2007 - 2021

Peace, Israel and Scotland

scotpalestineWe need clarity, not confusion, over the SNP’s new pro-Israel group.

The SNP conference at the weekend witnessed the first appearance of a controversial new group within the party. While other organisations were priced out of an official conference stall, ‘SNP Friends of Peace in the Middle East’ stumped up thousands of pounds for the opportunity to engage with the delegates in Glasgow.

The group’s founding is a direct response to a growing movement for justice for Palestine within the party. It has been set up by well-known activists from Glasgow Friends of Israel, including former IDF soldier Sammy Stein. Stein is currently subject to an SNP disciplinary process after leading a campaign against the re-election of Sandra White MSP, a long term advocate of Palestinian rights. Don’t be fooled by the name, the organisation is a front for defending Israel in the face of mounting criticism of the illegal occupation of Palestine.

However, in a move that has alarmed some of his colleagues, the organisation was welcomed by SNP MP for Glasgow South Stewart McDonald in a peculiar article titled ‘Why I’m backing the SNP’s new pro-Israel, pro-Palestine group’. To further confuse matters, McDonald was one of the founders of the SNP Friends of Palestine group just last year.

The inaccuracies begin in the headline and run consistently through the article. The group is not pro-Palestine in any sense. The real origins of the organisation were revealed in a series of articles by Michael Gray on CommonSpace but despite these being abundantly clear, McDonald has continued to claim that “these are members from both sides coming together to promote peace.”

In an attempt to clarify, I approached the stall at the conference on Friday to enquire if there was any Palestinians involved. Remarkably, the activists manning the stall pointed at Stein, claiming he was Palestinian. That the organisers are prepared to tell such blatant mistruths seems only to confirm fears about the duplicity of the organisation.

The creation of front groups is not a new tactic among those who seek to defend Israel’s actions. They represent an attempt to create an equilibrium in a conflict where none exists. I risk stating the obvious, but it’s important to remember that there is an occupier and an occupied. Israel is a nuclear-armed state, with the ninth strongest army in the world, and the blanket support of the world’s sole superpower. The Palestinians are a dispersed and dispossessed people largely abandoned by the international community.

The naivety displayed in McDonald’s article in the face of these facts is worrying. Dialogue and discussion are not new concepts to Palestinians. “Constructive engagement” has been attempted for decades through a series of peace talks, notably the Oslo Accords. It has only resulted in further entrenchment of occupation, increased illegal settlements in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip turned into the world’s largest open-air prison.

It was the failure of these peace talks that led to a wide coalition of Palestinian civil society calling for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until the country abides by international law. A basic tenet of solidarity is listening to the voices of those who you are standing with. McDonald says he wants to set an example for what a “modern Palestinian rights organisation should be”, while at the same time ignoring the united position of those he purports to be advocating for.

This wasn’t always the case. At a pre-election hustings in 2015, McDonald declared that what is happening in Palestine is “apartheid” and committed himself to supporting the BDS movement. It is unclear why he appears to have changed his position so drastically since then.

Similarly, McDonald accuses the “anti-imperialist left” of conflating the conflict with a host of other issues, something which is “unhelpful” to the Palestinian cause. But it’s politically illiterate to ignore the role that imperialism has played, and continues to play, in the ongoing oppression of the Palestinians. The people suffering the consequences don’t have the luxury of ignoring such context.

Indeed, upon visiting the region for the first time I discovered that the name people there associate most with Britain was that of former prime minister and foreign secretary Arthur Balfour. Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration in which Balfour – himself a Scot – promised the land of Palestine to the Zionist movement. Palestine was at that time under British control and it was typical of the entitlement of imperial Britain to believe it was theirs to give away.

Furthermore, in the present day Israel would not be able to act with the impunity that it does without the continued financial and diplomatic support of the United States. This is the context in which the situation was created and in which it is allowed to continue. It is remarkable that someone who claims to have been a long-term advocate of Palestinians rights can be so dismissive of such factors.

The SNP should be applauded for its strong record in opposing racism, including anti-semitism. They should also be commended for commitments to upholding international justice such as former first minister Alex Salmond’s call for an arms embargo on Israel.

