This motion was moved by SPSC member Eurig Scandrett, a Scottish Green Party Parliamentary candidate in the May elections, and was voted overwhelmingly following debate. Scottish Green Party policy now acknowledges the 

  • settler-colonial nature of the Zionist project in Israel/Palestine
  • Israeli state-directed racism - Apartheid - and oppression of the Palestinian people
  • racist nature of the Zionist concept of Israel as a 'Jewish State'
  • historic and continuing reistance of the Palestinian people to their dispossession
  • role of Great Britain in the genesis and maintenance of the crisis in Israel/Palestine

The fast-growing party now suppports

  • equal political rights for all regardless of religion or ethnicity
  • the Palestinian call for BDS
  • the call for action against the racist JNF (Jewish National Fund), a pillar of Israeli Apartheid whose UK Patrons include Tony Blair and Gordon Brown
  • the Scottish Government call for an arms embargo on Israel

The motion passed at conference reframes Scottish Green Party policy on Palestine in a way that makes political sense - that of a settler colonial project driven by a racist ideology.

According to Eurig Scandrett:

The motion passed at conference reframes Scottish Green Party policy on Palestine in a way that makes political sense - that of a settler colonial project driven by a racist ideology.

The Party had a lot of good policy on Palestine from past conferences - for BDS, against the JNF etc - but in order to make political sense it needed to be better framed. Susan Moffat and I worked with the International Committee from February, debates with members online added some new issues and the motion came to conference where an attempt to refer the motion back for further discussion failed and the motion was passed.

It is worth reading in full and using as a yardstick against which to measure the policies of all other parties and their candidates in the elections to the  Holyrood Parliament in May.

Palestine and Israel

Preamble:
The current policy on Israel and Palestine is fragmented and dated, having being added to incrementally over the years. Current policy also underplays the unequal and colonial nature of Israel's occupation of Palestine. This revision recognises this, as well as the systematic infringements of international law perpetrated by Israel and the racist ideology of modern day Zionism.

This new policy provides a coherent and consistent approach which updates current policy, and brings it more in line with Green principles and current thinking of Palestinian and solidarity activists.

Motion:

11.4.4 Palestine and Israel: Context and Origins
RefugeesOnTheMove 10 30 1948 JalilThe Scottish Green Party recognises that historically the Palestinian peoples have enjoyed peaceful religious and ethnic cohabitation alongside political domination, sometimes justified by religious motivation. In modern times, they have witnessed colonial occupation by Ottoman, British, Jordanian, Egyptian and Zionist/ Israeli powers.

The current occupation originates in the nationalist ideology of Zionism, which advocated that Jews should establish a new nation specifically for Jewish people rather than be citizens of the countries where they lived and where they were often persecuted. The first Zionist Congress (1897) agreed that the Zionist goal of a Jewish homeland was to be attained by the 'colonisation of Palestine by Jewish agriculture and industrial workers' This started in the 19th century under the Ottomans, was encouraged under the British Mandate of 1922-1947 and escalated with the birth of the state of Israel in 1948 by military conquest. The latter was accompanied by the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinian people, 80% of the population of what became Israel (the Nakba, or 'catastrophe').

Colonisation and ethnic cleansing has continued: e.g. through war, military occupation, land confiscation, house demolition, control of water supplies, environmental degradation, building of settlements, the separation wall, the Gaza blockade and the collective punishment of communities, bombing of civilian populations etc. Much has been aided or tolerated by Western Governments and also infringes international law: the ongoing military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza infringes UN resolutions 242 & 338; the building of settlements in occupied territories contravenes the Fourth Geneva Convention; refusing the right to return for refugees infringes UN resolution 194. The 'separation wall' was declared illegal in an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice (2004), which stated that all States are under an obligation to ensure that Israel complies with international humanitarian law

Resistance has taken the shape of peaceful protest, civil disobedience, non-violent resistance and on occasion armed uprising. In 2005, a broad alliance of Palestinian society (within and beyond Palestine) called on the world community to act in solidarity through nonviolent tactics of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).

