The four short emails below are self-explanatory. 1-4 from bottom to top:
  1. Letter of invitation from St Andrews Debating Society
  2. SPSC seeks clarification
  3. Clarification - Israeli diplomat will be invited
  4. SPSC response, declining invitation, explaining rationale, and calling for diplomats of Apartheid State to be boycotted

4. On 9 February 2017 at 09:58, Scottish PSC wrote:

gasthearabs2Dear Xxxxxxxxxxx

Thank you for the invitation to participate in a forthcoming debate at St Andrews Student Union, which we must decline due to the inclusion of a representative of the State of Israel.

The motion to be debated seems somewhat eccentric given the worldwide condemnation of Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity by human rights bodies. A better motion might be Israel should be taken to the ICC (International Criminal Court); it would be more in tune with British public sentiment.

We debate on public fora with individuals who defend the practices of the Israeli State but we respect the Palestinian call for a boycott of all institutions connected to that State. This call is supported by virtually the entirety of Palestinian civil society, including the professional bodies of both Palestinian Teachers and University ProFahrenehit 451fessors.

SPSC members debated two employees of the Israeli Embassy in St Andrews some years ago but we have since been persuaded by Palestinian voices to discontinue this exception to our practice of shunning Israeli diplomats, a policy afford by many organisations around the world. 

Palestinian students and university faculty suffer Israeli bombing and shelling (which continued yesterday) , the destruction of their university buildings, night raids, blockades, campus invasions by armed soldiers, mass imprisonment and systemic torture. We honour their sacrifices for freedom and call on you to disinvite a representative of a racist State that denies basic freedoms to millions of Palestinians, including university students and staff.

Israeli diplomats should be boycotted, not treated as representatives of a normal state

On a personal note, I met a student at Bir Zeit University some years ago who had been jailed for the simple act of possessing a university text book (during a period when the Israeli military had closed the university – education was banned). What Malcolm Bradbury created imaginatively in Fahrenheit 451, Israel made a fact on the ground of Palestine.

You are, of course, perfectly free to ignore the calls for support from Palestinians resisting a regime that openly works to dispossess and replace them with Jews. 

Some St Andrews students actively joined an earlier struggle for freedom and worked to boycott and isolate the South African apartheid regime, while others on that campus ignominiously supported that foul regime.

Today also, we take sides.

Regards

Scottish PSC

 3. From: Union Debating Union Debating Society [mailto: xxxxxxxThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]
Sent: 06 Febru
ary 2017 11:13
To: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Subject: Re: St Andrews Debating Society Event

Dear xxx

Thank you very much for getting back to me so quickly. Among others, we will be hosting a representative of the Israeli embassy on side proposition. I look forward to hearing back from you soon.
Best,
Xxxxxxxxx

2. On 5 February 2017 at 15:25, Scottish PSC wrote:
Hi Xxxxxxxxxx
Thank you for your email and invitation, I will get back to you shortly with a full reply.  In the meantime, could you let me know who will be speaking in favour of the motion?
Many thanks


1.

From: Union Debating Union Debating Society [mailto:xxxxxxxThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]
Sent: 05 February 2017 13:39
To: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Subject: St Andrews Debating Society Event
Dear Sir/Madam, 
I am reaching out to you on behalf of the University of St Andrews Union Debating Society. On 30 March, 2017 at 7:00pm we will be holding a debate on the motion: "This House Believes That Israel is a force for good in the Middle East".
We would love to invite a guest speaker from PSC to speak in opposition to the motion, and I wanted to ask if you could put me in touch with someone from PSC who would be willing to come and speak. 
The St Andrews Union is a thriving and engaging community. This event will be held in the historic Lower Parliament Hall, which was temporarily the site of the Scottish Parliament in 1685 due to an outbreak of the plague. The society itself is the oldest of its kind in the English-speaking world and is consistently ranked as one of the worlds best debating societies. Our weekly public debates attract guest speakers from the fields of business, journalism, academia and policy to name a few, and is free for all guests to attend. The event will be attended by hundreds of bright, motivated students who will be interested in listening to and engaging with your association's thoughts. 
We would be both honoured and grateful if someone from PSC would be willing to speak for us. We are of course willing and able to cover any necessary travel and accommodation costs should they be required, and we take all of the speakers to dinner beforehand.
Thank you very much, and I look forward to hearing from you soon. 
Sincerely,
xxxxxxx xxxxxxx
Internal Secretary, Union Debating Society
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

UPDATE

Mick Napier was arrested on Saturday (20th) night at this home for allegedly breaching his bail conditions. Following his arrest on 13 September, Mick along with another SPSC member were held in custody over the weekend before being released on police bail on Monday evening. A condition of the bail was that they should not go to within 500 meters of Braehead shopping centre until their court appearance scheduled for 9 October.

