Press Release 14 November 2005

If condemnation was sufficient to bring about change, Scottish Friends of Palestine would be at the forefront of this activity.

Worthy of condemnation is the act of folly, over the past 24 hours, of the assassination of the Palestinian resistance leader Amjad Hinnawi by the Israeli occupation forces. Already penned within a concrete and razor wire ghetto, what does his death achieve?

The one assured answer is that Condoleezza Rice’s visit to the area, to explore peace possibilities, is in jeopardy. This is a scenario familiar to those who have watched US Secretary of States come to the area on a peace mission. Without fail, Israeli military action against the Palestinian under occupation will provoke a reaction guaranteed to produce no other result than a demand that the occupied desist from reacting against the provocation. Latterly, of course, “terrorist” has been added to the occupier’s lexicon of advice to the Palestinian people.

If condemnation is not appropriate, what is?

Scottish Friends of Palestine urges the media to explore the reasons for the actions of the Israeli state. They have a responsibility to do so, instead of parroting Israeli demands and accusations.

Why does the state hold, for hours on end, elderly women at checkpoints? Why does it make them stand for hours in the driving rain or burning sun? There is no security risk to anybody in these situations.

Why does the state refuse to let pregnant mothers, in labour, to pass through checkpoints? Force them, as has happened in at least one occasion, to crawl behind a boulder in order to give birth away from the eyes of the callous teenage conscripts, the soldiers of the occupation?

What purpose does this serve? What strategic significance lies in acts of this nature, acts which are repeated on a daily basis throughout occupied Palestine?

Scottish Friends of Palestine’s recent weekend International Conference Palestine and the legacy of Balfour at Haddington did throw light on the barabaric actions of the Israeli state. It did examine the strategic impact of these actions and where they fit into Israeli design.

The responsible media is obliged to follow suit. They are obliged to explore this issue, to start asking questions of a state which seeks to portray itself as a cultured society while tolerating acts of gross inhumanity against others.

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