Since its establishment, Israel has been a safe home for many Jews who survived the Nazi holocaust and for others escaping anti-Semitism. However, modern day Zionism, which advocates that Jewish people have a superior right to the land of Palestine, is a racist ideology. Israel's claim to be a Jewish and democratic state, the home of all Jews in which non-Jews have inferior rights, constitutes apartheid and is unacceptable. It is not supported by the Scottish Green Party.

11.4.5 Palestine and Israel: Objectives
The Scottish Green Party will work towards: the recognition of a Palestinian state as a step towards full self determination for the Palestinian peoples; enforcement of UN Security Council Resolutions 242, 338 and 146 and General Assembly Resolution 194; repeal of Israel's law of return (Aliyah); a two-way arms embargo on Israel and a transitional process of reconstruction and development which respects the principles of self determination, egalitarian participation, redistribution and sustainable development to be overseen by an international body, empowered to work with all stakeholders. This would be funded from the international community, in particular the UK which bears considerable responsibility for the causes of the problem.

11.4.6 Palestine and Israel: Policies

11.4.6.1 Recognition of a Palestinian state

11.4.6.1.1 The Scottish Green Party believes that all peoples living in historic Palestine, whether their current status is Israeli or Palestinian; Jews, Muslims or Christians and those of all ethnic or religious backgrounds and identities, should have and be able to exercise full human and civil rights throughout the lands currently designated as Israel and the occupied territories.

11.4.6.1.2 We support the recognition of a Palestinian state, affording full rights and duties under the United Nations, the International Court of Justice and international treaties, as a step towards fairly and freely agreed self-determination for all peoples of historic Palestine. We view that self-determination can only be made by all the people who live in or have a legitimate stake in the future of Palestine, with equal rights and egalitarian representation, including the residents of the current West Bank, Gaza, Israel, and refugees.

11.4.6.1.3 On fulfilment of its obligations under international law, we would support efforts at equal negotiations between the Israeli government and representatives of Palestinian people, to negotiate a future for the lands of historic Palestine and its peoples.

11.4.6.2 International Treaty obligations

11.4.6.2.1 Israel is in violation of over 60 UN resolutions and its occupation policies violate several articles of the Fourth Geneva Convention and a range of international human rights and humanitarian laws;

11.4.6.2.2.The Scottish Green Party calls for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 which calls on Israel to cease all military activities against Palestinian civilian populations and to withdraw to recognised pre-1967 borders as a precursor to any negotiations towards a final settlement;

11.4.6.2.3 We call for the right of return of Palestinian refugees to be implemented as required by UN General Assembly Resolution 194;

11.4.6.2.4 We note the opinion of the International Court of Justice (9th July 2004), stating that 'the construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and its associated regime are contrary to international law. This also notes that all States are under an obligation not to recognise the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by such construction and that all parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention …have in addition the obligation, while respecting the United Nations Charter and international law, to ensure compliance by Israel with international humanitarian law as embodied in that Convention'. This wall constitutes the most visible implementation of the segregation of Palestinians into controlled areas, which constitutes a policy of Apartheid. We call for destruction of this wall and for compensation to be paid to those affected by its construction and call on state parties to the Geneva Convention to comply with these calls.

11.4.6.2.5 We call for Israel to be subject to the Fourth Geneva Conventions (and UN Security Council Resolution 446) concerning the rights of individuals and communities, to cease building and to withdraw from all existing settlements beyond the 1967 borders of Israel; In Resolution 446, the Security Council determined: 'that the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity and constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East'

11.4.6.2.6 We call on the United Nations and the EU to implement international sanctions against states which refuse to comply with the calls above and also call on the United States Government to halt its military and financial support to Israel unless it enters the dialogue called for above.

