"Ken McIntosh as Labour Party candidate for Communities and Social Justice Minister in a Scottish Government sends a grim message to Scotland's Palestinian community, campaigners for justice for the long-violated Palestinian people, Scottish Muslims and Scottish Christian churches, and anyone in Scotland of any or no political affiliation, whether pro- or anti-independence, who takes social justice seriously. How can we trust someone who fabricates racist incidents to create tensions between different Scottish communities as Minister for Communities and Social Justice?"

The leader of the Labour Party in Scotland, Jim Murphy, a past Chair of Labour Friends of Israel, visited Israel in 2011 as a Labour Defence spokesman to learn from Israel's "exceptional best practice".(1) In 2013 Murphy led another Labour Party delegation to pladge yet again Labour's unswerving support for Israel. While there he praised the nuclear-armed state as "a country tInciting inter-communal hostility?hat over the decades has faced traditional military and security threats from other states is now being confronted with the prospect of terror on most, if not all and each of its borders." This claim ignores the long history of repeated Israeli invasions and incursions into all of its neighbouring states(2) which continue in the case of Lebanon to the present day.

Now Murphy has appointed Ken McIntosh, his MSP counterpart in East Renfrewshire, as Labour spokesman on Communities and Social Justice. Filling this specific position with a vocal supporter of a Jewish supremacist state built on the ethnic cleansing of the native Palestinian population is scandalous; the Palestinian community in Scotland can hardly address their concerns to McIntosh with any confidence, to a man who shares, or claims to share, Israel's view of the world every bit as much as Murphy. An open advocate for a state that systematically discriminates against its Muslim and Christian citizens is now Labour spokesman for Communities and Social Justice.

A further sinister aspect of McIntosh' appointment is that Murphy 's appointee to the post of Labour spokesman for Communities and Social Justice has a history of dishonestly smearing supporters of Palestinian rights as "anti-semitic", i.e. racist. This goes beyond the common Zionist intellectual dishonesty in claiming a surge in "anti-semitism" in the only country in Europe that, according to David Daiches,"has no history of state persecution of Jews". The slightest acquaintance with the theory and practice of Zionist organisations world-wide suggests great caution in evaluating Zionist claims of anti-semitism. After all, this movement claims that anti-semitism is always widespread, ineradicable, something to be accepted since Herzl, and even welcomed as an incentive for Jews to leave their homes and emigrate to Palestine (after 1948 to Israel).

But McIntosh doesn't only repeat the Zionist mantra that support for Palestine - even flying a Palestinian flag – generates anti-semitism; on at least one occasion, an excess of zeal led McIntosh to apparently invent a racist campaign against Scottish Jews. The April 30th 2010 edition of the Jewish Telegraph provided space for McIntosh to announce that SPSC members "target Jewish people living here in Scotland because of their own blinkered hostility to Israel". This was based on a claim that he had seen an anti-Semitic leaflet calling for a boycott of kosher food in the Giffnock branch of Morrisons.

His claim of a hate crime against Scottish Jews by Palestine human rights advocates was totally unfounded and according to a senior police officer some months later, "Police enquiries established that no offence had been committed" contrary to what McIntosh had alleged (20.01.11) McIntosh declined to discuss the matter further when challenged by one of his constituents. He lost any interest in the matter and cavalierly wrote to a constituent who asked him about such a serious matter that "I cannot find the original email".

McIntosh' declared "outrage" had quickly evaporated at what would have been – if real - a clear example of hate crime against his Jewish constituents. If he really believed that he had seen an anti-semitic leaflet calling for a boycott of kosher food, then it was his clear duty to share that evidence with the police. His inability to do so lends extra weight to the suspicions of the Glasgow Jewish Educational Forum's Jeremy Stein who wondered whether McIntosh was motivated primarily by the hope of "electoral advantage" in his zeal for ferretting out anti-semitism, both real and imagined.

Jim Murphy's record of virulent pro-Israeli advocacy puts him very far out of step with Scottish, UK and world public opinion. His selection of Ken McIntosh as Labour Party candidate for Communities and Social Justice Minister in a Scottish Government sends a grim message to Scotland's Palestinian community, campaigners for justice for the long-violated Palestinian people, Scottish Muslims and Scottish Christian churches, and anyone in Scotland of any or no political affiliation, whether pro- or anti-independence, who takes social justice seriously.  How can we trust someone who fabricates racist incidents to create tensions between different Scottish communities to be our Minister for Communities and Social Justice?

Mick Napier
West Calder
19th December 2014

Notes:
1. He didn't apparently discuss Israel's nuclear WMDs, its use of torture, massive human rights violations, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, or genocidal attacks on Gaza.
2. 1948 - Israel attacked and occupied large areas designated for Palestinians in the UN Partition Plan. 1956 - Israel launched unprovoked attack on Egypt in collusions with Britain and France. 1967 - Israel launched attack on Egypt, Syria and Jordan   1973 - Egypt attacked Israeli forces in Egyptian Sinai in attempt to recover the area from Israeli occupation  1978 - Israel invaded Lebanon  1982 - Israel invaded Lebanon    2006 - Israel attacked Lebanon but was driven out  

If you find our articles, research and contributions useful...
Please consider becoming a member or making a donation to Scottish PSC. We are a wholly volunteer organisation and we need your help to continue our work - focused on BDS and delivering effective solidarity with Palestinians.
JOIN / DONATE HERE

Receive news and updates - Join our mailing list!