Press Release 16 June 2007

The recent events in the Gaza Strip have not been driven by ideology. They have been driven by circumstances.

What then are the circumstances which have led to the Palestinian people feeling that the soul of many of their kinsfolk has been lost in recent days?

  • The right to self-determination, to sovereignty over their land, has been denied to the Palestinian people for 60 years.
  • With Israel ignoring dozens of Security Council resolutions during this period, and with dozens more vetoed on Israel’s behalf by the USA, the Palestinian people have learned that international law is not for them.
  • Encouraged by the West’s constant incantation of the need for democracy in the Middle East, the Palestinian under military occupation enthusiastically embraced their freedom to vote. About one third of the Palestinian MPs (arguably part of the pragmatic and moderate Palestinian leadership) have now been imprisoned by the Israeli occupier for the crime of having stood for election and being voted into power. Conditions of starvation have been imposed for well over a year by the international community because the people voted for the party of their choice. So the Palestinian people have also found that democracy is not for them.
  • Is it any surprise, then, that tribalism and the apparent law of the jungle has now taken over?

Meanwhile Israel, the military occupier, is on the sidelines bemoaning that there is nobody with whom to talk peace, while acting as principal arms supplier to an area of land which its policies have turned into the world’s most densely populated ghetto on earth. As the despair spills over into a West Bank now truncated and dissected by the occupier’s wall of annexation, the question is raised as to whether the rule of law will ever prevail in the region.

The answer, of course, lies in the international community’s tolerance, if not encouragement, of a fledgling state turned military occupier which has flouted the rule of law since the first day of its existence. The solution is to be found, not in a continuing economic boycott of an already impoverished people who have committed no crime, not to constant resort of shallow analyses which ignores the history of Israeli expansionist policies and aggression towards the Palestinian people, but in the international community facing up to the reality of an Israeli state so imbued with its own sense of righteousness, free to undertake unfettered, lethal and destructive rampage when it so wishes, that it it now endangers its own existence as well as that of its neighbours.

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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