Press Release 5 February 2009

Scottish Friends of Palestine expresses alarm and grave concern over recent news from Gaza.

The occupation authorities have advised all expatriates, including medical personnel, to leave Gaza by 5th February. Along with the message from war criminal, outgoing prime minister Ehud Olmert of Israel, for the world to expect a “disproportionate response” to recent rocket fire [which, as far as can be ascertained, is the responsibility of the al Aqsa Brigade – a group aligned to former President Mahmoud Abbas, the West’s favourite interlocutor with the Palestinian people], this is a serious development.

We recall the words of Chief Rabbi. Samuel Eliyahu, of the former Palestinian town, Safed, in Israel. Referring to the firing of missiles “If they don’t stop after we kill 100, then we must kill a 1,000. And if they do not stop after 1,000 then we must kill 10,000. If they still don’t stop we must kill 100,000, even a million. Whatever it takes to make them stop” (Jerusalem Post 30/05/07).

Is the swan-song of the Olmert administration to be one of utter madness, folly and futility?

Already aid convoys are refused access, with vital supplies, to Gaza. As is medical personnel. At the same time low ranking Israeli military personnel appear on Israeli TV masked, to avoid identification. They are taking their position alongside swindlers, paedophiles and other less savoury members of Israeli society.

In contrast, one Spanish Court has issued arrest warrants for the principal Israeli perpetrators of the recent acts of genocide against the Palestinian people. The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union has announced that their docker members will refuse to unload Israeli goods from a ship due to arrive in Durban. Globally, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) is gaining momentum. It is civic society which is leading the way.

At this juncture the governments of the United Kingdom, the European Union and President Obama’s America must now act. They must impress upon the Israeli state that the days of wholesale slaughter of Israel’s perceived enemies have now gone. There must be no repeat of the recent obscenities in Gaza. There must be progress towards recognising and addressing the needs of the people of Gaza, with primacy given to recognising the humanity of the people of Gaza, the Palestinian people as a whole, and their right to freedom. Not another 40 years of fruitless, brutalising occupation.

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. Visit to find out what you can do.

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.

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