This is because when it comes to racism and oppression sitting on the fence should never be an option. Perhaps Stewart McDonald has been hoodwinked about the real motivations behind the formation of the SNP’s latest group. Or perhaps he now genuinely believes support for Israel’s actions is consistent with support for a just peace in the Middle East.

Whatever the case may be I expect the majority of people within the SNP and Scotland as a whole, are unlikely to be fooled. Instead, following in the finest traditions of Scottish internationalism, they will continue to unequivocally stand up for the right of Palestinians to self-determination and return.


Comments (79)

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  1. Dougie Blackwood says:

    Spot on. The State of Israel, in its actions, has gone beyond any reasonable boundaries of decency and compassion. In a conversation the other day I compared it with the actions of the settlers in the United States; the indigenous peoples are herded into ever shrinking reservations and are ethnically cleansed to make way for a single group.

    When Israel was set up there were areas where the Palestinians were sovereign and others where the settlers held sway. All of that original area originally shared between the peoples, with the exception of the open prison that is Gaza, is now controlled by the Israeli Stare to the exclusion of the Palestinians. That area is now not enough and the West Bank of the river Jordan is being rapidly colonised. The ancient Palestinian towns and villages are being emptied and the people are being replaced by incoming settlers. Those dispossessed are given no redress and no meaningful compensation.

    Do these actions remind you of another state, well known to the Jewish people? The SNP is a broad church and everyone has a right to a view, regardless of how repugnant. I do believe that most of the membership will consider that the Palestinians are the ones that have suffered abuse from the bully boys of the State of Israel and their backers in the United States. There will be little support for any Israeli front organisation.

  2. Paul Shortt says:

    The SNP need to deal with this lot accordingly.

  3. Monty says:

    I was slightly surprised that Sandra White stood at the last election. The cartoon she retweeted was about as offensive as is possible. It might have been an error but it was a ten on a racism scale and caused a lot of embarrassment for the party. This group looks like it could also be an embarrassment but this whole area is mired in sectarianism and racism of the worst sort and both Israel and Palestine have some very dodgy fellow travellers

  4. Mick says:

    Today’s report from the Home Affairs Committee reveals that Stewart MacDonald was just early off the starting block. Angus Robertson has now joined the attacks on Palestinian solidarity and aligned with the Tories and New Labour in working to criminalise democratic critiques of Zionism: http://scottishpsc.org.uk/governments/major-all-party-attack-on-free-speech-for-palestine

  5. c rober says:

    The whole Israel thing is alien to me , more so in whom backs who.

    The west sets up a Jewish state , for a nomadic race , smack bang in oil territory , on the middle ground between muslim , christian and Jew. The inconvenience of Palestine doesn’t matter , the history of religious and tribal hate in the region also doesnt matter…. or was it deliberate – given British history in the region on old empire and installing puppets?

    However the taking of land , by either party should be addressed officially , after all if living next to your neighbour means bombs and home made mortars on schools and hospitals , then any reasonable person would want the largest distance possible defined , and asbo line if you will – UN mandated and maps redrawn.

    Still many will rightly complain of car related murders , or knife crimes on the street , however no one asks why – instead only do they complain. And while those afformentioned atrocities are a deliberate act , so is the border blocking of materials to rebuild schools , houses and employment – as well as for farming.

    So if the UN is all powerful , and Isreal is scared of its shadow in all compass directions , then perhaps it is time to define that proper border – in the interest of all not just Palestin , Israel but for the muslim neighbours and the world itself , so simply not just two states , one of which has history pre 1940s as a travelling tribe rather than a state , the other of course defined as one long before that.

    However perhaps , and this may even be racist sounding here , so be warned reverse racists may react accordingly , then just perhaps the SNP is courting the Jewish banker , for its free state?

    But beware the bedfellows , fortunately as far as I know unlike England – Scotland has no arms to sell them.

  6. Crubag says:

    It’s an argument that seems to bring in the worst in people, or at least bring to the surface comfortable prejudices that usually shy away from the light. Though social media can be all too revealing sometimes.

    But the SNP supporting the existence of Israel is simply mainstream politics. Single-state solutions? That would be for a party disapperaong into the margins of political life. I can think of one a bit like that.

