March 9, 2011
Irish Cabinet swears in lone Jewish lawmaker
Ireland’s only Jewish member of parliament was appointed to the country’s Cabinet as the new government was sworn in.
Alan Shatter was sworn in Wednesday as justice minister in a coalition of his center-right Fine Gael Party and the liberal Labor Party. He represents Dublin South, where most of Ireland’s Jews live.
The appointment marks the culmination of 30 years in national politics for Shatter, during which he made a name for himself as a reformer of Ireland’s conservative family laws.
Shatter also is well known as a staunch supporter of Israel. While serving on the committee for foreign affairs during the monthlong Gaza war in 2008-09, he had highly charged confrontations with anti-Zionist historian Ilan Pappe and anti-Israel Sinn Fein representative Aengus O Snodaigh.
Shatter is the second Jewish Cabinet minister in Ireland’s history. Mervyn Taylor served in the 1990s.