11.4.6.3 Jewish State

11.4.6.3.1. The Scottish Green Party condemns Israel's claim to be 'the Jewish State' and the giving of preferential rights to Jews over Palestinians;

11.4.6.3.2 We cBonnyton2011 3ondemn the Jewish National Fund/Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael for activities in excluding non-Jews from Israeli land and denounce the organisation for claiming to be an 'ecological agency'. We endorse the international call for action against the JNF / KKL and support efforts to revoke the charitable status of its Scottish and UK organisations,

11.4.6.3.3 We call on Israel to repeal its 'law of return' as this is incompatible with the full exercise of human rights and is discriminatory. We call on Israel to allow Palestinians and their families to exercise their right to return to their former homes and be offered full Israeli citizenship, or to compensate and afford full citizenship rights to those unable or unwilling to return to their homes and/or property.

11.4.6.3.4 We condemn Zionism as a racist ideology based on Jewish supremacy in Palestine, as well as the related ideology of Christian Zionism. We oppose Green Zionism, the ideology of Green parties in Israel, which is an attempt to fuse Green values with Zionism.

11.4.6.4 Security and de-militarisation

11.4.6.4.1 We condemn the use of military force by Israel against Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and neighbouring countries and Israel and call for a complete two-way arms embargo on Israel. We condemn companies and public bodies in Scotland that participate in the arms trade with Israel and call on them to terminate all such contracts;

11.4.6.4.2 We call for the removal of Hamas from the designation as a terrorist organization, and seek to work with all parties who can contribute to the end of the occupation of Palestine by non-military means;

11.4.6.4.3 We call on the unconditional release of all Palestinian political prisoners from Israeli jails and an end to the arbitrary detention and interrogation of children by the Israeli military;

11.4.6.4.4 We call on all senior political and military personnel who have been named in the execution of war crimes and crimes against humanity, to be pursued and to stand trial in the International Criminal Court;

11.4.6.5 Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions

11.4.6.5.1 The Scottish Green Party will support the Palestinians' call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, including a boycott of Israeli goods and services and an academic and cultural boycott, until Israel fulfils its obligations under international law by:

Withdrawing to pre-1967 borders: withdrawing from East Jerusalem, Golan Heights and other lands seized in 1967; withdrawing from and depopulating Israeli colonies in the West Bank; dismantling the separation wall; ending the siege of Gaza;

Granting the right of refugees from 1948, 1967 and all other expulsions, and their descendants, to return to their homes as required by UN resolution 194;

Affording equal rights to all citizens within Israel, irrespective of religion or ethnicity, and especially granting full rights to Palestinian citizens of Israel.

11.4.6.5.2 We will campaign for and support divestment by Local Authorities, other institutions of government (including the Local Government Pension Scheme) and civil society organisations from Israel, Israeli companies and companies supporting the Israeli government's illegal occupation of Palestine.

11.4.6.5.3 We support the Palestinian nonviolent struggle for resistance to the colonisation of their lands, resources and peoples by Israel and by Zionist settlers.

11.4.6.5.4 The Scottish Green Party will press for EU legislation to prohibit the import into the EU of products from Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

11.4.6.5.5 The Scottish Green Party will seek to work with solidarity groups within Scotland and political parties and civil society organisations within Palestine and amongst the Palestinian diaspora who share our objectives.

11.4.7 Post Apartheid Palestine

11.4.7.1 The Scottish Green Party is aware of the risks facing newly liberated countries, noting that hard-won self determination can be lost by the influx of multinational corporations; by local oligarchs or by populist and unaccountable rulers. Palestine will be at risk of all of these, including multinational corporations who have been profiting from the apartheid system; Palestinian business owners who have a significant investment in occupied Palestine and a political elite that has formed through the institutions of the Palestinian Authority and political parties. Due to the enforced distorted investment and under-development in Palestine, a transitional process of reconstruction and development will be needed in order to build the capacity of Palestine, which respects the principles of self determination, egalitarian participation, redistribution and sustainable development.

11.4.7.2 We believe that an international body should be empowered to work with all stakeholders to oversee such a transitional reconstruction and sustainable development plan, with funding from the international community.

11.4.7.3 We believe that the UK, which bears considerable responsibility for the cause of the problem, should be a significant contributor to this."

 

See also:
Scottish Daily Record: Scottish Green Party calls for economic boycott of 'racist apartheid' state of Israel
Herald: Motion calls for economic boycott of 'racist apartheid' state of Israel

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