    The Palestinians have suffered repeatedly from poor and cortupt leadership, always a decade or so behind the times, failing to set up a state in 1948, sticking with hijackings and bombings when the world had lost its tolerance for revolution, and now stuck with Islamism in a world sickened by Al Qaeda and Islamic State. And no prospects of elections any time soon to resolve. Not good.

    1. Craig Miller says:

      yeah …but its obvious that you dont understands the magnitude of the crime against humanity that was involved in the Naqba …there is NOTHING legitimate about any zionist statelet on the land of Stolen Palestine ….they are paying monies to corrupt politicians inside the SNP to attempt to make any critique of their criminal behaviour …paradoxically …a crime ….the anti Palestinian SNP are just one more zionist corrupted political party ……like ALL the other pro british parties and the vile state that they support

  7. Kenny Brown says:

    Please take care with language. I have a strange feeling this is a ‘Tojan Horse’ organisation which, if any wild and biased criticism of the State of Israel is made by SNP members, will be used to discredit the SNP in the same way that the Labour Party is currently being undermined.

    1. Richard MacKinnon says:

      Your point regarding the careful use of language when discussing Israel and the Palestinians is apt.
      The SNP and its members have every right to voice their opinion and must do so, but the discourse has to be reasoned and temperate.
      When Brian MacLeod says “The Party should have NO INVOLVEMENT WHATSOEVER in Middle Eastern affairs, this is Toxic.” he is failing to recognise the responsibilities of a political party of government.

    2. Maria F says:

      I agree

      1. Maria F says:

        My reply was to Kenny Brown’s comment

  8. J Galt says:

    The Party should have NO INVOLVEMENT WHATSOEVER in Middle Eastern affairs, this is Toxic.

    We all have our views on the rights and wrongs of not only the current situation but also the history, but that is how they should remain – private views.

    Official recognition of such groups supporting any faction involved will only serve to harm the Party, and the motives of those forming such groups must be questioned – they should be throttled at birth.

    There will be plenty of time after Independence for this, although even then caution should be our watchword – meddling in other people’s business can be a dangerous activity – ask Norway!

    1. Paul Shortt says:

      It’s simply a question of humanity over the very worst of humanity.

      Some of the comments above are, to me, reeking of ignorance.

      Educate yourself properly before you talk about such an important issue.

      WAKE UP!!!


      1. J Galt says:

        Paul with respect you don’t know what I think about this matter – I might agree with everything you think – that’s not the point I’m making.

        There are forums to discuss this – here for instance – the SNP should not be a forum for such discussions, if it does it will become a weapon to attack us, from whatever side of the argument.

        We have our own battle to fight before we can start helping others win theirs.

        Restraint is a much underestimated and undervalued characteristic in these days of wearing your heart on your sleeve.

    2. eddie cairney says:

      Quite agree. They are guaranteed to have malevolence as part of their DNA. It should be the UN’s job to sort out Israel. The SNP would do well to stay well clear of them. You would think twice of inviting just anybody home for tea. This is definitely a time for the SNP to think twice.

  9. Brian MacLeod says:

    This sounds to me like money or blackmail doing some talking.

    I agree with this:

    J Galt

    The Party should have NO INVOLVEMENT WHATSOEVER in Middle Eastern affairs, this is Toxic.

  10. Keith William Hendry says:

    Stay out of it Scotland, all the posturing will bring no good whatever the egotists claim. We will receive no thanks of any worth over this issue, that is, a thanks that will benefit Scotland, there won’t be one. As for the followers of Celtic FC & their continued politicising football games, drop that posturing nonsense, it will change hee haw & will only cause more, not less grief.

    1. Richard MacKinnon says:

      The Green Brigade’s recent show of support for the Palestinian’s cause during Celtics recent Euro qualifier against Hapoel Beer-Sheva did make a difference. It was picked up on by media outlets on both sides of the Israeli/Palestinian divide. Check the comments from the Israel press 11 August 2016. It is informative.

