The enemies of free speech on Palestine want to criminalise the term ‘Zionist’, shortened or not. A Westminster Parliament Home Affairs Committee allowed the term ‘Zionism’ to be used but claimed that “The word ‘Zionist’ (or worse, ‘Zio’) as a term of abuse has no place in a civilised society”...The Westminster Parliament Home Affairs Committee recommends that “use of the words ‘Zionist’ or ‘Zio’ in an accusatory context should be considered inflammatory and potentially anti-Semitic in criminal investigations.” We may be be allowed to condemn someone’s support for Israel’s mass murder but not with appropriate feeling, i.e. a natural human revulsion will not be allowed.
8th April 2018
Today's Sunday Herald carries a story about the use of the term ‘Zio’, a shortened form of the word ‘Zionist’. A Labour Party body considers the term ‘Zio’ to be derogatory, the Chakrabarti Inquiry considers it to be “a term of abuse, pure and simple” and the Home Affairs Committee report on antisemitism says “The word ‘Zionist’ (or worse, ‘Zio’) as a term of abuse has no place in a civilised society”.
Whether Britain is a civilised society is a discussion for another day but we are currently witnessing an orchestrated effort to control how we discuss the accelerating crimes of the State of Israel and the Zionist settler-colonialist ideology which birthed the state that is widely seen around the world as guilty of apartheid and genocide.
If the enemies of free speech prevail we will be allowed to use the word Zionist or Zio only on condition that we do not express anger at the snipers crumpling Palestinian men, women, children and journalists to the ground in an orgy of mass murder ignored by those who are running our ‘civilised society’.
During and since the recent referendum in Scotland, many who are opposed to independence used the shortened form ‘Nat’ when talking about Scottish nationalists. The reduced form conveys opposition to nationalism but nobody sought recourse to the courts to categorise the term as a racist epithet. The use of the shortened form ‘commie’ applied to communists also expressed a hostile attitude but only the most benighted fools considered it a racist epithet towards Russians. On the left, many are familar with the terms ‘Stalinist/Stal’ and ‘Trotskyist/Trot’ to refer disparagingly to socialists of a competing tradition. The shortened forms convey a derogatory, hostile attitude but they are clearly political terms.
In exactly the same manner, ‘Zio’ is a shortened form of ‘Zionist’, and conveys hostility to that political ideology, its state and the behaviour of that state. 'Zio' is a useful word that adds anger and indignation to a criticism of the Zionist movement, a healthy anger and indignation that is widely and deeply felt. Not to feel that anger is pathological.
The enemies of free speech on Palestine, however, want to criminalise the term ‘Zionist’, shortened or not. A Westminster Parliament Home Affairs Committee allowed the term ‘Zionism’ to be used but claimed that “The word ‘Zionist’ (or worse, ‘Zio’) as a term of abuse has no place in a civilised society”.
The Home Affairs Committee notes, correctly, that the term ‘Zionist’ has been used by some antisemites to signify Jews but the Committee is silent on the unremitting effort by the State of Israel and its supporters to claim that Jews worldwide support its crimes and to implicate them in its violations of Palestinian human rights. Unsurprisingly, this orchestrated effort to conflate anti-Zionism with antisemitism succeeds with some naïve individuals. The Home Affairs Committee calls, however, for criminalisation of the term Zionist when it is used in any “aggressive contexts”. The use here of the term ‘Zionist’ in “aggressive contexts “ is Newspeak for condemnation of the crimes of the State of Israel and opposition to those who campaign in support of the snipers on the Gaza border.
The Westminster Parliament Home Affairs Committee recommends that “use of the words ‘Zionist’ or ‘Zio’ in an accusatory context should be considered inflammatory and potentially anti-Semitic in criminal investigations.” We may be be allowed to condemn someone’s support for Israel’s mass murder but not with appropriate feeling, i.e. a natural human revulsion and anger at the crimes.
It couldn’t be clearer that what is intended is the silencing of opinion hostile to Israeli Sate crimes.
A Zionist is broadly, and is taken to mean, someone who supports the State of Israel, an apartheid and genocidal state despised and condemned by millions. In Scotland, Britain and around the world are we to be free to express our feelings towards the Zionist political tradition or can we only use the word Zionist in an approving or neutral manner, shorn of condemnation?
Are we not to be allowed to express our emotions concerning the murder of Palestinians who are imprisoned in walled ghettos, to express anger at their continuous dispossession and oppression by the Zionist movement and its state, aided and abetted by our governments?
