5 August 2014

Campaigners have responded positively to the Scottish Government call for an immediate arms embargo against Israel and a UN led investigation into Israel’s war crimes. These moves were described by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) as a significant stance to take against Israel after more than 1,800 Palestinian women, men and children have been massacred in Gaza.

The news follows  the statement by the Scottish Government that it has not offered help to an Israeli state funded theatre company to find a new location for its show in Edinburgh which was cancelled following protests.

Claims by the Israeli government that the Scottish Government was assisting in the search for a venue for the Incubator Theatre company were rejected following news that another performance at the Edinburgh Fringe receiving funding from the Israeli government had been cancelled.

Albie O’Neill, spokesperson for the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, described the news as a hugely significant development. “The tide is turning. The decision by the Scottish Government to call for an immediate arms embargo and a UN led investigation into Israel’s war crimes is a massive step in the popular campaign to isolate Israel.

“The claim by the Israeli government that the Holyrood government was assisting them shows how low they are prepared to stoop in using culture to mask what they are doing in Gaza. To implicate the Scottish government is an outrageous act which demonstrates the depths to which they will sink.

“On behalf of the thousands who have protested over the last few weeks we ask Ministers to explain why they continue to oppose the Palestinian call for peaceful protest through boycott, divestment and sanctions against the state of Israel while developing trade and diplomatic links with the Israeli government. 

“The UK government can no longer count on the support of its own ministers over Gaza, and now the Scottish government has strengthened its stand against Israel in support of the people of Gaza.

“The state of Israel does not heed international law and so, more pressure is needed.  On behalf of the thousands who have protested over the last few weeks, we ask Ministers to explain why they continue to oppose the Palestinian civil society call for peaceful protest through boycott, divestment and sanctions – such as that being carried out by thousands of Scottish people - against the state of Israel while developing trade and diplomatic links with the Israeli government.”

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