Press Release 12 December 2016
Scottish Friends of Palestine acknowledge the contribution made by Liz Cameron to the civic life of Glasgow during her long career as a councillor and Bailie for the City of Glasgow. We note the expressions of confidence and appreciation made in the media and elsewhere with regard to this long career. It is with regret that Scottish Friends of Palestine finds itself at variance with some of the opinion expressed.
When a member of public raises concerns with Scottish Friends of Palestine regarding the public, online profile and postings of Cllr Cameron, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Lifelong Learning – particularly her stated admiration and support for the state of Israel – then we are duty bound to raise this issue with Cllr Cameron, herself, and Glasgow City Council. In return we should expect a reasoned response from both Councillor and the Council – all democratically elected, of course.
We frankly found it astonishing that someone in her position should express support for a state where there is documented evidence of routine and systematic illegal detention, ill treatment of, and lethal actions against, children. It is totally inconsistent to be responsible for the development of Glasgow’s children whilst at the same expressing support for the state of Israel which is completely heartless in the way it treats Palestinian children and young people under its military occupation.
This was further compounded by the replies to our concerns – when Cllr Cameron missed the opportunity to show her skills at “verbal short-swording” [to quote one source] and totally failed to address the issue raised.
As for Glasgow City Council, despite repeated efforts to encourage the Council to explain its tolerance of the lead spokesperson for the city’s children, a person who appears to effectively blank out and ignore the adverse and brutal treatment of one set of children and young people, while professing friendship with the propagandists of the state responsible, we were met by total silence.
However, we do repeat the question “Why should the citizens of Glasgow have confidence in an Executive Member for the city’s children and young people who publicly expresses support for a state with a proven track record of violence towards children and young people, and which kills, injures and incarcerates those under its military control and authority?”
It is with deep regret that Scottish Friends of Palestine finds itself in the position of critical friend of Glasgow City Council. Over the years and decades the Council has been supportive of Palestinian rights and has worked with Scottish Friends of Palestine. This summer the Palestine Youth Orchestra spent a week in Glasgow before setting out on a successful tour of Scotland and the wider UK. This was only possible through close cooperation with Glasgow City Council and Scottish Friends of Palestine.
The raison d’etre of Scottish Friends of Palestine includes the duty to challenge those situations which accord the state of Israel an additional veneer to its flimsy coating of respectability. When a “stalwart” of the Council such as Cllr Cameron publicly declares a position which adds to this veneer, a position completely at odds with her current Council profile and responsibilities, we have no alternative than to make every effort to address the situation.
Hugh Humphries – Secretary
During the period of communicating with Cllr Cameron and the Council the following information was supplied:
Defence for Children International
The report and photo in this CNN link show an armed Israeli soldier trying to arrest an 11 year old Palestinian boy, with his arm in a plaster cast, during one of the regular protests (against the settlement policy of the occupier) in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh.
Although sources were not provided (but are available) the following information was given
- A 13 year old girl was shot by an Israeli soldier. It later transpired that she was trying to visit the scene of the fatal shooting of her aunt, once again by an Israeli soldier, some months earlier.
- A Palestinian youth, phoning while on the roof of his house, heard a voice shouting “Where do you want it?” This was followed by multiple gunshot wounds to his body by a nearby Israeli sniper.
- Whole families being forced from their homes into the open (a not uncommon practice), in the Jordan Valley, while Israeli forces carry out live firing practice in and around their village.
- Houses being demolished and, in at least one case, a classroom demolished.
- And, despite Israel agreeing to ban the practice, Palestinian children are still wakened up in the early hours of the morning with the snout of both the machine gun of some Israeli “Robo cop” and his attack dog inches from their head as the occupation forces search for some alleged suspect who, more often than not, can be a child.
A link to the Newsletter of Military Court Watch [MCW’s Newsletter] for November 2016.
Some points to note are:
- 319 children in military detention;
- 50% held in violation of IV Geneva Convention
- Latest data on ill treatment;
- US advocating for more “humane and efficient” detention;
- Video testimony from a former soldier; and
- Concerns raised in Australian parliament.
Military Court Watch (MCW)
Twitter: @MCourtWatchView all →