Ahed Tamimi is now in an Israeli prison for slapping a heavily armed Israeli soldier whose army smashed her cousin's skull, critically injuring him; the Sunday Herald gives over space to this silly, albeit sinister, attempt to ban a term of hostility to political Zionism and its never-ending crimes.
Palestinians are forced off Jewish-only roads, in a state that is the poisoned fruit of the Zionist movement, while the media and politicians are silent, preferring to discuss whether a shortened form of Zionist or even the term ‘Zionist’ itself is to be permitted.
The idea of ‘Zio’ as a racist epithet can only be seriously discussed by a fool or a rascal. Tony Blair is a Zio, as is Mohammed Bin Salman, General Sisi, Sheldon Adelson, Donald Trump. Theresa May is also a Zionist, as is the sinister Christian fundamentalist Nigel Goodrich who runs the Confederation of Friends of Israel, and his collaborator, the pro-Israel antisemite, US Pastor John Hagee. While they talk of ‘euthanising’ Palestinian rioters are we to be silent unless we agree to follow the rules of a university debating society?
The Board of Deputies of British Jews is led by Zionists; Rabbi Dovid Weiss is anti-zionist, as was Marek Edelman and millions of Jews worldwide. So, the term Zionist/Zio includes Tony Blair, Theresa May, John Hagee, and excludes Dovid Weiss and Marek Edelman. It’s simple, really, if you think about it as fools cannot and rascals well understand but claim otherwise.
Full Disclosure: I was one of five SPSC members dragged through the Edinburgh courts (2008-10), accused of racism for saying the words in public “End the Siege of Gaza! Genocide in Gaza!” I was one of two SPSC members dragged through the Glasgow court for a further three years (2014-17), charged with ‘racism’ for carrying this placard and denouncing Israel’s mass murder of 2,200 Palestinians including 550 children, in a murder rampage that used weapons parts supplied from Scotland and the rest of Britain.
This poster was the basis for the racism charges. A highly paid Glasgow prosecutor alleged that when we denounced the mass murder of Palestinians, even while children's corpses in Gaza were still stored in ice cream refrigerators because the morgue had run out of fridge capacity, we were actually alluding in some hidden manner to the mediaeval murder of Jews by John Hagee’s predecessors following charges that Jews murdered Christian children for their religious rituals. Can this official madness become any crazier? It seems so.
Both charges of racism were thrown out as baseless but the pro-Israel Gang never stop trying. A recent ‘racism’ conviction in Aberdeen Sheriff Court for saying the words “Viva Palestina” within earshot of an Israeli was overturned on appeal in Edinburgh.
Support for Palestinian freedom is a campaign against the racist state which oppresses and dispossesses them. Those who are leading Scottish PSC are lifelong anti-racists.
We will continue to denounce the full spectrum criminality of the state of Israel and the role of its Christian fundamentalist, New Labour, Tory, and Jewish supporters – without fear or favour.
The pejorative use of the short-form ‘Zio’ may seem a trivial matter but it is part of a much wider and coordinated effort to silence and smear Palestinian voices, much of it directed from the Israeli Embassy.
Some may attempt to take a middle ground between Israeli apartheid and its victims but SPSC will not be silenced or intimidated. Our opponents have deep pockets and allies in the media, corporate Britain, and governments in both Westminster and Holyrood.
We appeal to all those who support freedom for Palestine, who are inspired by the heroism of those Palestinians on the Gaza border to join us for the fight for the freedom of the Palestinian people. That duty is now joined with our fight for free speech and free expression.
If we cannot express our anger and contempt towards the murder of peaceful demonstrators on the Gaza border then our hard-won rights to free speech are significantly diminished.
Talk followed by Q & A
Zionism - What it is & How to Fight it
author of Zionism in the Age of the Dictators and other works
Wednesday 8 November 6.45 for 7pm start
Augustine Church, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EL
& SPSC Glasgow Office, 180 W Regent St G2 4RW
Facing suspension from the Labour Party for alleged 'anti-semitism', Ken Livingston referenced the work of US (Jewish) historian Lenni Brenner in his defence. Brenner’s major work, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, is freely available on the internet for you to evaluate. The work was greeted on its original 1984 publication by Croom Helm (later merged with leading academic publisher Routledge) with a very positive review in the London Times by a distinguished academic. Edward Mortimer asked:
Who told a Berlin audience in March 1912 that “each country can absorb only a limited number of Jews, if she doesn’t want disorders in her stomach. Germany already has too many Jews”? No, not Adolf Hitler but Chaim Weizmann, later president of the World Zionist Organization and later still the first president of the state of Israel.
