Ynet reported just before Christmas that many of the Irish artists who signed a petition calling for a cultural boycott against Israel are on the Irish government’s payroll. The 34 artists in question make up one-fifth of all performers receiving public funding in Ireland. Basing itself on a confidential report compiled by Israel, Ynet reports that Irish organizations or individuals interested in sustaining cultural ties with Israel are subject to verbal attacks and letters of incitement, led by Irish musician Raymond Deane, also known as the “cultural boycott officer” of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC). Deane’s recent activities included a failed attempt to stop the Riverdance company from performing in Israel, and an attempt to cancel the Israeli Film Days festival organized by the Israeli Embassy in Ireland, which too was thwarted, this time due to the intervention of the Irish Foreign Ministry. The Arts Council of Ireland, which is funded by taxpayers’ money, has granted Deane more than $119,000 in the past five years in a bid to free him from the need to work for a living, so that he could devote his time and energy to the creation of music.

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