The BBC aired a rather saccharine portrayal of Gerry Adams last night. The documentary featured Gerry pottering in his back garden and an interview with Tony Blair expressing his ‘friendship’ for Adams and recounting tales of Adams’ tree-hugging during peace negotiations.
More bizarre was an interview with Barbra Streisand who eulogised Adams to the rafters. A veritable hero, according to Ms Streisand.
This struck me as rather odd. After all Barbra is also rather fond of Israel and the Israeli state. Indeed on the State’s 30th anniversary she gave a performance in honour of it – beamed across Israel – and even sang the Israeli national anthem. A building is dedicated to her father at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and she visited Israel and met with Yitzak Shamir, the Israeli Prime Minister, when her film, Yentl, premièred in Israel in 1984.
Sinn Fein, on the other hand, has never made much of a secret of its abhorrence of the Israeli state. The IRA had a much vaunted ‘partnership’ with the PLO in the 1970s. The Party – of which Mr Adams is President – routinely refers to Israel as a “rogue state.” Adams has also upset the Israelis by meeting with Hamas and referring to Gaza as an open prison.
Not sure what Barbra would make of all that. Would Gerry still be her hero if she knew?