And where might you find the following assertion, originally composed in 1917 but republished as late as 1936: “The Jew is a caricature of a normal, natural human being, both physically and spiritually. As an individual in society he revolts and throws off the harness of social obligation, knows no order nor discipline”? Not in Der Stürmer but in the organ of the Zionist youth organization, Hashomer Hatzair.
Qualified apologies for reproducing such anti-semitic filth for educational purposes. Brenner's work is invaluable in the present climate of intimidation of pro-Palestine voices as anti-semites by leading politicians, the media, police and criminal prosecution authorities. Theresa May today claims to identify "a new and pernicious form of anti-Semitism which uses criticism of the actions of the Israeli government as a despicable justification for questioning the very right of Israel to exist...we will not stand for it. That is why the United Kingdom has been at the forefront of an international effort to create a new definition of anti-Semitism which explicitly calls out this inexcusable attempt to justify hatred".
This definition implies that linking Israel to the Nazis in any way could be criminalised. The bogus definition which May will use is in the name of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and aims to criminalise any body of ideas that see the Zionist project in Palestine as an inherently racist project. Since the project is an inherently racist endeavour the definition will ultimately fall, but it is now being cynically deployed to fight Palestine solidarity efforts.
Pro-Israel groups have floated the same definition already; Prime Minister Gordon Brown signed on behalf of the UK Government in February 2009, a few weeks after Israel had massacred 1,400 Palestinians. May and trhe Tories hope that re-presenting in same bogus definition in the name of 'Holocaust Remembrance' will make critics fall into line. It has already worked with the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government, who have accepted the IHRA's bogus defintion, which calls for any comparison of Israeli crimes to those of the Nazis, such as this speech, or this one, to be the subject of criminal investigation.
So, the nail-studded club being used to silence opponents (4.00 minutes in) of the apartheid and genocidal violence of the State of Israel is the memory of the Nazi genocide of Jews. The exploitation, the abuse, of the victims of Nazi industrial-scale killings to further Israel's anti-Palestinian politics was given an extreme expression when Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu claimed in 2015 to a meeting of the World Z|ionist Congress that it was a Palestinian who got Hitler to launch the mass killing of Jews in the Final Solution, the Holocaust.
But the record of the Zionist leaders during the Holocaust is actually a shocking one, as demonstrated by the opening quotes above. Lenni Brenner's Zionism in the Age iof the Dictators is a meticulously referenced record of Zionist collusion with Europe's worst anti-semites during the inter-war years. It is perfectly consistent with the views of the founding father of political Zionism, Theodor Herzl, that Zionism could rely on "Christians who wanted to get rid of" Jews since "the anti-Semites will become our most dependable friends, the anti-Semitic countries our allies". Herzl looked forward to this marriage made in hell, but nonetheless a marriage of sorts. Mainstream Zionist leaders have never wavered from this view; the result was tragic in the period coverd by Zionism in the Age of the Dictators and subsequently.
Join us via video link for a talk and audience Q&A with Lenni Brenner, author of 'Zionism in the Age of the Dictators'
Palestine supporters to Edinburgh on August 17th!
The language of some UK pro-Israel organisations is getting very heated concerning their celebration of "all things Israel" during the Edinburgh Fringe on Wednesday August 17. The celebration of Israel is a celebration of violent ethnic cleansing - past, ongoing and planned.
"All things Israel" includes war crimes and crimes against humanity, encouragement of rape of Palestinian women, burning of Christian churches, demolition of Bedouin villages, endemic torture in the Israeli Gulag
Israel continues to cross red lines of savagery. The thuggish ex-nightclub bouncer Avigdor Lieberman, now Israeli Minister of Defence, has appointed Col. Eyal Karim as the Israeli Army Chief Rabbi. The learned rabbi has publicly condoned rape of Palestinian women "to boost soldiers' morale".
August 17th in Edinburgh is a determined effort by all the front groups for the Israeli Embassy to use the world's biggest arts festival for propaganda for an Apartheid State whose army is morally guided by Eyal Karim.
Despite their deep pockets and UK Government support the Christian fundamentalist organiser is still a bit jumpy: "If we don't make it a success, the haters will have won - which is why it needs to be great." "Haters" is Zionist-speak for all those who support Palestinian rights.
