February 26, 2024

The Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has caused an international diplomatic crisis with just two short words, unleashing his tweet late on Saturday night in response to the release of nine-year-old Irish-Israeli citizen Emily Hand from Hamas terrorists. Varadkar’s use of the words “lost” and “found” to describe Emily’s release has sparked outrage among Israelis, with many feeling that the words do not accurately capture the severity of Emily’s ordeal. Despite Varadkar’s explanation that he was referencing a New Testament Bible verse, the Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen still summoned the Irish ambassador for a reprimand, accusing Varadkar of legitimizing and normalizing terror. Varadkar’s clarification of his remarks did little to alleviate the hurt caused to Israelis, and his comments have only added fuel to the fire in Israel. As a country that understands the impact of words, Varadkar should have been more careful with his language, especially on such an emotionally charged topic. His comments have further strained the already tense relationship between Ireland and Israel. Ultimately, Varadkar should apologize for his remarks and take greater responsibility for the impact of his words.