  11. Craig Miller says:

    this is exactly why i want nothing to do with Angus Robertson ….Military Intelligence has now intruded one of its agents into the SNPs leadership…i will never vote for them again …the rightward drift of these Tartan Tories sickens me ….zionism is welcome to them …

    1. Alistair says:

      If that is the case then you will never add democratic support to an independent Scotland, because the SNP is the only road towards that. The issue of Palestine/Israel has lost independence one vote – exactly as it was designed to do, divide and rule.

      The SNP should have no involvement or opinion on Israel/Palestine, Northern Ireland or even Catalonia. Too divisive, too toxic. Deal with one issue at a time. Independent first above all else.

      1. Craig Miller says:

        more chance of tripping over something and falling into a state of independence than it being delivered by the arch devolutionist SNP …..sadly after 45 years of leafleting door knocking and pavement slogging i now firmly believe that electoralism is the main mission statement of that party , they now publish manifestos bereft of the merest mention of the word independence …if by any chance they deliver another indy ref they will throw it in exactly the same “british” tinged cringe that they pulled last time& with the same results …good at winning british elections though

  12. David says:

    The people born in the Palestine/Israel area did not choose to be born there. The majority of them did not choose their religion. If we believe that our country, Scotland, welcomes all races, cultures, nationalities and religions then we should be careful what we shout at various races, cultures, nationalities and religions that do what they can to live and survive in the land of their birth. I’m not taking sides except to try and support all the people there who believe and want a peaceful future for themselves and their children.

    1. Craig Miller says:

      Palestine …..from the river to the sea ….belongs exclusively to the Palestinians …the squatters who violently ethnically cleansed them had to come there from ANOTHER CONTINENT ENTIRELY , there is no parity of esteem involved ….violent land theft is either a ” good thing ” or a “bad thing ” ..if its a ” bad thing ” oppose it like i have my whole life ….stating historical FACTS can open one to screaming hysteria and accusations ……i dont care ….oppose “bad things”

      1. David says:

        And all the white people need to get out of the USA and Australia for the same reasons?

        1. Craig Miller says:

          eh ? are you asking me about an event that happened within the memory of living men …the emasculators , the mass rapists , the well poisoners , the library burners …who still walk the earth with impunity whilst their victims still suffer from their ongoing humiliation ….or Davy Crockett ? i oppose imperialism that crushes native peoples underfoot so you can imagine that i do have reservations with these HISTORICAL imperialisms you mention …My family have a personal interest in the events that took place there as recently as 1948 …land theft ? ….good or bad ? …i say “bad”

          1. David says:

            So we wait a few hundred years and then its OK? …. I’m not saying you don’t have a point. I’m not saying you don’t have a right to be angry. I just don’t share much of you know point of view. I think it is too simplistic and I don’t think it offers a workable lasting solution to a problem that has been around for a long, long time and did not simply appear in 1948.

  13. Gerry Loose says:

    Can you shed a little more light on who Sammy Stein actually is: his nationality and his current country of residence, please?

  14. J Galt says:

    One little historical point – Britain did not “control Palestine” at the time of the Balfour Declaration.

    The earliest draft of the declaration is thought to have been made in July 1917 (it was made public on 9th November 1917). The battle of Jerusalem did not conclude until late December 1917 and the final battles in Judea did not take place until the summer of 1918.

  15. Craig Miller says:

    Bishop Desmond Tutu after visiting Stolen Palestine described the situation there as ” worse” than the apaarthied Boer State ….Hilary Clinton describes it as a beacon of democracy ……apply your own bullshit test

  16. Mark Rowantree says:

    This so called group bears all the hallmarks of a pro-israellie front group. If anyone in the SNP wishes to support Israel and it’s policies they of course have a perfect right to do so. Providing that is, any group clearly sets out their aims and their backers. It may be that Mr MacDonald has been played for a patsy, I really don’t know: however bearing in mind the famous self discipline of the SNP MPs this would seem unlikely. I have to admit that were he representing me he would receive a missive outlining my displeasure at his at best naïveté or at worst a serious lack of judgement.