Luke Akehurst of the Blairite Progress Group is also Director of We Believe in Isreal(sic). He writes that "Edinburgh on Wednesday August 17...is probably the most significant pro-Israel event of the year in the United Kingdom".
The Zionist mobilisation is international with supposedly "Ordinary people from Scotland England Ireland and Wales, and abroad" organising the event in support of ethnic cleansing and Apartheid. The pro-Israel thuggish element will be present for a celebration of ‘all things Israel’ because for the enemies of Palestinian freedom "It is vitally important that all of us play our part in making it the greatest success possible."
It is important that we oppose those who campaign in support of Israel's crimes
Speakers include Ilan Pappé, Ben White and Ruba Salih. Omar Barghouti, the founder of the BDS movement, now barred from leaving Israel/Palestine by the Israeli occupation, will address the conference by video-link.
On Friday July 14th in Glasgow Sheriff Court 17, Sheriff Barry Divers brought a three-year legal process to an end when he threw out charges of racism against two SPSC members, myself and Jim Watson. The seven members of the pro-Israel lobby sitting in the courtroom, a larger delegation than the usual two or three that attended every session of the near three-year legal process, were clearly very disappointed. They had hoped the intense lobbying of Scottish legal officials that had led to the absurd ‘racism’ charges being raised in the first place would lead to convictions that would deter others from supporting Palestinian rights.
16 July 2017
The PF had been adamant that the racism charges must proceed, so much so that he had rejected the offer my lawyer made to save everybody’s time and accept a guilty plea three years ago to the very minor aggravated trespass charges on condition that he dropped the ‘racial aggravation’ element. The offer was refused; the main aim as far as he and the Zionists were concerned was to join in the international effort by pro-Israel elements to smear Palestine solidarity activism as racist. (Now that we have seen how flawed and contradictory is the prosecution case, we now look forward to the appeal process with every chance of success.)
The latest defeat in Glasgow Sheriff Court for Zionist efforts to criminalise peaceful BDS campaigning and to silence opposition to the human rights violations of the State of Israel followed fast on the heels of the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court of Justice ruling against the UK Government efforts to prevent local councils boycotting Israel.
SPSC has obtained copies of correspondence between the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and various pro-Israel lobby groups that reveal a collusion between them that transgresses professional boundaries. The Zionists have made malicious, evidence-free accusations against Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, for example that we intimidate witnesses, that are accepted at face value by the Crown Office staff. During one court session, Depute Fiscal Ferguson, clearly influenced by his discussions with the pro-Israel lobbyists, made the bizarre claim that I was 'attempting to intimidate the witness'. On some emails, Crown Office staff contemptuously and ignorantly dismiss accurate statements that I had made concerning the collapse of previous trials.
The pro-Israel groups operate a division of labour, with the leaders of SCoJeC (Scottish Council of Jewish Communities) lobbying Scottish Government, legal, academic, church and other leaders while the somewhat cruder Friends of Israel groups work to close down spaces where Palestine advocacy can be discussed and debated. SCoJeC is a member of the Confederation of Friends of Israel in Scotland (COFIS) answering to the Israeli Embassy in London, whose anti-democratic ambitions were exposed when senior staff were caught on camera planning to bring down British Cabinet Minister Sir Alan Duncan.
What unites all of them is an unconditional support for Israeli massacres of Palestinians, indeed for the full spectrum of Israel’s criminality, and a record of blatant dishonesty in their project to smear Palestine solidarity activists. SCoJeC, for example, lobbies all and sundry concerning the alleged anti-semitism of Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign; what they do not reveal is that a previous effort to smear SPSC collapsed when their dishonest behaviour was uncovered and the then-Scottish First minister ordered them to pulp all 6,000 copies of a book they had published. Scandalously, SCoJeC had secured a preface for the book from Alex Salmond and then, having obtained such an endorsement from the First Minister, subsequently inserted material alleging that SPSC organised events ‘demonising Jews’. SCoJeC retreated in haste at the prospect of a defamation trial where the First Minister would have had to take the stand and reveal their duplicity.
SCoJeC leaders have also been disingenuous in packaging their pro-Israel politics as the views of Scotland’s Jewish community, a dubious claim others challenge. SCoJeC conceal their commitment to political Zionism and defence of Israel-right-or-wrong, including their defence of massacres that the UN, Amnesty, Human Rights Watch and many others have found to be war crimes and possible crimes against humanity. Their weasel words suggest Scotland’s Jews support mass murder, although leaving just enough wiggle room (11m15s in) to retreat from that claim when challenged. Scottish Jews – many of whom honestly desire no harm to Palestinians – are ill-served by the hucksters of SCoJeC and the fanatics of Friends of Israel.
