A protest against Israeli attacks on Gaza outside Irish government buildings in Dublin this eve was attended by some 1,000 people.
After the speeches, the protesters chanted slogans in English, anti-Israel, anti-Bush. An impromptu address in Arabic echoed over the crowd, a muslim gentleman, chanted through a loud-speaker, it could have been a prayer for all I knew, an angry mood caught and spread. From the crush of foreign looking gents, the foreign sounding shouts rose.
Eyes were buzzing over a huddle of men, a crude rendition of the Israeli flag whooped up into the frigid January air - a man with a zippo studiously held a corner to its flame, an arm in the crush, squirted lighter fluid - whoop.
The emblem of Israel was gone in seconds, only tendrils of blackend ash remained.
The crush was broken by an Irish bear of a man, lank white hair and a worried air, an organiser? but it was too late, the photo op had come and gone.
The UK's Channel 4 have stirred up some controversy this holiday season by broadcasting a Christmas message from Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad within hours of the Queen’s annual Christmas address.