Ireland Basketball Team Not Shaking Hands With Israel Team Does Nothing to Quell Antisemitism Accusations

by Mary Chastain at

Ireland’s women’s basketball team refused to shake hands with Israel’s women’s basketball team at their EuroBasket 2025 qualifier game.

Israeli player Dor Saar said in an interview on Tuesday, “It’s known that they are quite anti-Semitic, and it’s no secret; maybe that’s why a strong game is expected.”

Team Ireland chose not to shake Israeli hands.

No one should be shocked by Saar’s comments. No one should be shocked by Ireland’s behavior, but not for the reason most people think.

Is Saar wrong? Maybe about the players, but definitely not about Ireland.

Weeks before the game, Team Ireland tried to escape it, claiming “safety” reasons.

Five players chose not to play. Coach James Weldon didn’t disclose which players “made it a personal choice” not to play Israel.

Even the author of The Irish Times piece made some comments that would raise eyebrows:

The other side of the story, of course, is that Israel is using the game as propaganda. Members of the Israeli Defence Force have visited with Ireland’s opponents in the build-up to the game and photos of soldiers standing on the hardcourt in fatigues with assault weapons strapped to them have been circulated widely. This is not the biggest fixture in world sport, but it’s not a small thing either.

They’re at WAR, dude. They’re showing support for Israeli teams because places the war pushed Ireland’s antisemitism through the seams so the whole world could see it.

Yes. Ireland is one of the most antisemitic nations we’ve seen since Hamas invaded and massacred thousands of Israelis.