SCoJeC provides speakers for ‘political training days’ organised by the Centre for Scotland-Israel Relations together with other 'Israel-right-or-wrong' groups such as We Believe in Israel and StandWithUs UK. Israeli Embassy and Foreign Ministry staff join these political training days in Scotland where SCoJeC and other participants are trained in how to defend illegal occupation, massacres, and Israeli Apartheid, e.g. separate and unequal roads and legal systems for Jews and Palestinians, a ban on Jews marrying non-Jews in Israel, and state-financed mobs hunting down any Jew and Palestinian in a romantic relationship.
SCoJeC attended the AGM of the Confederation of Friends of Israel in Scotland AGM in January as a ‘partner organisation’ together with We Believe in Israel, Yachad* Scotland, Christian Friends of Israel and ‘the twelve regional Friends of Israel teams in Scotland advocating for Peace’.
Here is one Friends of Israel team advocating for peace on Buchanan Street, Glasgow. The fellow in the middle facing the camera is one Matthew Berlow, who believes the road to peace runs through mass killings of thousands of Palestinian men, women and children. While Israel was actually carrying out the bloody massacre of Operation Cast Lead, he 'advocated for peace' by writing in the Sunday Mail to cheer on the Israeli Army. Friends of Israel also supported the mass killings of civilians.
Berlow is a Glasgow lawyer who ‘supports Palestine’ by endorsing Israel’s war crimes and crimes against humanity, Palestinian humanity, the burning alive of defenceless human beings in the Gaza concentration zone as his road to ‘peace’. Lest anyone should be in any doubt as to his commitment to peace through putting Palestinians into cemeteries, while on a trip to Israel, he posed with a gun (note the large silencer) favoured by Israeli squads who assassinate Palestinians.
Seemingly aping Donald Trump, whom they much admire, Glasgow Friends of Israel and friends repeat obvious and easily disproven untruths, a dishonesty that fits with SCoJeC’s modus operandi. Repeat a lie and hope gullible, lazy or naïve individuals will buy it. Following the unequivocal ‘not guilty’ verdict to racism charges on Friday (July 13th) so-called Jewish Human Rights Watch published a childish graphic with the words “Court finds Mick Napier of Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign guilty of Jew hate”.
In the same vein, after leading peaceful protests for many years against the racist JNF (Jewish National Fund), the Zionist CST (Community Security Trust) attempted a fit-up and I was charged with ‘assault’ three months after the June 2014 protest. Luckily, Al Jazeera TV had a film team following our BDS work that week; footage shown in Kilmarnock Court led Sheriff Watson on 8 February 2016 to rule that no crime had taken place and that there was 'no case to answer', i.e. the baseless charge of assault should never have been raised. Any ‘no case to answer’ is an embarrassment for the PF’s office. Such outcomes, though, don't prevent Scottish supporters of Israeli mass murder from incessantly labelling those organising peaceful, vigorous opposition to their genocidal state as 'thugs'.
On 8 April 2010 I was also one of five SPSC members facing charges of racism for Palestine solidarity activism who heard Edinburgh Sheriff John Scott reject the PF’s allegation that protesting against genocide in Gaza was driven by hatred of Jews. His words were understated: "It seemed to me that the procurator fiscal's attempts to squeeze malice and ill will were rather strained."
Equally strained was Deputy PF Ferguson's effort in Glasgow Sheriff Court to characterise denunciations of Israel's mass murder of thousands of Palestinians in summer 2014 as an antisemitic "blood libel", i.e. similar to primitive and savage Medieval anti-semitic claims that Jews killed Christ or that Jews used the blood of Christian children to bake matzos on Jewish feast days. It's shocking that such nonsense can be heard in a Scottish courtroom but the ugly implication was that no-one should ever be allowed to denounce Israeli savagery against Palestinians since it might upset an Israeli within earshot!
Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign is uncompromising in our support for human rights for the violated Palestinian people and we will not be deterred by the current well-funded campaign of harassment organised by the Israeli embassy through their agents in Scotland. Our record has been one of uncompromising hostility to the crimes of the State of Israel together with hostility - in every written and spoken word from this Campaign - to the folly and ugliness of anti-semitism. We fully endorse the 2012 statement from leading Palestinians situating the Palestinian struggle for freedom as a struggle against the racism of a settler colonial project and thus opposed to all racism, including hatred of Jews as Jews.