  17. john young says:

    Israel is a pariah state and it,s tentacles stretch far and wide in this world,they control the senate in the USA they control the media/financial institutions,they are and corrupt and venal people,I am not referring to the Jewish people but the Khazars,a large part of the malaise in the middle east is down to protecting the state of Israel,just ask yourselves who gains most from the trouble,Israel because it removes two of those that they fear most Syria/Hezbollah who have defeated them twice in recent years.Start digging a bit deeper if you want the TRUTH.

    1. Frank says:

      Take your own advice John and keep digging. Nothing is ever what it appears to be.

  18. Craig Miller says:

    Ah ….the Truth …..the truth is in and of itself “anti semitic ” any rehearsal of the actual events that contributed to the displacement of the indigenous people of Palestine is so horrific , so criminal , so barbaric that it constitutes “anti semitism ” by its repetition ….the things that were done there in 47/8 shame humanity , and if it wasnt for a profound war weariness amongst post war sentiment it would have been opposed and the right wing ideology of zionism would never have been allowed to so poison the atmosphere of debate around a fairer world …fairness thats ” anti semitic ” too

  19. J Galt says:

    We are now entering dangerous territory… and that’s okay on this forum and others similar to it – up to whatever level of discussion the regulators of these sites are prepared to tolerate.

    However moderate this discussion is to start with it quickly progresses to the next level causing controversy and easy targets for attack.

    The Labour Party in England has been subverted by these very questions and it would be tragic if the SNP were to go down the same road.

    The SNP should be concerned with the struggle for Scottish Independence and the interests of the Scottish People – not Grandstanding on issues it can have no influence on.

    We can all have views, even strong views, on this issue but leave them outside the Party. For God’s sake have a bit of self control in order to further the cause of Independence.

    1. Craig Miller says:

      Eh?…. since my fifteenth year the Theft of Palestine has been my cause also…. That and independence…. both rely on telling historically verified facts with as much integrity as possible… If it hurts the SNP to associate themselves with a legitimate liberation struggle.. Then it may be an integrity problem…. with them not me I’m 64 my heart remains true.. There is no parity of esteem between the occupied and the occupier

    2. Jamie says:

      I can not just turn the other cheek when people are being murdered daily and having their homes demolished. How would you feel if someone turns up on your door step today and says “sorry pal you need to move out of here because tomorrow we are demolishing your home to make room for some Israeli settlers?”

      I will be sure to turn the other cheek then when that happens, is that what you want?

  20. tartanfever says:

    I don’t know if Liam planned this article with prior knowledge, but the BBC have released the new Adam Curtis documentary ‘Hypernormalisation’ on the i-player yesterday which deals precisely with the middle east and the confusion surrounding where our Western structures of society have led us to believe, or not believe.

    It comes in at a staggering 3 hrs and if you don’t want to use the i-player, the ‘thoughtmaybe?’ website have it up. (google ‘thoughtmaybe?’)

    Spoiler alert : the sections on Gadaffi and his role as a Western puppet are staggering. Blair comes out looking like a very dangerous man.

    Spread the word.

  21. Edward Sutherland says:

    Liam, I suspect that I am the ‘activists’ you are accusing of ‘blatant mistruths’.

    To clarify, you did not identify yourself as a journalist: I am not one of the organisers. Mr Stein was born in the British Mandate of Palestine, therefore he is Palestinian. That is what I told you.

    You then asked to speak with Mr Stein and indeed did speak with him. You had the opportunity to ask any questions you wished. I note that you do not see fit to mention this in your article.

    1. Gerry Loose says:

      May I ask what passport Mr Stein holds and his current country of residence?

      1. Edward Sutherland says:

        Gerry, I invite you to contact the author of the article, Liam O’Hare. He had a conversation with Mr Stein, which he has chosen not to report for some reason, and should be able to answer your questions.

        1. Gerry Loose says:

          Thanks, Edward. Do you by any chance have contact details for him?

          1. Edward Sutherland says:

            Certainly. His Twitter page is here: https://twitter.com/Liam_O_Hare and his email address is on it.

          2. Gerry Loose says:

            Thank you!

