Update 29 January 2018
Lord Bracadale is expected to publish his report and recommendations in Spring 2018. The Hate Crime Legislation Review group has not yet published the review submissions on their website but we are aware of the following.
- The Faculty of Advocates response to the question of particular concern to us.
Should an aggravation apply where an offence is motivated by malice and ill-will towards a political entity (e.g. foreign country, overseas movement) which the victim is perceived to be associated with by virtue of their racial or religious group?
No. This is clearly a sensitive matter but, on balance, it is submitted that such a scenario is not readily equated with the other named “characteristics”. Freedom to hold differing political views and to express them is essential in a democracy, even in circumstances where expression of those views may be motivated by malice or ill will.
- Law Society of Scotland response to Q.6
We would not offer comment other than to indicate our concerns about the uncertainty on what might be deemed to be ‘political’. Political entities change from time to time. Introduction of the political concept may well widen the scope of hate crime too far. Even in the examples provided in the consultation paper, the offending behaviour is likely to be included within the working definition of hate crime.
Zionist efforts are continuing to have laws instroduced to protect the apartheid structures of the State of Israel from attack. The UK and Scottish Governments have endorsed, "adopted", the flawed IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, which would criminalise democratic political critiques of Israel as a racist project. A major fight for free speech is ongoing.
Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign has submitted our views to the Independent Review of Hate Crime Legislation in Scotland under Lord Bracadale, as have a group of SPSC members who were dragged through Edinburgh and Glasgow Sheriff Courts for over four years on preposterous charges of ‘racism’ for BDS activities. This submission includes an important letter from ex-First Minister, Alex Salmond on the depths of deceit the pro-Israel gang in Scotland will go to smear Palestine solidarity activists as 'racist'.
We are also aware of an important submission to Lord Bracadale on behalf of the Association of Palestinian Communities in Scotland Original here
In tandem with the attacks from the Scottish legal authorities, SPSC has had to resist repeated Police Scotland infringements on our rights to free speech and free association. Not for the first time, Police Scotland is issuing an apology to Palestine solidarity campaigners. We expect more to follow.
The reason for the attacks is not a secret; a major project of the pro-Israel gang in Scotland* is to close down public spaces for discussion of solidarity with the Palestinian people; above all, spaces to organise in support of the Palestinian call for BDS.
Two Edinburgh churches, shamefully, capitulated earlier this year to Zionist smear-lobbying and cancelled bookings for Jackie Walker to speak about “Free Speech on Palestine”! Edinburgh City Council cancelled a booking for UN Rapporteur for Human Rights in Palestine, Prof Richard Falk, on the grounds that his talk on “Palestine: the Search for a Just peace” was too “controversial” Edinburgh City Council are still impeding Palestine solidarity room bookings; our letter currently on a desk somewhere in Edinburgh City Council. we'll keep you postde on the responses.
Together, however, we will be victorious in helping to secure Palestinian human and national rights - if we stand our ground and fight back collectively.
The UNHCR is threatening to publish a list of 150 names of companies complicit in the violation of Palestinian human rights. Israel and Trump know the boost this would give to the BDS movement and are pulling out all the stops to prevent the publication of this dangerous list. Theresa May and the Tory/DUP government support Trump and Israel, as usual.
Some of the companies on the UN blacklist appear on Scottish local authority pension fund investment holdings - SPSC is campaigning to end the complicity of our pension funds in Israel's violations of Palestinian rights.
Join and help Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign to defeat these attacks. We need your assistance to press ahead with the Time to Divest campaign to end Scottish local authority pension funds’ investments in arms companies that supply Israel to massacre Palestinians and the brutal ally of Britain and Israel, Saudi Arabia, to massacre Yemenis.
Defence of those campaigning for BDS is not a peripheral issue, since smearing BDS as campaigners is the main activity of the pro-Israel gang around the world, and certainly in Scotland.
*The official Friends of Israel Facebook pages carried posts praising the “euthanizing” of Palestinians and sinister depictions of Palestinians as “Fakestinians”, i.e. pushing the old Zionist claim that Palestine was a “land without a people” and thus open to humane Zionist colonisation. There is no dispossession” if the native people are “fake” people.