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3 February 2016, Kilmarnock Sheriff Court
Sheriff Watson dismissed a charge of assault against Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (Scottish PSC) member Mick Napier today following the collapse of the prosecution case.
Challenges to the prosecution proved that the case had no basis in evidence leading the sheriff to halt the trial before a defence case was presented.
The case arose from a protest against the Jewish National Fund (JNF), an Israeli parastatal organisation that is involved in Israel’s settler colonisation of Palestinian territories and in the institutionalised apartheid and racism that discriminates against Palestinians citizens of Israel. At the protest in June 2014, the last publicly organised fundraiser by the JNF in Scotland following years of protest by Scottish PSC, a JNF event steward and member of the Community Security Trust (CST) alleged assault by Mick Napier. CST is a UK charity whose mandate is to record anti-Semitic incidents but is also involved in providing political support to the state of Israel. Sheriff Watson upheld a no case to answer submission after Al Jazeera video footage demonstrated that no assault took place.
Scottish PSC Chair Sofiah MacLeod condemned the Crown’s decision to pursue the charge and expressed concern that “these charges appeared three months after the protest took place, following protests against Israel’s 2014 massacre of Palestinians in Gaza, protests in which Mick Napier was prominent as a Scottish PSC member. There appears to be a pattern emerging of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service taking action against Palestine solidarity and BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaigners that amounts to harassment and an attempt to criminalise our solidarity with the Palestinian people. We will be pursuing this matter with the Lord Advocate and Police Scotland.”
Five Scottish PSC members face a further two trials for BDS actions at Glasgow Sheriff Court. Full details will be posted on the SPSC website.
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- “The JNF is not the trustee of the general public in Israel. Its loyalty is given to the Jewish people in the Diaspora and in the state of Israel... The JNF, in relation to being an owner of land, is not a public body that works for the benefit of all citizens of the state. The loyalty of the JNF is given to the Jewish people and only to them is the JNF obligated. The JNF, as the owner of the JNF land, does not have a duty to practice equality towards all citizens of the state.”
- The CST: https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ben-white/anti-semitism-watchdog-cst-abusing-mandate-defend-israel
- Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Building effective solidarity with the Palestinian people
Scottish PSC is an extension to the Palestinian struggle for freedom against Israel's programme of ethnic cleansing and genocide in Palestine. Scottish PSC exists to channel public opposition to the Zionist settler colonial project into an effective and dynamic Scottish component of the global campaign that sends a powerful message of solidarity to the Palestinian people and a warning to Israel that its crimes must end.