    2. Craig Miller says:

      If it’s anything to do with zionism…. It’s bound to be a lie….. If you speak the truth to them it’s like a virus

    3. Craig Miller says:

      Yeah….. Everything is above board….. The reason why you can’t admit to your agenda, is that this right wing ideology and its flagrant flouting of any international attempt to moderate its violence is a hard sell to decent people…. People who have to hide behind front organizations are aware of their public infamy

  22. Willie says:

    Seems to me that the Palestinian cause is undermined by the xenophobic sectarianism expoused of some of the very much left leaning pro Palestine groups. Friends of Peace in the Middle East seems to me to be an organisation that is trying to recognise that peace will only come through negotiation, accommodation and trust.

    As someone said earlier their are dodgy characters on either side and we need to realise that. The area that is Israel and Palestine is a shared heritage and both sides need to recognise that.

    Friends of Peace in the Middle East tries I think to recognise that.

    1. Edward Sutherland says:

      Willie, you are absolutely right. SNP Friends for Peace in the Middle East has been set up by SNP members who wish to see respectful dialogue within the party and to promote balanced and informed views. A great many people signed up to receive further information as the group progresses, including several elected members. Shouting hateful things, or writing them online, may make people feel better, but ultimately it achieves nothing for peace; risks bringing the party into disrepute and does not help anyone they claim to support.

      Please contact the group via the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/snpfriendsforpeace/?fref=ts

    2. eddie cairney says:

      eddie cairney
      I wish it was that simple.

  23. Graeme Purves says:

    The establishment of this group seems to me to be a fairly obvious piece of mischief.

  24. Blair paterson says:

    The bottom line is a people are being killed and having their land stolen by another people fair minded people condemn this it’s as simple as that I heard Corbyn was condemned for not condemning Hamas who are only protecting their people and their land in that context you could condemn the British army for defending Britain in ww2 there is only one wrong doer in all this and it is not Palastine

  25. Craig Miller says:

    Xenophobic sectarianism ???!….. Where does opposing violent land theft or opposing illegal occupation under international law fit in to this ragbag insult…. Sectarian? the people imposing racially inspired Law are the zionists anti Christian anti Muslim….. Xenophobic?… YouTube….. ” Christian pilgrims being insulted in Jerusalem” multiple cases of xenophobia there

  26. Paddy says:

    I would like to know what the author means by (and what others make of) the ‘finest traditions of Scottish internationalism’, mentioned in the final paragraph?

    1. SimonB says:

      Paddy – As I’m sure you’re aware, the ‘finest traditions of Scottish internationalism’ find a connection to ‘The Bard’ in his anthem to Humanity: ‘A Man’s A Man’.

      In the concluding verse of this magnificent poem Rabbie has the audacity to confidently invoke a future of International Brotherhood, thereby utterly denouncing AT LAST the folly and futility of engaging in the undignified, demonic dynamic of conflict and war.

      We’re All Jock Tamson’s Bairns… We’re All Children of Adam.

      In spite of all the pigeon holes We find ourselves, where We have become suckers to the social engineering of “Divide and Rule”. Though We all individually live, breathe, piss and poo collectively We all have the capacity to feel empathy for the other, and through nurturing empathy We can overcome!

      In spite of all the woe We actually live in a rather civilised age where its patently obvious there is more than enough “for everyone’s needs, but not enough contending with greed”. Food, clothing and shelter is there for everyone if We just collectively evolved beyond the enslaving power of money and the fixation of private property. Here’s to Non-Violent Open Source Revolution!

      We need a system reboot that overcomes Our hatred and fear of each other. Not to go all religious, though We are dealing with the Holyland, but it’s a simple ancient truth that is still waiting to be learned: “Love Thine Enemy”.

      In doing so you disarm your enemy’s fear, and since fear betrays trust and provokes violence, the dissolution of fear is vital if We are ever to realise Peace…

      Maybe this group are actually Halal&kosher! There are active groups in Palestine bridging the divide and to witness the convergence as documented in film is a very moving, very powerful and a very hopeful beacon to Humanity in this Age of Austerity and Endarkenment.

      Paddy – If you haven’t seen the 2001 film ‘Promises’ I recommend!

      1. Paddy says:

        Yes interesting what you are saying about Burns and an international brotherhood. I find it peculiar though how this is done within a nationalist framework, ie; ‘Scottish internationalism’, rather than just internationalism. This gives the notion that there is an English, Irish, French etc., version of internationalism. I reckon this nationalist narrative only works to create further ‘divide and rule’ as you mention.