Virtually all Zionist activists work assiduously to conflate anti-Zionism with anti-semitism, and claim the crimes against the Palestinian people are committed on behalf of the world’s Jews. Naïve individuals fall for these lies and some rightist ideologues cynically peddle the same notions. In addition, Zionist organisations shamelessly exploit the Jewish victims of the Nazi genocides to justify their ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people; those victims of murderous state-enforced racism in Germany are used to justify Israel’s murderous state-enforced racism in Palestine.
We oppose the racist system of Jewish privilege over Palestinians that no honest person can deny exists in Israel/Palestine. Let’s make it stupefyingly simple: when we say we oppose…
|apartheid South Africa,||it doesn't mean we hate||white people.|
|ISIS or the Saudi State that birthed it,||"||Muslims.|
|The Ku Klux Klan and the lynching of Afro-Americans,||"||Christians.|
|the invasion of Vietnam and the killing of 3m Vietnamese,||"||the population of the USA.|
|the crimes of the British Empire, including genocides,||"||British people as a whole.|
|Zionism and the massacre of Palestinians,||"||Jews.|
The defenders of mass murder and ethnic cleansing, those who wish to suppress criticism of an increasingly genocidal state, have very deep pockets and are directed by, and answerable to, the Israeli Embassy in London which sees BDS as a serious threat to Israel's ability to crush all resistance by violence. We ask for your help to enable us to continue to build the BDS campaign initiated by the Palestinian people.
We assure you SPSC will not be intimidated but we can do still more with your assistance; a donation however small, will be welcome. If you can make a monthly donation, again however modest, it will help us to keep fighting for justice and freedom for the Palestinian people.
16 July 2017
Fb Mick Napier
*Yachad Scotland: Scottish Jews might want to think about the partners in pro-Israeli advocacy that SCoJeC and the Israeli Embassy have embraced; Nigel Goodrich, the leader of COFIS is a Christian fundamentalist of dubious theological persuasion who may have a nasty fate in store for his Jewish 'friends'. Yachad Scotland is a Christian fundamentalist group who want Jews to leave their homes and go to Palestine so that they can be converted to Christianity, i.e. "Jewish people would recognise Jesus Christ as their Messiah."
Not all Jews, though, for "prior to the return of Jesus Christ, God will regather the Jewish peoples and call a remnant back to Himself". Only a remnant - what does Yachad think will happen to all the others?
Worth remembering that these crazed Christian Zionists are committed ethnic cleansers, since for them "a pre-condition of Christ's second coming is the re-establishment of the state of Israel, [and] the removal of all non-Jews from the whole of that land". But don't forget that "the fundamentalist creed also holds that only Christians will survive Armageddon. For Jews, it will be a matter of convert or perish".
See also: short video - Why it's antisemitic to criticise Israel's nuclear weapons & more
The Confederation of the Friends of Israel Scotland has announced a provocative all-day event during the world’s biggest arts event, the Edinburgh Festival & Fringe; on Wed 17 August at Central Hall at Tollcross, Embassy-funded Friends of Israel and StandWithUs are organising a ‘Shalom Festival’ to promote Israeli 'democracy and tolerance of minorities'.
The primary Israeli aim is to reverse the achievements of BDS campaigners over many years in Scotland that has seen defeat for efforts by the Israeli Embassy to insert Israeli State-promoted groups into Scottish cultural events. Will you help us to defend this record and, from August 13th to 17th, send a loud message to beleaguered Palestine (and around the world) that Israeli State-sponsored pseudo-cultural events cannot be held, or can only go ahead in the face of popular outrage?
The dispossession of the Palestinian people continues, with its attendant brutality – killings punctuated by periodic massacre, mass kidnapping, torture and the destruction of Palestinian homes and farms, the denial of water and the barbaric siege of Gaza. Israel’s war on Palestinian culture is not the least of its crimes; the promotion at this time of ‘Brand Israel’ as a part of the Edinburgh Fringe is an outrage and we ask you to join us in our opposition. PACBI (the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel) has issued an international call to support this initiative.
SPSC will arrange for local hosts to provide solidarity accommodation for those joining us from outside the city to campaign.
Text 0795 800 2591 for information.
PACBI call for Edinburgh in August: http://www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=2774
Speakers include Ilan Pappé, Ben White and Ruba Salih. Omar Barghouti, the founder of the BDS movement, now barred from leaving Israel/Palestine by the Israeli occupation, will address the conference by video-link.
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