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Thanks only to the Coronavirus lockdown, Glasgow is spared the obscene spectacle today of supporters of Israeli Apartheid marching past Mandela Place within a column of committed anti-racists. SUTR insists COFIS will be allowed to participate when they march after restrictions are lifted.
SUTR are helping COFIS (an arm of the Israeli Embassy) to realise a long term aim of Israeli policy, articulated by Foreign Minister Abba Eban in 1973:

“One of the chief tasks of any dialogue with the Gentile world is to prove that the distinction between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism is not a distinction at all. Anti-Zionism is merely the new anti-Semitism.”

As in previous years, Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign joined the 2017 Glasgow demonstration organized by Stand Up To Racism, where every marcher had previously condemned Israel’s racist crimes against the Palestinian people. Professor Richard Falk addressed the SUTR 2017 rally in George Square and denounced Israel’s state-enforced racism towards the Palestinians.

Falk3Before he left George Square that day, Professor Falk had to field incessant calls from major world press outlets interested in his co-authorship of a report issued that same day by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia. The report, entitled Israeli Practices Towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid, concluded that Israel operates a system of state-enforced racial discrimination throughout the entire area of Palestine that constitutes the international crime of apartheid.

All hell broke loose, the US exerted maximum pressure on the UN Secretary General to suppress it, and Gutierrez obliged.

Meanwhile, in George Square angry demonstrators protested that a pro-Israel campaign group had insinuated itself into the ranks of the marchers once the march was underway. SUTR organisers assured them that this was entirely due to the element of surprise enjoyed by COFIS and could not be repeated.

In 2018, however, SUTR organisers insisted that COFIS would march as a component of an “anti-racism” march and maintained this position in 2019. COFIS were delighted at such political cover from SUTR for their campaign to smear the Palestinian people and their UK supporters, whom they allege are driven by hatred of Jewish people rather than by a commitment to justice for the Palestinian people.

Thanks only to the Coronavirus lockdown, Glasgow is spared the obscene spectacle today of supporters of Israeli Apartheid marching past Mandela Place within a column of committed anti-racists. SUTR insists COFIS will be allowed to participate when they march after restrictions are lifted.



SUTR are helping COFIS (an arm of the Israeli Embassy) to realise a long term aim of Israeli policy, articulated by Foreign Minister Abba Eban in 1973:

“One of the chief tasks of any dialogue with the Gentile world is to prove that the distinction between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism is not a distinction at all. Anti-Zionism is merely the new anti-Semitism.”

BerlowSUTYR2019On last year’s SUTR demonstration the pro-Israel group carried placards claiming “Anti-Zionism = Anti-Semitism”, a direct attack on the right of Palestinians and others to struggle against the racist state of Israel.

By becoming a vehicle for the furthering of a core policy of the state that is murdering Palestinians, SUTR is on the wrong side of history and determined to remain there.

Supporters of SUTR’s position on this issue suggest that Palestinians should demonstrate together with those who support Israeli snipers murdering their families and friends. This request is bizarre and shameful – like asking rape victims to march against sexual violence alongside supporters of the likes of Weinstein, John Warboys or a latter day Fred West.

It was also shameful for SUTR spokespersons in March 2018 to ask Palestinian firefighters to lead the SUTR march, even though this could have led to them marching before or behind Israeli flags, the symbols that flutter over army checkpoints where humiliation has been raised to a sinister art form, where their efforts to reach fires and save lives are often deliberately thwarted.

COFIS are a group whose leading members approved of “euthanizing” Palestinians and welcomed as “payback” the massacre a year ago of Muslims in a New Zealand mosque.

We march against racists – not with an extreme racist organization set up by a right-wing Christian fundamentalist which is a safe place for virulent racists and Islamophobes. Can we march in solidarity with a group advocating for a state with Jewish-only roads, separate legal codes for Jews and Palestinians, and residential segregation?

COFIS enthusiastically and repeatedly claimed that Jeremy Corbyn was a “Hitler” type - are COFIS really able to work with known fascists like Max Dunbar and then be welcomed behind the SUTR banner in Glasgow?

Mick Napier
20 March 2020
West Calder

Notes:
1. We are not calling for Zionist-minded individuals to be banned from the march but for a racist campaigning group that supports Israeli state-enforced racism to be told they are not welcome.
2. We are not asking SUTR to take a position on Palestine but to be consistent in opposing all organized racist groups.
3. COFIS is not just a propagandist group; it is an activist organization set up to defeat Palestinian advocacy, to silence pro-Palestine voices inside and outside the Labour Party and trade unions
4. Changing the definition of racism is Israeli State policy and in providing cover to COFIS, SUTR facilitates this effort, which includes trying to get Palestine supporters sacked from their jobs.
5. The SUTR marches take place on the UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which commemorates the 1960 Sharpeville massacre of South African anti-Apartheid demonstrators. SUTR stains this commemoration by insisting any supporter must march alongside, march publicly in solidarity with, those who support Israel’s many massacres of unarmed demonstrators, many Sharpevilles.
6. COFIS was set up by extreme right wing Christian fundamentalist Nigel Goodrich. The current leader worked with infamous fascist Max Dunbar, a veteran of the Holocaust-denying BNP, to harass an SPSC street event in Central Glasgow.
Falk47. Richard Falk had been due to speak also in Edinburgh City Chambers on Palestine: The Search for A Just Peace. The Council revoked the room booking for a topic deemed “too controversial”. Falk is Professor Emeritus of international law at Princeton University, the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of 40 volumes. In 2008 Falk was appointed UN Special Rapporteur on "the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967”.

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