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.
Mick Napier 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
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
ISIS or the Saudi State that birthed it,
The Ku Klux Klan and the lynching of Afro-Americans,
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,
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.
Make a donation to our Fighting Fund
See also: short video -