However, the performance of Dermot Ahern, on Claire Byrne Live on RTÉ on Monday night, suggests that this is not always the case.
During a discussion on the Paris attacks, he spoke of “the destabilising of the entire region, because of the Israeli-Palestinian issue, and that has been the source of all the problems in that part of the world”.
So, we are to believe that, whether it’s the massacres of Yazidis by Islamic State militants, or the tensions between Shias and Sunnis, none of it would be happening were it not for the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians.
Of course, it’s an absurd position to take, since these problems long predate the foundation of the State of Israel.
However, it is worrying that such a senior figure holds such views and the question arises whether such irrational opinions were presented internationally as official state policy.