Netanyahu posts criticism of 'Ireland's traditional stance' on Facebook after Coveney meeting

Coveney said it was a good “straight talking meeting”.

ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER Benjamin Netanyahu has posted a message to Facebook expressing criticism of Ireland’s position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The message, posted after a meeting between Netanyahu and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney, stands in stark contrast to a more diplomatic tweet from the Irish minister.

Coveney arrived in Israel today to begin a three-day visit to the Middle East – his first visit to the region since his appointment last month as Minister for Foreign Affairs.

He’s visiting Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the West Bank city of Ramallah as part of the trip.

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met this afternoon in Jerusalem with Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney,” the post from Netanyahu’s official account said.

“The meeting dealt mainly with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed his dissatisfaction over Ireland’s traditional stance and told the Foreign Minister that his country does not condemn Palestinians for incitement and for glorifying those who commit terrorist attacks.

The Prime Minister also asked him why Ireland helps NGOs that call for the destruction of Israel and noted that many European countries are overlooking the core problem of the conflict – the Palestinian refusal to recognize the state of the Jews.

In his Tweet Coveney said:

Good straight talking meeting with PM @netanyahu today, raised concerns firmly and listened to Israeli perspectives.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Coveney is also set to visit the Yad Vashem memorial today, where he will pay his respects to the victims of the Holocaust.

He will also pay a courtesy call on Israel’s President, Reuben Rivlin.

He is also due to meet with the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah. Meetings with the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Riad Malki, are scheduled for Thursday.

He’ll also meet with UN officials and Irish and Israeli NGOs who receive Irish aid funding.

Speaking after the meeting, Coveney said in a statement:

I had a constructive and frank discussion with the Prime Minister.

“Of course, we have clear differences on some issues, but these differences are honestly held and openly expressed.

“Our discussions touched on a range of issues, including settlements, the humanitarian and political situation in Gaza, and more broadly, the prospects for the resumption of meaningful negotiations in the Middle East Peace Process.

We also discussed bilateral issues, including the health and growing trade between Ireland and Israel, and regional political issues.

Ireland’s stance

Four of Ireland’s county councils have expressed their solidarity with Palestine in recent months, by voting to fly the Palestinian flags above their council buildings.

Last night, a motion was passed by South Dublin County Council to fly the Palestinian flag above County Hall for a month. Dublin City Council, Galway County Council and Sligo County Council also recently passed a motion to fly the Palestinian flag from their council buildings.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has been contacted by for a response to the Israeli Prime Minister’s Facebook statement.

Read: Dublin City Council to fly Palestinian flag above City Hall for a month as “gesture of solidarity”

More: South Dublin County Council to fly Palestinian flag for a month as “message of solidarity”

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