SPSC Statement, 18 November 2015

Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign is appalled at the depth of inhumanity(1) of the ISIS killers who callously slaughtered 128 and critically injured 100 innocents in Paris. Citizens enjoying a Friday evening's entertainment are now needless victims to barbarised killers driven by their own agenda and thirst for power.

We distinguish, however, genuine humanitarianism from the current falsified and dangerous, highly selective compassion that refuses to oppose all terrorism, all murder and violation of all innocents. We should allow no exceptions. There can be no real progress until we grieve not only for the dead in Paris but the dead in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Palestine and Syria. One example from countless others was the 1,200 individuals "callously" killed in Gaza last summer by the Israeli military (2) armed and financed by the governments of the US, Britain and France(3).

Those driving war after war in the Middle East are endangering all of us due to policies pursued in the past by our governments. The result is that the brutal, unending war Bush and Blair unleashed on the peoples of the Middle East has come yet again to the streets of Paris(4). It is not unreasonable to visualise links between foreign invasion and domestic terrorism and that Britain may face similar acts of extremist violence here unless we stop bombing and occupying other countries(5), stimulating reactionary attacks instead of finding humanitarian solutions.

It is inevitable that the UK government will use the events of Paris and the resulting climate of fear to further erode our rights and increase surveillance. Intensifying surveillance and monitoring will not, however, protect ordinary citizens from suicide bombers(6). It will also be used to reinforce Cameron’s plan to criminalise peaceful BDS campaigning against Israel’s violation of the Palestinian people, a plan explicitly aimed at strengthening ties between the UK Government, the arms industry and the Apartheid regime controlling Israel/Palestine(7). The French judiciary have taken France even further along that anti-democratic road of criminalising peaceful protests.

Peace will be impossible on the Northern shores of the Mediterranean – and beyond - as long as British and French forces bomb the Southern and Eastern shores – and beyond. We also cannot forget that NATO members support Israel in its ethnic cleansing and periodic massacres of Palestinians, and the state terrorism of the Saudi and Egyptian regimes, and the exploitation of oil from the region.

We have a choice; we can join with the governments that have brought us to this perilous situation(8), or we can fight for our own safety and our children’s future by supporting justice for all the victims of the aggression of our own governments, including the Palestinian people. To fight we need to understand and acknowledge the way in which these extremist groups were created, who armed and financed them, and acknowledge that murderous actions by our states and governments generated barbaric reactions and recognise the resulting problems for civilians all over the world.

It is a tribute to the humanity of the Palestinian people that they can distinguish between the crimes of Western governments and us, the people of these countries, and have appealed to us for solidarity(9) by supporting the growing international BDS campaign for BDS. SPSC will redouble efforts to build on the international BDS campaign and to send a message for justice to those under the bombs created by Israel, Britain, America & France.

Join us to make that message stronger.

 

NOTES:

1. The  Scottish Government Minister Humza Yousaf used similar language in condemning the Israeli “depth of inhumanity that we have witnessed over civilian deaths in Gaza”.  

2. Amnesty International, 5 November 2014. Israeli forces displayed ‘callous indifference’ in deadly attacks on family homes in Gaza

3. http://www.waronwant.org/stop-arming-israel

4. The head of MI5, Britain’s domestic intelligence agency, emphasised the link between foreign invasion and domestic terrorism.

5. The Intercept, 6 November 20914. Some of the countries bombed by the US since 1980

6. Washington Post, 12 January 2014. NSA phone record collection does little to prevent terrorist attacks, group says

7. The Herald, 3 October 2915. Councils to be banned from boycotting Israel and UK defence industry

8. Ignoring Einstein’s observation that “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

9. Available on the home page of www.bdsmovement.net

Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign unreservedly condemns the action of the London police in arresting two peaceful pro-Palestine demonstrators under anti-“terrorism” laws at a protest against Israeli atrocities outside the Israeli embassy on October 17th. This political intervention by the police was interference in a matter that is none of their business and we offer our full support to the two arrested in asserting their rights to free political expression, a right that is under attack to protect the State of Israel.

