Press Release 06 June 2011

The recent presence of Israel in Scotland or, to be more specific, Israel in Glasgow, is an event which Scottish Friends of Palestine views with abhorrence. However, we do welcome the clarification by the Lord Provost of Glasgow, Bob Winters, that it was a diplomatic function, as opposed to a propaganda opportunity which, as the reporting made quite clear, was certainly the case. In this respect we sympathise with the predicament of the Lord Provost as a victim of Israeli government opportunism. We are confident he would not have chosen to host the event.

As for the presence of the two politicians, Jim Murphy MP and Ken Macintosh MSP, who were bussed in for the occasion, this was no doubt further political opportunism on their part.

Ostensibly the event, on June 3rd, was to mark the inauguration of a Mr Stanley Lovatt as the state of Israel’s first Honorary Consul in Scotland. In reality it was a limited opportunity for the state of Israel to practise its essential art form of hasbara or propaganda. It was also an opportunity for Israel’s departing UK ambassador, Mr Ron Prosor, to deliver his swansong – to a disinterested, yet informed and critical, Scottish audience. We trust Mr Prosor will regard this Press Release as part of the feedback.

Scottish Friends of Palestine congratulates the Israeli government on the choice of candidate for the position of Honorary Consul in Scotland. Having served the JNF-KKL, or the Jewish National Fund, in Scotland for 40 years, Mr Lovatt seems a natural candidate for the post, well imbued with the characteristics which makes the Israeli state what it is today.

The JNF-KKL was established to control and manage Palestinian land. Its function was to take “ownership” of confiscated Palestinian land for the benefit, in “perpetuity”, of those who claim to be Jewish. The land could not be sold to non-Jews. As such it is a racist body. During the nakba or Catastrophe of 1948, land acquired by conquest, by the expulsion of the Palestinian people, was passed to the JNF. The JNF was, and continues to be,  responsible for the forestation programme in Israel which has resulted in the ruins of hundreds of demolished Palestinian villages being obscured or buried. Today, with its support of illegal, colonial settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, the JNF is clearly complicit in war crimes. And JNF bulldozers are still busy creating the Zionist dream. They help underline the second class status of Israel’s Palestinian Bedouin citizens every time they demolish a Bedouin encampment or village.

Scottish Friends of Palestine is sure Mr Lovatt comes to his new job with glowing testimonials. But these testimonials are tarnished if not poisonous. A fitting state of affairs, many would argue, for the state he will endeavour to represent.

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.

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