The Zionist-led Scottish Council of Jewish Communities has made a submission to the Scottish Government's recently concluded consultation on external affairs. It is a rather mechanical recycling of familiar pro-Israel tropes, throwing around accusations of antisemitism as SCoJeC has been doing for many years without any justification, including false allegations against Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign that had to be retracted. Among the claims:
- rising anger at Israel's crimes is "virulent", i.e. dangerous, pernicious, destructive
- condemnation of Israeli crimes and the Zionist project as a whole is racist because Israel is allegedly a Jewish State
- most supporters of Palestinian freedom are antisemites
- criticising Israel apartheid and mass murder of Palestinians
- is racist
- makes Scottish jews feel uncomfortable
It is difficult to see why anyone should take seriously the views of the leaders of SCoJeC given their proven dishonesty in dealing with the Scottish Government in the past.
The dishonesty aside, what is one to make of SCoJeC’s formulation of the standard Israeli Embassy complaint that Israel is singled out for special treatment while - in SCoJeC’s words - Israel is “acting no differently from other states”.
This is an astonishing assertion and should make us ask: How ignorant or cowardly do SCoJeC take our politicians to be?
Which other states armed by the UK have been found guilty by the UN Human Rights Council, Amnesty International and other human rights bodies of slaughtering unarmed demonstrators by the hundred and setting snipers to deliberately maim tens of thousands? Which other countries have been found to be “killing children knowing them to be children, disabled Palestinians knowing them to be disabled”.
Which other state has a chief spiritual guide to its army who has endorsed rape of “comely” women to boost military morale? No other state has within living memory ethnically cleansed the great majority of native people to replace them with colonists from elsewhere.
SCoJeC acts as a stalking horse for the Israeli Embassy and no longer tries very hard to conceal the fact. It worked closely with the Israeli Government on a “political training day” in Scotland to “stand up for Israel”, i.e. to smear and silence voices raised in support of the Palestinian victims of the crimes that SCOJeC so consistently supports.
Consider one example, which must do duty for SCoJeC’s many preposterous efforts to conflate opposition to Israel’s crimes with anti-semitism. Denounced as antisemitic, the cartoon above merely contrasts Israel’s possession of a large arsenal of nuclear weapons of mass destruction with the West’s silence on the matter whilst assiduously searching for non-existent nukes in Iran.
When SCoJeC screams “anti-semitism” against this cartoon and cartoonist, most of us are apt to scratch our heads in bemusement.
False claims are dangerous and SCoJeC have made more than a few. They now allege that there have been “repeated instances of anti-Israel stickers being placed on food in the kosher food section of supermarkets”. No evidence is produced in support of this effort to show that support for Palestinian human rights is driven by antisemitism. Which supermarkets? When did this occur? Were the police informed? Given their proven record of dishonesty we should be asking to see evidence.
If true the activity is deplorable, but on SCoJeC's past record the kosher food stickering allegation is almost certainly manufactured as a contribution to the wider campaign to label as antisemitic all opponents of the State of Israel.
A single such accusation which was brought to public attention was investigated by the police and found to be baseless. The Jewish Telegraph of 30/4/10 quoted Ken McIntosh MSP, a man who supports every Israeli crime without exception. Ken was fulminating against a pro-Palestine leaflet or sticker:
"This kind of material is both offensive and entirely misplaced. It says everything about the views and the ignorance of these protesters that they are prepared to target Jewish people living here in Scotland because of their own blinkered hostility to Israel."
McIntosh claimed that he personally had seen an anti-Semitic leaflet calling for a boycott of kosher food in the Giffnock branch of Morrisons. When asked by a constituent, he was unable to provide the evidence and claimed somewhat implausibly to have "lost the email". According to a senior police officer in East Renfrewshire (21.01.11), “Police enquiries established that no offence had been committed”. This is but one example of numerous efforts by the pro-Israel lobby in Scotland, of which Ken McIntosh is a fully paid up member, to whip up unfounded fears among Scottish Jews. When police investigations showed that Ken McIntosh' allegations of an anti-semitic crime were unfounded, SCoJeC leaders remained silent when they could have spoken out.
SCoJeC presents data from a survey that found 82% of respondents stating that Israel plays an ‘important’ role in their Jewish identities, and 76% feel that Israel is relevant to their day-to-day lives in Britain.
Many other groups in Scotland of various national backgrounds may feel an other country is important for their sense of identity - Ireland, Pakistan, India, Italy – but it is difficult to see how this is relevant, to an acknowledgement or denial of the crimes of that regime. The SCoJeC submission seems to be that the Scottish Government and all of us need to throw the Palestinians under the bus in order to preserve good “community relations”. Must we deny Israel’s blood-soaked origins and murderous current practices, state-enforced racism, against the Palestinian people?
Should it become a crime to argue that setting up the State of Pakistan in 1948 was a bad idea? A strange question, no doubt, but that is what SCoJeC are suggesting in relation to Israel, another state set up in the same year in an orgy of bloodletting and ethnic cleansing.
The idea that a brutal state should be shielded from merited harsh criticism in order to avoid upsetting an alleged support base in Scotland is both intolerable and absurd. In any case, it is very unlikely that Israel playing an ‘important’ role in the identities of many people in Scotland - whatever that actually means - can be used criminalise action against Israel's mass murder and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.
It would be prudent to take SCoJeC’s figures about the opinions of Scottish Jews with caution; the leaders are committed Zionists with a long record of conflating anti-Israel attitudes with anti-semitism. Their Zionist politics gives them a vested interest in finding evidence of undying love for the Apartheid State as well as exagerating or even inventing Jewish fears of living in Scotland.
Others who participated in the Embassy “political training day”, their comrades in COFIS, routinely deny that it is even possible to be Jewish and an opponent of the State of Israel. Complete silence from SCoJeC accompanies these rants, which suggests they do not find such behaviour repellent.
SCoJeC notes an increase in the “volume and virulence” of criticism of Israel, which is better described as Scottish public anger rising commensurately with the increasing depravity of Israel’s crimes. SCoJeC condemns “controversy and protests” that accompanied a visit by the Israeli Ambassador to the Scottish Parliament and claims this yet is “another example” of Israel being singled out unfairly. Condemning Israeli crimes, they claim, is in “contravention of the internationally recognised definition of antisemitism”. This bogus definition, the IHRA definition, is being used to silence criticism of Israel, according to its author.
SCoJeC complains of “one Jewish businessman” – actually a business selling goods derived from the Israeli pillage of Dead Sea resources – “whose business was unable to continue trading due to the intensity” of protests organised by SPSC. SCoJeC are supporters of Israeli massacres of Palestinians. They act as an extension to the Israeli State and military, a force widely condemned for its human rights violations. SCoJeC and its counterparts worldwide smear and try to silence opponents.
The international BDS movement, of which SPSC is a part, will continue to target companies complicit in Israel’s crimes and SCoJeC will continue to hold “political training days” with the Israeli Embassy, the Embassy of the state committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, to try to defeat that movement. Increasingly, people will have to choose a side.
SCoJeC’s claims about alleged anti-semitism on Scottish campuses claims that “antisemitic incidents and online abuse…frequently blame individual Jewish people for Israeli government policy”. Any actual examples of that are to be deplored but there are innumerable examples of politically driven allegations of antisemitism that work to smear anyone with pro-Palestinian sympathies.
The founder of COFIS, for example, who partnered with SCoJeC and the Israeli Government in a 2015 “political training day” in Glasgow, alleged on a right-wing Christian Zionist TV channel that an Edinburgh professor had brazenly told a Jewish student that he was failing her essays because she was Jewish. SCoJeC are aware of this fabrication but have done nothing to allay the fears of Jewish students by telling them that the story is an invention. Instead, SCoJeC members joined a delegation that met with top management at Edinburgh University where claims of antisemitism were made but no concrete evidence was presented that could have been investigated.
Even more proposterous and sinister claims of police collusion in large public demonstrations of hatred of Jews are allowed to circulate unchallenged by SCoJeC, somewhat undermining SCoJeC's claims to "represent the interests of Scottish Jews".
These vague claims, never subjected to critical evaluation, serve a two-fold agenda of smearing opponents of Israeli crimes and at the same time reinforcing a false axiom of political Zionism that Jews cannot live safely in Europe – including Scotland - and should quit and colonise Palestine.
This latest submission is from a group with a long history of false allegations of anti-semitism, sometimes promoted by deception which has a two-fold aim of preventing public airing of the barbarities of the State of Israel and increasing Jewish participation in the colonisation of Palestine.
20 June 2019