Israeli press officer fired after sounding off in Irish newspapers

DUBLIN: An Israeli press officer was fired last week after writing letters to several Irish dailies condemning Israel's recent F-16 attacks in the Gaza Strip.

DUBLIN: An Israeli press officer was fired last week after writing letters to several Irish dailies condemning Israel's recent F-16 attacks in the Gaza Strip.

"I am appalled and ashamed of the current Israeli government for sanctioning this and other similar operations, Noreen O'Caroll, an Irish citizen, wrote to The Irish Times. "I am also appalled and ashamed of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's cold-hearted response to it, stating that it was 'one of our greatest successes.' Has he any heart, any moral sense at all?"

Similar letters were published in other Irish newspapers, one of which quoted Jewish-Italian holocaust survivor and author Primo Levi's famous remark that "Silence is complicity."

In each letter, O'Caroll identified herself as "press officer, Embassy of Israel, Dublin. When asked why she used her official designation, she replied, "I am not a diplomat. I am an Irish citizen, doing an administrative job."

The attack in question was intended to kill the military leader of Hamas and his bodyguard. Though successful, the attack also took the lives of a dozen others, and injured hundreds. An Israeli F-16 dropped a one-ton bomb on the leader's apartment complex shortly after midnight.

"(A) missile attack on an apartment building, after midnight when children and adults are asleep in their beds, is no more justifiable than a suicide bombing, O'Caroll wrote.

According to The Guardian, an unidentified diplomat at the embassy said, "Nobody in their right minds expects an organization to keep a press officer who speaks against it."

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