The future is orange, it would appear.
Ian Paisley launches Northern Ireland Friends of Israel
The marked its launch in Belfast last week with addresses from trade unionists, politicians and community leaders, including veteran unionist Rev. Ian Paisley.
Paisley, "the controversial firebrand preacher turned peacemaker," in NIFI's words, spoke of the similarities between the struggles of Israel and of Northern Ireland against terrorism, prayed for peace in Jerusalem and called for peace in the Middle East akin to the past few years of calm Northern Ireland has enjoyed due to power sharing between his Democratic Unionist Party and the Irish Republican Sinn Fein.
Paisley, who turns 83 on April 6, spoke at Great Hall Stormont on March 12, the seat of the Northern Ireland government, last Thursday. He is a British MP and a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly, and a former Northern Ireland cabinet member.
More than 200 people attended, including Northern Ireland government ministers, British MPs, and members of the Northern Ireland Assembly. Also in attendance were members of the Belfast Jewish community and representatives of Christian groups.
There has been a upswing in anti-Israel activity in Northern Ireland recently, according to attorney Steven Jaffe, the lead organizer of the launch, who represents Belfast on the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
March 20, 2009
Guess who launched Northern Ireland Friends of Israel? Yes, the good reverend himself, Ian Paisley. Here's the Jerusalem Post: