Scottish Council of Jewish Communites
Scottish Council of Jewish Communities
 
Scottish Council of Jewish Communities

Protest at Parliamentary Disproportion

 
21 November 2012

A number of contributors to our Being Jewish in Scotland survey commented on the fact that there are hugely more motions proposed in the Scottish Parliament condemning Israel than any other country in the world, and on the effect this has on public perceptions of Jews and on their own sense of insecurity. In the last week alone, three such motions have been proposed, and in response to this, SCoJeC has issued the following statement:

Although it is not SCoJeC's role to comment on events in the Middle East, we are concerned about the impact on the Jewish Community in Scotland of the lack of balance in recent parliamentary motions, and the expression of support for an organisation with a history of intimidation, denying freedom of speech to those it disagrees with, and support for people accused of hate crime.

A recent survey of the Jewish Community found that Israel plays an important role in the Jewish identity of 82% of the respondents, yet 78% favour a Palestinian state. In our own survey of "Being Jewish in Scotland", more than 80% mentioned concerns about the effect of Scottish attitudes to Israel or Zionism unprompted. Respondents said "There is growing intolerance regarding Israel in Scotland, which I do believe is in danger of becoming antisemitism", and "the anti-Israel rhetoric in civic and political Scotland impacts on the Jewish community and provides an unhealthy atmosphere."

So far this session, out of around 90 Members' Motions about foreign countries, a disproportionate 24 have been about Israel; Syria and Malawi are next with 5 each. This week there have been two Scottish Government statements about Israel; there has never been any about, e.g., Syria or Afghanistan. Unbalanced motions such as this neither contribute to the peace and security of people in the region, nor to good community relations in Scotland.

 

   
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