It’s time for the voices of Palestinians to be heard

Intifada protest cropped

This week, TFN published a blog from Sammy Stein of Glasgow Friends of Israel in which he argued that public opinion on the Israel/Palestine question has been unduly influenced by pro-Palestinian voices, leading to anti-Israeli sentiment. Here Mick Napier of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign puts the opposing case, arguing that pro-Israeli voices are much more likely to be heard.

TFN Guest's photo

23rd October 2015 by TFN Guest 16 Comments

As the Glasgow University Media Group has shown, pro-Israeli voices have dominated in the UK media for many years, even as the images and facts of Israeli human rights violations against Palestinians have led to Israel plummeting in public opinion across the UK and Europe.

The issue is not complex. There has been a theft and the thief must admit the crime and return the stolen property, or make restitution.

Zionists seized the land and property of Palestinians who are now in refugee camps, while Jewish-only towns and villages stand where they once lived. Conniving in such ethnic cleansing encourages malign forces worldwide to emulate Israel’s destruction and removal of the “wrong kind of people”.

The Church of Scotland has denounced Christian Zionism, denied that there can be any Biblical mandate to dispossess Palestinians or anyone else, and supports the right of Palestinian refugees, enshrined in international law, to return to their homes and villages, most of which remain empty to this day.

The ethnic cleansing of Palestinians is still ongoing and Israel stands accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity by human rights groups, including Amnesty International.

Mick Napier

Mick Napier

The ethnic cleansing of Palestinians is still ongoing and Israel stands accused of war crimes

Only its sponsorship by the US allows Israel to ignore world-wide condemnation of what the Scottish Government called the Israeli “depth of inhumanity that we have witnessed over civilian deaths in Gaza”, ie Israel’s killing of over 2,200 Palestinians last summer, the great majority civilians, including 550 children.

Such is Israel’s contempt for international opinion that it shelled and killed students at a UN school used as a shelter. One bomb that killed eleven members of a Glasgow man’s family in Gaza – five children and six adults - has a guidance system made by Raytheon in Fife.

Such slaughter of civilians led the UN agency for Palestinian refugees to say that “The world stands disgraced” but the world, including Scotland, still sends weapons to Israel and Glasgow even deploys an Israeli military-grade surveillance system in its city centre. A South African style boycott campaign is underway and needs to grow.

Israel is a state based on Jewish domination over the Palestinians whom it has displaced and now immures in Gaza and towns and villages in the West Bank. As with many colonising ventures, the settlers aim to eliminate the native population and have a built-in disposition to extreme violence to achieve this goal. What was carried out in the Americas and Africa under a Christian cross is being done in Palestine under a Star of David.

Israel now faces a world-wide wave of revulsion at its behaviour that is taking the form of a campaign of BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) by civil society bodies who realise the need for such action given the ongoing violation of Palestinian rights, the brutal siege of Gaza, and the refusal of our governments to insist on the minimum observation of human rights from the EU stipulates before any country should qualify for the lucrative trade agreements Israeli has obtained from the EU.

24th October 2015 by Mark Anthony

I think that Micky needs help. The BDS is failing consistently as it is a fascist organisation. They just want to change the name of Israel to Palestine and couldn't care less what happens to the Jews that have been living there for centuries. There is a Jewish majority state standing on 12% of Mandatory Palestine. Funnily enough, the Jewish Population of Mandatory Palestine was 12% when the State of Israel was first mooted. The so called Palestinians (up until 1964 the only people called Palestinians were the Jews that lived in Israel - the rest were called "Arabs") already have their own state - Jordan - which sits on 78% of Mandatory Palestine and was formed in exactly the same way as Israel - partitioning - but no one ever protests about that. The same way that no one ever protests about Pakistan which was also formed in exactly the same way. As such and due to his and his mates lack of concern for the real evils that are being perpetrated in this world, Mr Napier is nothing more than a die-hard anti Semite. Nothing really changes. Years ago it was the right that were fascists, now it's the left.

