Press Release 4 May 2011

Scottish Friends of Palestine welcomes the news of the rapprochement between all Palestinian factions including, Fatah and Hamas. In acknowledging there is still a lot of work to be done to secure much needed Palestinian unity, a measure of its initial success is clearly indicated by Israel’s hostility to this act of reconciliation. Together with the impending recognition of a Palestinian state by the United Nations, the scene is now being set for the Palestinian people to participate in the Arab Spring. The scene is now being set for the Palestinian people to pursue a rights based approach, not Oslo Accords, Madrid Agreements or inconsequential mutterings from Tony Blair and the Quartet, to achieving their long ignored rights.

The path will not be easy. The state of Israel will make every effort to foment dissent among the ranks of the Palestinian people. Already she is creating further hardship by withholding $105 million in customs and tax dues from the Palestinian people. Already she is refusing entry to international activists (or  independent witnesses to the occupation) wishing to pass through Israel to reach occupied Palestine. Israel’s  practice of detaining Palestinian pragmatists, politicians and advocates continues with the recent detention of Ahmad Qatamish, writer and political scientist, on fabricated charges. Israel will not rest until she has exhausted all means of re-creating a pliable and compliant Palestinian Authority which presents no threat to her continuing colonial ambitions – that of acquiring more Palestinian land – without the people.

Scottish Friends of Palestine urges the politicians, the media to be as supportive of the Palestinian people, and their rights, as they have been of their neighbours in recent weeks. Without this support the dream of peace in the Middle East, and in the world, will remain just that, a dream.

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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