On the weekend when unionist thugs were allowed to rampage through Glasgow city centre, verbally abusing and assaulting other citizens, and only 5 arrests be made on the night, it beggars belief that the police would arrest someone in their own home at 10pm for allegedly going within 500 meters of a shop. The police did not divulge the source of the allegation.

Despite the previous week’s arrests SPSC members were out in force again on Saturday at Braehead. This week our protest was split into two separate groups, one inside and a group outside, Mick was not involved or present in either of these groups. Once again leafleting took place inside the shopping centre but this time there were no arrests. Similar protest in Edinburgh at the Ocean Terminal shopping centre carried on for 5 hours without even a police presence.

The actions of the police suggest a degree of victimisation. It is a mystery as to why we are allowed to leaflet at Braehead with no police intervention following previous events. Equally puzzling is that protests and leafleting inside the Edinburgh shopping centre are allowed to continue with much greater numbers and for a longer period, with police supporting the right to protest.

Mick will appear in Glasgow Sheriff Court on Monday 22 September. We ask supporters to meet outside the Court at 11am.

14th September 2014

Two members of SPSC were arrested on Saturday 13 September whilst taking part in a peaceful protest against the sale of goods from stolen land. Under international law, an occupying power is forbidden from transferring its population onto occupied land and pillaging its natural resources. 

Jericho Dead Sea Cosmetics is one of a number of companies operating in small retail units selling goods containing Dead Sea minerals. Extensive research of the goods on sale reveals a deeply suspicious veil of secrecy on the part of these companies over the precise origin of the natural ingredients and the location of manufacture. A series of PO Box addresses and vague references to the “Israeli side of the Dead Sea” demonstrates a unwillingness which is designed to repudiate claims of these being stolen goods.

As part of the international BDS campaign, SPSC is actively campaigning for a boycott of Israeli Dead Sea products. The minerals used in the production of the cosmetics are taken from land which has been stolen from Palestinians, and to which access is denied.

“Since 1967, Israel has unlawfully appropriated vast portions of Palestinian land in the occupied Dead Sea area primarily to establish settlements and through these exerting a firm control over the region, including over its natural resources. Through the implementation of harsh restrictions on planning and movement, the Israeli authorities have severely hampered the ability of Palestinians to use and access their land and other natural resources in the region. The presence of settlers who directly utilise and profit from the Dead Sea wealth has severely exacerbated this situation and contributed to the over exploitation of the area, resulting in severe environmental damage.”

Al Haq:  Pillage of the Dead Sea: Israel’s Unlawful Exploitation of Natural Resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territory 2012

The significance of action against companies complicit with the the theft of Palestinian land has been highlighted most recently by the Scottish Government. All public bodies in Scotland, including government agencies and local councils, have been advised not to trade with companies that are active in settlements as they are illegal under international law. 

“The Scottish Government strongly discourages trade with companies active in Israeli settlements which are recognised as illegal under international law.

The exploitation of assets in illegal settlements by any company is likely to constitute “grave professional misconduct” for the purposes of procurement legislation.

This government expects public sector contractors to maintain high standards of business and professional conduct. The policy note we have issued today underlines that expectation and advises purchasers to seek assurances that any Israeli-based company they consider entering into a contract with, is not in any way involved in illegal settlements.

Contracting authorities are also advised to seek assurances that any goods they are looking to procure which originate in Israel have not been produced in illegal settlements.” 

Humza Yousaf Scottish Government External Affairs 22 August 2014

Action against these outlets in Scotland escalated into formal boycott action following the Israeli attacks on Gaza in July and August. Stalls in St Enoch Centre and at the Silverburn Shopping Centre were closed down following protests and weekly protests are ongoing in Edinburgh.

