palestinian state could harm tech ties

Israel’s ambassador to Dublin warns that a crisis in bilateral ties over Ireland’s plan to recognize a Palestinian state sends the wrong message about Ireland as a tech hub and is worrying Israeli investors in the Irish IT services sector.

Speaking in Jerusalem, where she has held Foreign Ministry consultations after being recalled in protest, Ambassador Dana Erlich voices hope of returning to Ireland, although she says she sees its government as siding with the Palestinians against Israel. She says, however, that many Irish people sympathize with Israel “behind the scenes.”

“I think there is a lot of potential in our bilateral relations, if it’s cybersecurity or health care, climate change. I hope to be given that opportunity to continue that,” Erlich says.

But she says a public mood of hostility, which some Jews have deemed antisemitic, is making Israelis question their place in Ireland – a threat to tech services that account for the lion’s share of some $5 billion in annual trade between the countries.

“We are getting more and more phone calls and conversations of concerned people – if it’s Israelis who invest in Ireland and are concerned about their investment, if it’s Israelis who have relocated to Ireland into different tech companies and either are requesting to be relocated somewhere else or asking to return to Israel,” Erlich says.

“I think it sends the wrong message about the location and the centrality of Ireland as a tech hub when there are more and more people who are concerned about moving to Ireland. I don’t think that this is the message that Ireland wants to send to the world… And this is not what we want to see.”

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