        Thanks for the heads up on ‘Promises’, might give it a wee gander.

        1. SimonB says:

          Hi Paddy – aye that’s a good point regarding Internationalism – never mind affixing nation states to the title!

          Checked to see if Promises is available on Utube and it looks as if an incomplete version is:


          Also worth checking out is a film called Encounter Point:


          Here’s to Reconciliation, Peace&Sanity!

  27. Jamie says:

    The SNP must beware the infiltration of the Israeli lobby. It has already bought the Labour, Liberals and Tory parties. Naturally they would target the 3rd biggest party in the UK.

    Israel can not be allowed to completely elimanate Palestine.

  28. Craig Miller says:

    I have only spoken uncomfortable historic truth…. the Palestinians were violently dispossessed…. The people who did that DID have to come there from ANOTHER CONTINENT ENTIRELY…. the occupation IS entirely illegal under international law, as is the ethnic cleansing.. nothing I say is hateful or sectarian as it is based entirely on legally arguable fact… I leave the profound racism to the zionists… I proudly oppose land theft and racially based ethnic cleansing

  29. Stuart Adair says:

    We had better get used to this sort of things folks. When independence finally comes, and presuming the SNP form the government, they are offering a very middle of the road, neo-liberal, don’t rock the boat, form of independence. They merely wish to be a member of the club and getting closer to Israel and distancing themselves from Pro-Palestinian positions, is just one part of that. Nobody should be fooled into thinking they have a radical agenda for an independent Scotland.

  30. Stuart Adair says:

    Like many other supporters of independence I favour a neutral Scotland. It is only from a position of neutrality that honest opinion and advice can be given and taken. If a country is part and parcel of US/Western hegemony/imperialism, it has already chosen sides and cannot give an honest view – actions speak louder than words.

    1. eddie cairney says:

      Absolutely right Stuart. When independence does come we will have to maintain that neutrality otherwise it will be out of the frying pan into the fire.

  31. Yan says:

    Deleterious is the obsession with Palestine in some Scottish political quarters, is it an expression or transference of deep held and suppressed Scottish sectarianism?

    Really is an oddball of Scottish domestic politics.

  32. J Galt says:

    This is not a debate about the rights and wrongs of the Israel/Palestine issue.

    This should be a debate about whether the introduction of this issue into the SNP tends to serve or harm the cause of Independence.

    The people we are up against in our struggle are hard hearted bastards using every low means of subterfuge, legal or illegal available – to hand them ammunition to use against us on a plate is madness.

  33. Bad Goyen says:

    Don’t even mention Scotland and Israel in the same breath it’s an ofensive oxymoron. To Scotland that is.

  34. old battle says:

    I should like to ask the SNP Pro Palestine Group or indeed Liam O’Hare questions in the context of a lack of information on the SNP’s position on the middle-east.
    Does the SNP Palestine group recognise the PLO west-bank Gov as the sole legitimate Gov of Palestine?

    OR Do they recognize a joint Palestine state with the PLO plus Gaza & its Gov of Ḥarakat al-Muqāwamah al-ʾIslāmiyyah Islamic Resistance Movement aka Hamas an Islamic fundamentalist party?

    OR Do they recognize Hamas & the PLO as two separate Governments each representing Palestine?

    OR Does the SNP Palestine Group NOT recognize Hamas?

    1. Craig Miller says:

      Yeah well speaking for decent people whatever their constitutional preference…. I would say that land theft, deliberate targeting of civilians, ethnic cleansing, and racially motivated law..are a no no.. some might say that a well funded, and existentially guaranteed entity masquerading as a legitimate state might be expected to behave as if their propaganda had some basis in reality… the zionists are shameless fascists they don’t care that decent humanity is offended by their casual savagery

      1. leavergirl says:

        You just won’t quit with your hateful monologues, will you, Craig? There are no heroes on either side. I know the history. And turning it into this black/white, devils/angels picture pleases only demagogues. This frothing at the mouth serves no one. And that includes Palestinians.

