Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Land of 5 billion welcomes

National Review's Michael Rubin (previously seen in the Irish context taking on Mary Robinson) thinks he has a devastating retort to Ireland's rhetorical activism on behalf of the Gaza flotilla and in particular the Rachel Corrie ship which is still en route to Gaza --

Ireland cooperates with the Schengen Agreement, signed in 1985, which has since expanded to create a common European area with stringent visa controls at its collective borders. But if the Irish government in its postmodern wisdom believes that its own arbitrary notions of social justice trump border policing, customs, and inspections, perhaps it’s time that Ireland stopped policing its own frontiers. No more passport control or customs checks at the Dublin airport, or at coastal ports. After all, Ireland faces only a flood of economic migrants from the developing world, certainly no existential threat.

Ireland is not a Schengen country. Nor is the UK, with which the country has a Common Passport Area. So just on the facts, he's wrong.

But even the broader analogy is ludricrous. There's nothing in the Gaza-bound cargo that would be denied admission to Ireland (in fact, the Rachel Corrie cargo was inspected in Ireland before it left). And as for "border policing, customs, and inspections", the Gaza flotilla was not at any border, nor was it subject to police or customs inspection.

But most of all, isn't a tad disproportionate, shall we say, to claim that any country which criticizes the Israeli raid on the flotilla should prove its bona fides by dismantling all its border controls?

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