The protests have been entirely peaceful despite the extreme provocation by Dead Sea stall staff promoting pro-Israel racist propaganda against Palestinians. In Edinburgh the police have been called on numerous occasions to answer demands from the stall operators and from the centre management that we be removed. Campaigners have refused requests to desist from handing out leaflets and refused requests to leave the centres.  Until yesterday, the police have also consistently confirmed that we have the right of access to shopping centres, describing them as a “public place”, and have the right to protest including the handing out of leaflets.

We have the right to pubic protest and as shopping centres are deemed to be public places there is no legal obstacle to the peaceful protest in which we are engaging. We believe the actions of Police Scotland and Braehead Shopping Centre Management to be ill judged and a denial of our human right to protest. 

Don’t buy Dead Sea Products

Palestinian people have been violently dispossessed and robbed of the natural resources of the Dead Sea.

We believe that Kedem Cosmetics – and other Israeli Dead Sea products – are extracted and processed from mud and minerals in these illegal settlements.

Don't let Israel profit from occupying Palestinian land.

Natural resource pillage is a war crime under the International Criminal Court Statute (1999).

 

The Palestinian civil society call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions demands action to persuade the investors in companies complicit in Israeli militarism to divest their shares. Barclays PLC holds £3m worth of shares in Elbit Systems. Campaigners have been calling for Barclays to drop their shares in the arms trade for years.

The battlefields of Israel's miliForced out of apartheid South Africa; can we force them out of Elbit Systems?tarism and occupation have proved effective testing grounds for new types of weaponry. Israel's market leaders in drone technology are Elbit, a private Israeli company based in Haifa.  The US traded shares of Elbit Systems rose 6.1% since Israel began the massacres in Gaza (8th – 27th July).

Barclays was notorious for supporting Apartheid in South Africa, until it was forced to withdraw by customer boycotts and moral outrage.  Join Scottish PSC help us build a campaign to force Barclays to stop investing in the Israeli war machine and benefitting from the live testing of Israeli weapons on the bodies of Palestinian men, women and children.

Don't bankroll Israeli War Crimes! Barclays: Stop arming Israel!

 

Visit the Wood Group Campaign site

STOP POWERING ISRAELI APARTHEID is a campaign organised by Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign with support from a wide range of partners and supporters including trade unions, environmentalists and grassroots activists in Scotland and Palestine.

Wood Group is a global oil and gas company with its headquarters in Aberdeen. The company works in 50 countries across the world, including Israel, and has stated that it is “…safe to say that Wood Group does business in a number of parts of the world where there are distressing conflicts which cause hardship and inequity”[i]. In line with this irresponsible badge of honour, Wood Group is constructing a gas-fired power station in Israel; a power station that will fuel the institutions and enforcement of the Israeli apartheid state.

The actions which Wood Group has taken in the construction of this power station will be directly fuelling the ongoing apartheid policies, infrastructure and institutions of the state of Israel.  Wood Group should be made aware of its complicity in the ongoing dispossession and oppression of the Palestinians and should cease immediately providing Israel with the means to implement apartheid.  Wood Group should immediately withdraw from Israel and refrain from seeking future contracts with apartheid Israel.

In November 2010 Wood Group signed a contract with Dorad Energy to build a natural gas power station in Ashkelon, Israel. This contract is worth approximately £563 million and the 800-megawatt power station will produce 8% of Israel’s electricity in the near future. The power plant is due to be completed in 2013. New gas fields have been discovered within Israel’s off-shore area and Wood Group are intending to expand their operations; Shlomo Cohen, the Group’s Israel manager last year stated that: “The company considers this project as a cornerstone for extensive operations in Israel”[ii] 

Wood Group’s actions will directly contribute to the ongoing subjugation and dispossession of the Palestinian people. It has been established that the power station will provide energy to the Israeli Ministry of Defence, Mekorot (Israel’s national water company), and various private companies, including Keter Plastic[iii].

[i] Wood Group correspondence with Aberdeen SPSC

[ii] http://www.globes.co.il/serveen/globes/docview.asp?did=1000640176&fid=1725

[iii] http://www.globes.co.il/serveen/globes/docview.asp?did=1000794199&fid=1725

 

 

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