The right of demonstration organisers to urge marchers to follow previously agreed-upon decisions is obvious; the assertion by the London police of a presumed right to enforce what is politically acceptable on pro-Palestine demonstrations is a threat to all our freedom of speech and public association.

Movements in Britain in support of colonial freedom have always been met with repression and there is no reason to expect the freedom struggle of the Palestinian people to be an exception. We call upon all groups committed to solidarity with the Palestinian people to recognise that “an injury to one is an injury to all” and to extend full political and practical support to the two arrested campaigners.

No one should be left isolated in the face of state attacks on their rights to freedom of speech and association; allowing a relatively small group of campaigners for Palestinian rights to be isolated and attacked would be both short-sighted and dangerous; it would only encourage police and prosecutors to widen the scope of their activities, especially in the current atmosphere of Government plans to reprise Thatcher-era legislation to criminalise elected local councils and other bodies who politically support the Palestinian call for boycott of the Apartheid State of Israel.

By supporting those arrested on October 17th and others whose fundamental freedoms are violated we are defending our own rights to campaign against the dispossession of the Palestinian people by the settler-colonial State of Israel.

Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign
5 November, 2015

"Selective condemnation of ‘terrorism’ has got us to this dangerous state; a trial for terrorism with Al Qaeda, Tony Blair and Netanyahu in the same dock would make the world a much safer place - for everyone."

Terrorists have attacked and killed twelve people at the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris. The killing of unarmed civilians by state or non-state actors is a crime and the attackers are to be condemned unreservedly.  Armed opposition to military invasion and occupation is an inalienable right; killing those who criticise or even verbally demean opponents is an attack on our collective rights.

The notion that Islam is responsible for the action of these terrorists is as reasonable as the idea that Bush and Blair’s Christianity is responsible for the invasion of Iraq or that Judaism is responsible for the bombing of Gaza.

It is likely that this act is linked to groupings like Al Qaeda which were initially backed by the US, and who have grown as a response to the Western invasions and devastation of the Middle East, with support from fractions of the ruling family in Saudi Arabia. The massacre of a dozen defenceless people in Paris has roots in the US-led invasion of Iraq that has killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, the invasion of Afghanistan that killed many tens of thousands, the NATO attack on Libya that stimulated the civil war there, and the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine that is backed by the main western powers. 

To make the world safe from terrorism it is essential to condemn all terrorism against innocent civilians, including that carried out by our own governments, NATO bengurionand brutal allies such as Israel. 

Selective condemnation of ‘terrorism’ has got us to this dangerous state; a trial for terrorism with Al Qaeda, Tony Blair and Netanyahu in the same dock would make the world a much safer place - for everyone.

Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign
8th January 2015

 

Across the whole range of Palestine solidarity groups and networks in the UK, none could write or appear even once in White supremacist newspapers or social media; it is unthinkable. Any association with any brand of extreme right, racist formations would disgust and repel all those who currently give us active and passive support. It would be madness. While some extreme right groups cannot break from their tradition of open hatred of Jews, most have been attracted to a pro-Israeli stance by Israel’s frequent massacres and repression of Palestinians.

4th August, 2015

Dear Friends

We welcome the decision by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation to ensure that Palestine solidarity movements and groups in your coalition are in no way associated with racist and White supremacist elements.

We see a rising international movement of solidarity with the Palestinian people that needs to be developed and strengthened. It remains, however, an open question whether the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians across the whole of historic Palestine will be as successful as many earlier settler-colonial endeavours in Africa, Australia and the Americas, or be defeated by the struggle of Palestinians with world-wide support.

The struggle for Palestinian freedom is a struggle against Jewish privilege in the state and society enforced through both legal and extra-legal powers by a state that enjoys the military, political, economic and diplomatic support and complicity of both our governments. The European states have a longer history of direct colonialism and massive violence against all the peoples of the region than Israel’s current major aid donor.

