Press Release 16 September 2008

Scottish Friends of Palestine remembers and commemorates the 60th Anniversary of the murder of Count Folke Bernadotte

Sixty years ago on the 16th September 1948, UN appointed mediator in Palestine, Count Folke Bernadotte, completed the report which outlined his proposals for the resolution of the Palestine question. This report offered hope to the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees created by the decision of the United Nations to partition the homeland of the Palestinian people between the indigenous Palestinian people and the Jewish colonial settlers who had arrived over the past three decades.

Within 24 hours, the UN mediator was dead, murdered by the terrorist Stern Gang. Directly implicated in the murder was Yitzhak Shamir, former prime minister of Israel. Also involved was the head of the Zionist Irgun terrorist group, Menachem Begin, another former prime minister of Israel.

On this day, 60 years ago, the hopes of the Palestinian people were dashed. With the guilty escaping any form of justice, the time had arrived for the spoils of Israel’s so-called War of Independence to be subsumed within Israeli society using the laws of the victor, not laws of justice. At a time when all other colonial movements were crumbling, the Zionist colonial movement became entrenched – with full acquiescence and support of the world powers of the day.

From this date the process of legitimising the theft of the land, property and business interests of the Palestinian people moved into full gear – to the extent that few stop to think as to the real status of the many “Produced in Israel” goods which arrive on the shelves of our supermarkets and other retail outlets. Few stop to think about the ethics of purchasing goods harvested from stolen land, from resources based on theft from the indigenous people, the Palestinian people – land and resources located both within Israel’s boundaries and the occupied Palestinian territories.

The inevitable consequence of the UN mediator’s murder has been slow to surface. A gestation period of 60 years is long by any standard, but the emergence of the Boycott Divestment Sanction (BDS) movement was inevitable and is now flourishing.

Whether it be

-academics questioning the role of Israel academia in supporting the military occupation whilst staying silent on the demise of educational opportunity for those under occupation

-architects protesting the role of Israeli architects in extending the Zionist colonial presence in the occupied territories

-doctors protesting the role of their Israeli counterparts in interrogating and torturing Palestinian detainees

-shoppers refusing to buy Israeli products

-artists supporting the cultural boycott

the message is the same: the state of Israel must be shunned, boycotted until it recognises its responsibility in the continuing dispossession of the Palestinian people, until it ceases to boycott the rights of the Palestinian people.

To do otherwise is to be complicit in

-the continuing theft of Palestinian land

-the destruction of a whole society and culture as Israel’s appalling wall of annexation and despair completes its stranglehold on the Palestinian residents of the West Bank

-the barbarous siege of the Gaza Strip which has imposed conditions of starvation and multiple deprivation on the community of the world’s largest ghetto

-the continuing refusal by Israel to allow the Palestinian people to exercise their legitimate right to return to their land and homes

The world’s political leaders have demonstrated their cowardice on the matter. It is now up to civil society to lead the way.

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.

Hugh Humphries


Scottish Friends of Palestine

Scottish Friends of Palestine was formed in 1982 in response to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the subsequent attacks on the Palestinian refugee communities. It is an independent organisation with no political or religious affiliations. SFoP supports the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty and the right of all Palestinian refugees to return to their homes. These rights have all been acknowledged by the United Nations.

SFoP campaigns for immediate and unconditional Israeli withdrawal from all territories illegally occupied, including East Jerusalem. We work for educational, social and cultural links between the Scottish and Palestinian peoples.

end of press release

View all →