EDINBURGH, July 30 (RIA Novosti), Mark Hirst – The Scottish and UK Government’s refusal to back a policy of boycotting Israel goods and services following its military offensive in Gaza goes against public opinion, a leading Palestinian campaigner has told RIA Novosti.
Mick Napier, Secretary of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, slammed Scottish and UK Ministers for their refusal to back sanctions against Israel.
“The Scottish and UK Government’s position is discredited,” Napier told RIA Novosti.
“It was tried with apartheid South Africa and effectively repudiates the Palestinian appeal, renewed under the current bombing and shelling in Gaza, for peaceful democratic action in support for their struggle for freedom,” Napier added.
“By opposing the Palestinian appeal for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) the Scottish and UK Governments are leaving them unprotected and undefended under the current genocidal attack by the Israel state,” Napier added.
Napier, a former university lecturer, told RIA Novosti the decision by the Scottish Government to offer medical supplies instead of implementing a boycott flew in the face of public opinion in Scotland.
“It is somewhat sinister to offer medical aid to the people of Palestine as did [US Secretary of State] John Kerry, while supporting Israel’s right to attack Gaza and denying Palestinians the right to defend themselves,” Napier told RIA Novosti. “This is in extreme contrast to Scottish public opinion.”
Spokeswoman for the Scottish Government, Gillian Provan, told RIA Novosti, “The Scottish Government does not support or encourage trade with illegal settlements.
“In line with other Governments in Europe, we do not advocate a policy of boycotting Israel,” Provan said.
Provan told RIA Novosti Scottish Ministers believed “engagement” with Israel offered the best chance of finding a resolution to the conflict.
“We believe that engagement with the Israeli Government provides us with an opportunity to call for a peaceful resolution between both sides of the conflict and present any concerns the Scottish Government may have,” Provan continued.
“Recently, those concerns have included the expansion of illegal settlements and the continued damage caused by the illegitimate blockade of Gaza,” Provan told RIA Novosti.
Maya Wind, an Israeli peace activist based in Jerusalem told RIA Novosti that “a siege mentality” was now gripping Israeli society as the wider BDS movement grew.
“What you are seeing in Israel right now is a siege mentality,” Wind said.
“The Israeli public, in response to this increasing global isolation, is just getting more and more stubborn,” Wind told RIA Novosti. “From our perspective, as peace activists, that is encouraging because it could signal the beginning of the end.”