The Israeli Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairs flew into London last week to enlist UK Government help to fight the BDS movement. Hand in hand with Israeli massacre and ethnic cleansing on the ground in Palestine, the Israeli Government fight against international solidarity with the Palestinian people involved the Minister making a sinister threat to BDS activists that we will “pay the price” for our actions, words intended to be taken as an incitement to violence.

Such threats have to be seen in the context of a top Israeli general, Yair Golan, comparing rising extremism in Israel to Nazi Germany in the 30s, and an ex-PM, Ehud Barak, admitting that Israel has been "infected by the seeds of fascism." (Barak lamented that “there are no serious leaders left in the world who believe the Israeli government”.)

adelsonScottish Zionists are being funded to vilify the Palestinian struggle for freedom and their paymasters' deep pockets are giving them audiences.

In the past Scottish Zionist leaders were forced to retreat from open smears against Palestine solidarity activists as ‘anti-semites’ who work to ‘demonise Jews’, but what a difference an Israeli Government anti-BDS budget of 100m shekels makes, supplemented by millions more from casino moguls and their friends.

In 2008, First Minister Alex Salmond was dishonestly presented as endorsing Zionist allegations of anti-semitism against Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign; when we brought the claims to the First Minister’s attention, the shamefaced pro-Israel element had to pulp 6,000 copies of a publicly funded book, Scotland’s Jews. Now, however, the same smears are backed broadcast and backed up with amounts of cash such that we cannot sue for defamation – we don’t have the resources for what all concerned know is a game only for the very rich.

The pro-Israel gang in Scotland as elsewhere are pretty much one trick ponies – all opposition to Israeli crimes is smeared as being driven by Jew-hatred, and the firmer our opposition to Israeli Apartheid, the more shrill are the incessant claims that the opposition is anti-semitic in nature. A counter-factual claim to be sure, but one that has been promoted by more than one Scottish Procurator Fiscal.

Those who support every Israeli massacre, apartheid policies, who drive on Jewish-only roads in Palestine, who cheer on the demolition of Palestinian homes, who accept the burning of farms and mass incarceration - the same individuals denounce all who oppose racism and demand human rights for Palestinians as driven by ‘hate’.

Sadly, supporters of Israeli crimes against humanity are now welcomed into the SNP conference, at the same time as human rights groups and campaigners are being frozen out by the new eye-watering fees charged to have a stall.

Let’s be clear; on one side stand supporters of an apartheid state that is committing regular massacres against the Palestinian people, and on the other are those campaigning to build support for the BDS call from Palestinian civil society. The Palestinian call has three stated aims:

  1. an end to a brutal military occupation (which even the UK Government considers illegal)
  2. the right of ethnically cleansed Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, villages and towns (a right enshrined in international law - and supported by the Church of Scotland)
  3. equal rights for Palestinian citizens of the State of Israel, who suffer massive discrimination in every area of life

The methods of one side include drones, snipers, torture, a medieval siege of Gaza, regular murder of unarmed demonstrators, spreading fire or sewage on farmers’ fields, spraying foetid liquid on communities in the night all to drive out the indigenous Palestinian people to make way for Zionist Jews from around the world. Supporters of these crimes have a budget of hundreds of millions of pounds.

On the other side of this international struggle, opposing the regional nuclear-armed superpower and the governments and corporations who support it, Palestinian civil society, inspired by the example of South Africa, launched a call to people of conscience world-wide to boycott and isolate the Israeli apartheid state until it ends its ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. The methods are entirely peaceful, and involve organising against injustice as many before us have done successfully - to end apartheid in South Africa, defeat genocidal US militarism in SE Asia, win votes for women, and end slavery.

The pro-Israel lobby claims it wants ‘peace’ but this mendacious claim is not only belied by every new Israeli Jewish-only settlement or demolition of a Palestinian home. Their vague talk of a two-state solution (where will this state be?) is a dishonest mantra behind which the dispossession of Palestinians in their homeland proceeds daily. Anyone who claims to believe this claim of ‘seeking peace while colonising Palestine’ is a fool or a knave.

Consider:

  • pro-Israel supporters of ‘peace in the Middle east’ and every Israeli massacre are able to meet with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to plead their case for criminalising BDS in Scotland, promoting trade with the Apartheid State such as the contract that installed military grade Israeli surveillance equipment in Glasgow City Centre…
    while
  • a human rights supporter has been charged with racism for uttering the traumatising words ‘Viva Palestina’ while passing a stall in Aberdeen selling cosmetics made from plundered Palestinian Dead Sea resources. Supporters of Palestinian rights were then prevented from attending his appearance in Aberdeen Sheriff Court, while Zionists were admitted. (In 2010, five other SPSC members discovered after almost two years of court appearances on ‘racially aggravated’ charges that their racism had consisted of saying aloud, ‘End the siege of Gaza, genocide in Gaza’.

We will not be broken by these and other attacks; we ask for your financial support, however modest, to carry on the fight for justice for the violated Palestinian people.

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Israel and Settler Society by Lorenzo Veracini

The struggle between Israel and the Palestinians is not unique -- whatever the news media may suggest. Lorenzo Veracini argues that the conflict is best understood in terms of colonialism. Like many other societies, Israel is a settler society. Looking in detail at the evolution of other colonial regimes -- apartheid South Africa, French Algeria and Australia -- Veracini presents a thoughtful interpretation of the dynamics of colonialism, offering a clear framework within which to understand the middle east crisis.

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