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

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Israel and Settler Society by Lorenzo Veracini

The struggle between Israel and the Palestinians is not unique -- whatever the news media may suggest. Lorenzo Veracini argues that the conflict is best understood in terms of colonialism. Like many other societies, Israel is a settler society. Looking in detail at the evolution of other colonial regimes -- apartheid South Africa, French Algeria and Australia -- Veracini presents a thoughtful interpretation of the dynamics of colonialism, offering a clear framework within which to understand the middle east crisis.

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