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Dublin mayor barred by Israel entered country thanks to name confusion

Dublin Lord Mayor Micheál MacDonncha [Twitter]
Dublin Lord Mayor Micheál MacDonncha [Twitter]

Israeli authorities announced yesterday that Dublin Lord Mayor Micheál MacDonncha was barred from entering the country over his “ties to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement”.

MacDonncha, however, was already in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, having flow in through Tel Aviv airport.

Israel’s Interior Ministry later admitted that the mayor had entered Israel “due to a typo”.

According to reports, Israeli officials had mistaken the caption “Ardmhéara Micheál MacDonncha” as his full name. In fact, “Ardmheára” is Irish for Lord Mayor.

READ: Dublin City Council backs BDS, urges expulsion of Israeli ambassador

MacDonncha, who is in Ramallah for a conference, was singled out by Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry – which oversees the fight against the BDS campaign – for his apparent links with the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan said: “The policy I set is clear: He who works consistently to boycott Israel will not enter here.”

On Monday, Dublin City councillors backed two motions related to Palestine, one calling for the expulsion of Israel’s ambassador to Ireland, and another expressing support for BDS.

On Wednesday, Israel’s Interior Minister, Aryeh Deri, told reporters that “when the Dublin mayor leaves Israel, and in light of his anti-Israel activities, I have ordered him to be given a letter forbidding him from entering Israeli territory in the future.”

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