Thursday 2 December 2010

Ireland no longer blocks EU data sharing with Israel

Ireland blocks EU data sharing with Israel (JTA, July 8, 2010)

Ireland blocked a European Union plan to allow sharing of European citizens' personal data with Israel over concerns that Israeli officials could not be trusted with the information.

Irish Justice Minister Dermot Ahern on July 6 formally objected to the EU’s recognition of Israel’s data protection standards, which would have allowed the exchange of personal information, forcing a full debate of the proposal at a committee hearing. A spokesman for Ahern said the Irish government had the “gravest concern” that information supplied to Israel could be used to forge passports for use by intelligence agencies.

Ireland expelled an Israeli diplomat from Dublin last month as punishment for the alleged illegal use of forged Irish passports in the killing of Hamas arms dealer Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel in January. [...]"

According to JSS and Bruxelles2 the agreement has been ratified.  Jonathan-Simon Sellem of JSSNews writes (translation) :

"This information sharing agreement is essential for the international fight against terrorism. Indeed, the agreement should enable EU countries to receive information from a centralized source on terrorists monitored by Israel. When they visit Europe (if they do not live there), may therefore be a particular target for observation by the secret services of the country visited.

As for the opposition to the agreement by the Irish, many Israelis have questioned whether, in the end, Ireland was not somewhat afraid that a connection between Palestian Islamists and IRA terrorists would come to light.  Eventually, after a big circus to position itself at the forefront of the European anti-Israel pack, Ireland has decided to keep quiet and let the agreement go ahead. It was an astute media stunt as Ireland is now perceived as one of the best European friends in the Arab world. But let's face it, the reason why Ireland is so highly regarded in the Islamic world is to be found in its direct support  for Hamas and its government-funded flotillas which aim at financially support Mahmoud A-Zahar ..."

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