Those of us who are international auxiliaries to that struggle for freedom from state-enforced racism see ourselves as part of, and draw strength from, a much wider movement against racism and aggressive wars, and for social justice. Conversely, the delivery of effective solidarity by supporters of Palestinian freedom becomes more difficult with the rise in influence of xenophobic, racist and anti-immigrant movements.

edl1(1)We oppose all manifestations of racism as often lethal for the targeted victims, and dangerous for society as a whole. This includes hatred of Jews as a population, rather than opposition to the settler-colonial project in Palestine. We see the former as an abomination and latter as a duty.

If healthy disgust at all racism is not sufficient, anyone claiming to support the Palestinian people needs to reflect on the symbiotic relationship between Zionism and anti-semitism and how the Palestinian people have been made to pay the price for European crimes against Jews.

Across the whole range of Palestine solidarity groups and networks in the UK, none could write or appear even once in White supremacist newspapers or social media; it is unthinkable. Any association with any brand of extreme right, racist formations would disgust and repel all those who currently give us active and passive support. It would be madness. While some extreme right groups cannot break from their tradition of open hatred of Jews, most have been attracted to a pro-Israeli stance by Israel’s frequent massacres and repression of Palestinians. They increasingly see Israel as a model for the kind of state they would like to establish here.

We applaud your efforts on behalf of the Palestinian people and look forward to our continued cooperation on their behalf.

With best wishes for the future.

Albie O'Neill
Secretary, on behalf of
Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Building effective solidarity with the Palestinian people
c/o Peace & Justice Centre
2 Princes Street
Edinburgh EH2 4BJ

www.scottishpsc.org.uk

 

See also:

SPSC calls for intensified solidarity with Palestine as Israeli occupation forces perpetrate yet another illegal collective punishment against the Palestinian people.  Since the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers from illegal settlements in the West Bank, the Israeli occupation forces have

  • killed at least 6 Palestinian civilians, including one 14-year-old child and a mentally ill man;
  • assassinated three members of armed Palestinian groups in Gaza violation of international law;
  • wounded at least 90 Palestinians, including 16 children and three journalists;
  • conducted over 160 military incursions into Palestinian towns and villages and invaded hundreds of civilian homes;
  • raided 4 university campuses and 18 charitable associations, a refugee cultural centre and the offices of two cultural magazines;
  • arrested between 440 and 560 Palestinians, including at least 10 children;
  • conducted 100 airstrikes in the Gaza strip causing injuries to civilians and targeting greenhouses, an UNRWA health clinic, blacksmith workshop and turnery, a concrete factory and agricultural lands.

The siege of Gaza, enforced by Israel, Egypt, and the EU
SPSC also notes the usual mainstream media reporting over the last few weeks which fails to provide appropriate coverage of the crimes perpetrated by the Israeli occupation forces against the Palestinian people, or the humanity of those killed and injured.

Israeli state-enforced collective punishment against a whole population is a monstrous crime to which our governments turn a blind eye. Israel has a long history of indiscriminate airstrikes, killing and imprisonment of Palestinians and targeting of civilian infrastructure as well as settlement construction and land grabs – regardless of whether or not Israelis have been killed..

The people of Scotland can no longer stand by as Israel tries to justify apartheid, settler colonialism and brutal military occupation.

We call on the Scottish Government to

  1. open Scottish hospitals to Palestinian casualties of the impending Israeli massacre
  2. end all meetings with Israeli Government officials.
  3. end grants to Israeli companies in Scotland
  4. send an official fact-finding mission to Gaza and the West Bank to report back to the people of Scotland

We call on all supporters of Palestinian freedom to come together in Emergency Committees on Palestine across Scotland to maximise our collective resistance to Israel's planned atrocities against the Palestinian people.

Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Scottish Committee
July 4th 2014

 

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