"To be crystal clear: the objection from SPSC and many others is not to the presence of any individuals in an anti-racist march - it is to the acceptance of banners and flags celebrating the genocidal violence of the Israeli state. While SUTR will undoubtedly be holding their noses for a while, they are getting used to the presence within anti-racist spaces of an organisation that exists to defend and support Israel's ongoing racist massacres of brown-skinned Palestinians."

dunbarSteinIt is shocking that Stand Up to Racism included a delegation from racist Glasgow Friends of Israel in its conference last Saturday and is allowing it to mobilise as a participant in the anti-racist demonstration on March 16 in Glasgow. This will inevitably repel large numbers of Palestine supporters and weaken the struggle against the rising forces of the racist extreme right, within which Israel is a role model for White supremacists.

Friends of Israel Chair, Sammy Stein, quickly posted to "thank members of the Committee for welcoming us to this event", and promised to "stand shoulder to shoulder" to fight "racism" from the far right and "those of the far left". A cursory glance at Glasgow Friends of Israel Facebook page reveals the special loathing they share for Labour, “this institutionally antisemitic party”, and “Corbyn and his far left cronies”.

Now the supporters of racist mass murder have posted publicly their "support for SUTR" and thanked “members of the Committee for once again confirming our participation... in the march on 16th March". 

We await, and will welcome and publicise, a public statement from SUTR that their Committee members did not "welcome" Glasgow Friends of Israel to last Saturday's conference and/or have not confirmed their participation...in the march on March 16th.

Lest anyone be in any doubt as to the pro-Israel agenda that Stein claims has been “welcomed” into SUTR, he praised in the same post "this small state that has been under attack for over 70 years" and took the opportunity to denounce Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign as Holocaust deniers. This calumny comes from the people who cheered David Cameron's Minister, Andrew (now Lord) Stunnel, when he attacked Hajo Meyer, a survivor of the Dutch resistance and Auschwitz, for being “inflammatory and inappropriate” by drawing comparisons between Gaza and the Nazi treatment of Jews during a Scottish speaking tour for SPSC.

To be crystal clear: the objection from SPSC and many others is not to the presence of any individuals in an anti-racist march - it is to the acceptance of banners and flags celebrating the genocidal violence of the Israeli state. While SUTR will undoubtedly be holding their noses for a while, they are getting used to the presence within anti-racist spaces of an organisation that exists to defend and support Israel's ongoing racist massacres of brown-skinned Palestinians.

We oppose the neo-Nazis but the BNP (with whom Mr Stein has been recently consorting) and SDL only dream of future expulsions and possible killings of large numbers of brown-skinned people whereas Israel is actually carrying out such atrocities. That is why US White supremacist, Richard Spencer, calls himself a “White Zionist” for working for an exclusively white ethno-state in North America.

The great majority of Palestinians are Muslims under the control of a Jewish supremacist state which is carrying out the ethnic cleansing of the natives, and is openly committed to carrying through that ethnic cleansing programme to completion. The massacres and systematic oppression of Muslims by the State of Israel naturally incurs the enmity of the surrounding largely Muslim populations, which leads Israel in turn to promote Islamophobia and to build alliances around the world with ultra-rightist Islamophobic forces.

To sustain its settler colonial project, there is no other choice. This is why the Israeli State's outriders around the world, from Las Vegas billionaires to the Christian fundamentalist-led COFIS in Scotland, exude a steady stream of racist filth. What else describes the enthusiasm on the Glasgow Friends of Israel Facebook page (now removed) for a member's post approving the "euthanising" of Palestinians whom others in the group routinely call "Fakestinians".

Fury and rage at Israel's barbaric crimes against the Palestinian people has nothing in common with Jew-hatred, i.e. antisemitism. All those who work to conflate the two are providing a service to the Apartheid State that helps it to silence its opponents and thus to sustain the alliances that enable it to massacre Palestinians demanding their freedom. Sadly this core project of the State of Israel and its front groups has been boosted by elements of SUTR conflating opposition to agents of the Israeli State with opposition to Jews.

Such conflation plays directly into Israel's blood-soaked hands by weakening opposition to the baseless, sinister and dangerous claim of Israel that it commits its crimes on behalf of, and with the support of, all Jews. Such claims foment antisemitism, which is a bonus for those with long-held Zionist views that Jews should not live among others in Scotland or anywhere but should join the project to colonise Palestine and expel inhabitants of an "inferior" race.

Of course COFIS are playing SUTR, exploiting their terror of being branded "antisemitic" - as if anyone who supports Palestinian liberation can avoid such smears. Nobody believes COFIS has the slightest interest in fighting the racism they themselves spew and which saturates Israel; their sole aim is to maintain and intensify attacks against Jeremy Corbyn as antisemitic and against all supporters of Palestinian freedom, in defence of the most racist society on earth; and to prevent solidarity and the building of common cause with the Palestinian struggle as exemplified by Black Lives Matter in the US.

This SUTR position means direct opposition to the Palestinian-led BDS movement and to the Palestinian call to boycott and isolate the Apartheid State and its bases of support worldwide.

To add insult to injury, SUTR spokespersons last March asked Palestinian firefighters to lead their march, even though this could have led to them marching alongside the same Israeli flags that flutter over army checkpoints that have raised humiliation to a sinister art form, that often deliberately thwart their efforts to reach fires and save lives. Palestinians and their supporters were and are still being asked to march alongside flags that represent their murderers and oppressors, their pain and grief, the crimes they have suffered and those being planned for them and their children. Do they not understand? Flying Palestinian and Israeli flags side by side in Glasgow during a period of mass murder is normalising crimes against humanity.

We all need to reflect on how matters have deteriorated to such an extent that anti-racist campaigners can repel and condemn calls for support from an anti-colonial liberation movement.

Mick Napier
5th February 2019
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