        1. Craig Miller says:

          BTW I I doubt that you know anything like the history you claim… Your comment failed to deal with any of the charges I leveled… Targeting civilians… violent dispossessions… racially motivated Law.. just hysterical rhetoric about “hate”… I don’t take you seriously unless you can give some justification for the fascism

        2. eddie cairney says:

          Lets forget all the who’s right and who’s wrong stuff. Let’s forget all the shades of political greyness. Let’s try to see the situation for what it really is. Israel is an apartheid state. It wasn’t alright in southern Africa so why should it be alright in the middle east ?

          1. Craig Miller says:

            Couldn’t agree more…. first principles trump political expediencies… I didn’t want to have anything to do with apaartheid because it was WRONG….. in the end… Despite all their western backers, and all their industries, all their advanced weaponry, and all their strategic usefulness their erstwhile allies were forced by the decent world to abandon them…. mighty zionism just has further to fall

          2. eddie cairney says:

            Dear Leavergirl
            Two wrongs don’t make a right.

          3. leavergirl says:

            No, it’s not (an apartheid state). If you are concerned about gross mistreatment of people, why dontcha hate on the Saudis instead? Somebody should. And wtf is everybody selling them fancy weapons? After they destroy Yemen, who’s next?

          4. leavergirl says:

            Eddie, I just read a book that would answer all you say, including your charge of apartheid. It is “The Trouble with Islam” by Irshad Majid. As a modern Muslim, she speaks of the need to find out for herself what is going (what was going on when she wrote it, in early noughts), and spent some time visiting both Israel and the West Bank & Gaza, speaking with many people and experiencing it for herself. I highly recommend it — she goes into much historical detail, some that wasn’t even covered in the historical tome I read. She is very frank, does not shy from discussing Muslim antisemitism and many other issues — a good chunk of the book is about her trip, what happened there, and her reactions.

            I think it’s a shame that the discussion here has degenerated into regurgitation of certain sectarian talking points.

          5. eddie cairney says:

            Dear Leavergirl
            The problem here, as I see it, is that far too few people are able to see the wood for the trees. I would also like to say that nothing in life needs to be complicated only if we want it to be.

  35. Craig Miller says:

    Ha ha ha who you?….. I don’t care what anybody thinks, that can’t see the inhumanity involved in the Naqba ….. You can’t see it? I really don’t care…. Frothing? ha ha ha yer bahookie

  36. Craig Miller says:

    Desmond Tutu says its worse than the Boer State… Some poster who won’t even use her own name says it’s not… Who shall I believe hmmmmn?

  37. Craig Miller says:

    Shame this thread has degenerated into a discussion about the religion people have and not Ethnic cleansing and land theft… Torture etc…. I don’t care if you hate Islam…. Nothing at all to do with illegal occupation and violent dispossessions, and if you want to see me condemn the Al Saud you can find past quotes against theirs and many others injustices…. You can’t deal with the charges leveled above because they are rooted in truth…. Whataboutery… It’s all you apologists have in the end

  38. Penny says:

    I don’t agree with the argument made by Mr O’Hare. He is perfectly free to voice his support of Palestine but there is no necessary link between his support of Palestine and the need for SNP to do so. First of all, political parties are about ideas; the SNP may well support the idea of self-determination but that does not imply support of Palestine since Israel’s right to self-determination (its right to exist) is also at issue. How is it possible to support self-determination as a principle whilst opposing self-determination of a country you don’t like? Too much of the emotive discussion about the middle east in general and Israel-Palestine in particular assigns blame on a people rather than on political parties such as Likud, Fatah, etc., each with their own absolutist, undemocratic, sectarian agendas.

    1. Craig Miller says:

      Why are you parading your ignorance about Stolen Palestine? You obviously know nothing about it…. The SNP are an electoralist sell out devolutionary mess… Expecting them stand up for any principle is a folorn hope… their only mission statement is continuing to exercise the illusion of power under the vile british state

  39. Craig Miller says:

    SNP = NATO = zionist supporters….. Vile sell out rubbish. Desperate that their fellow brits don’t call their completely empty bluff… We desperately need to untie the noble horse of Independence from the SNPs stinking devolutionary muck cart

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