Press Release 16 November 2006

Scottish Friends of Palestine expresses its dismay and disappointment that any community within Scotland should host a visit of a representative of the Israeli government. Given our solid commitment to the boycott of the Israeli state until as such times as this state ceases to boycott the human and national rights of the Palestinian people, Scottish Friends of Palestine can only encourage the hosts of this visit by the Israeli Ambassador (to the Newton Mearns Synagogue on Thursday 23 November) to critically question the Ambassador.

Given the genocidal conditions now experienced by the residents of the Gaza Strip, failure to do so can lead to accusations of support of crimes against humanity perpetrated by the state of Israel against the Palestinian people under occupation. Just as, with the world keeping silent over the recent massacre in Beit Hanoun, governments throughout the world could be considered accessories to the crime at Beit Hanoun.

We would urge the hosts to critically examine, with the Ambassador, the following statement from Israel’s current President, Moshe Katsav, with the Ambassador

There is a huge gap between us (Jews) and our enemies, not just in ability but in morality, culture, sanctity of life, and conscience. They are our neighbours here, but it seems as if at a distance of a few hundred metres away, there are people who do not belong to our continent, to our world, but actually belong to a different galaxy.

(source:Fay Cashman, Katsav: We’d Never Stoop to Palestinians’ Brutality, Jerusalem Post, A4, May 11, 2001)

  • Does the Ambassador support this statement? Indeed, do the hosts agree with this statement?
  • Does this statement explain why the state of Israel treats the Palestinian people as if they are sub-human, indeed aliens, thereby giving the state the apparent right to kill, starve and maim with impunity?

Further, we would encourage the hosts to critically examine this recent statement from Israel’s prime minister, Ehud Olmert:

-We were able to kill hundreds of terrorists, and the world has not reacted.

-With a high proportion of Palestinian fatalities and injuries being children, does the Israeli state regard children as “terrorists”?

-Does this statement give carte blanche for many more deaths at the hands of the occupation forces, because the world “stays silent”?

Scottish Friends of Palestine is a firm advocate of the total boycott of all Israeli institutions, academic and cultural bodies and Israeli products – until as such times that the Israeli state ceases to boycott the rights of the Palestinian people, and international law as it pertains to the Palestinian people.

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