24th October 2015 by Clive Hyman

Excellent, Mick. Well said. If anyone wants a lesson in ignorance, subversion of history, selective application of 'information' to meet the narrative, lying, bias and prejudice all they have to do is read what you've written.No mention of the UN Resolution which divided the erstwhile Ottoman region called Palestine into two states - one for the Jews (20%) and the other for the indigenous Arab population (80%) - which the Arabs rejected: apparently the Arab states didn't want one for these Arabs and proved this by annexing this territory for themselves following their unsuccessful attempt to annihilate Israel in 1948. You forgot to mention that, Mick.Or how about the Khartoum Conference in 1967 where the Arab nations - Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq - rejected UN Resolution 242 because it required them to recognise the right of Israel to exist within safe and secure borders? (The Palestinians were not represented at this conference because they were not recognised as a 'people' by the Arab states.)You didn't mention the Hamas Charter which calls for the total elimination of Israel and death to all Jews worldwide or the fact that Israel doesn't feature on the PA's map of the Middle East - a clear demonstration of how committed they are to a two-state solution. Why did you not mention this? Do you support the Hamas Charter? Should Israel be wiped off the face of the earth? Should all Jews be eliminated?This absence of salient information and criticism of Arab leadership leads me to believe that you are not really 'pro-Palestinian': you simply hate Israel and, probably, Jews. What have you ever done to help the Palestinians apart from fomenting hatred of Israel, parroting Palestinian propaganda, and calling for / supporting calls for death and destruction? Is this your way to achieve a peaceful solution? Or are you not interested in one?

24th October 2015 by Brian Fink

The issue is not complex? Only to simpletons. There has been no theft simply because in all of history there has never been a State of Palestine. The only independent state on this territory has been Jewish, historically and contemporaneously. In all wars there are population exchanges, millions in the case of India/Pakistan and more Jews were expelled or fled from Muslim states than Arabs from what became Israel. (850,000 against 750,000). The civilian loss of life in Gaza was regrettable but Hamas started it and refused a truce so they are responsible. A state'based on 'Jewish domination' would not have Arab MPs, Army Officers, Judges (one of whom sentenced the former president to prison), Police officers, heads of universities and hospitals as Israel does. Perhaps if the author stepped back from his purblind hatred the scales would fall from his blinkered eyes.

26th October 2015 by Jim Watson

Mr Anthony is failing as he seems to think BDS is an organisation - it is a political movement designed to bring pressure upon the zionist apartheid state. The International community can step up and isolate Israel for their discriminatory and apartheid policies that favour one religion over all others. As for referring to Mr Napier as an "anti semite" - this devalues the accusation. Anti semitism is a vicious and abhorrent idealogy - anti zionism is a political response to the policies and practices of a settler colonial state - the two should not be conflated. Mr Hyman is very selective in his view on UN resolutions - if he was truly pursuing a peaceful solution then surely for balance he would also be highlighting the many transgressions made by Israel in relation to UN resolutions. it seems from his perspective that only one side can be faulted and it is certainly not Israel. For the record, Mr Napier has travelled to the area many times and works to bring about a peaceful and just solution - he calls genocide when he sees it in front of him and is not blinded by loyalties to a corrupt state. Mr Fink seems to be operating in a totally different reality to everyone else. Palestine is a matter of fact although he seems to think it has never existed. His schoolboy analysis to the genocide (a big hamas boy did it then ran away) is myopic, one sided and does not see the reality which surrounds the conflict. Israel, courtesy of the USA, is one of the best equipped armies in the world and they use this firepower to reign terror onto the Palestinian People.

27th October 2015 by Elliot

Every time his Pally terrorist buddies murder and destroy in the name of Allah the useless tool Napier played the lying vicious racist victim card. No ones fooled any more Mick we all now see that Hamas = Isis = book haram =Al Queida = PLO=Al ShababLong before any Muslim colonialist Arabs out of Arabia were there who were tilling the land. Oh that's right THE JEWISH PEOPLE. They were colonised by maurauding Islamists but now the Jews have reclaimed their GOD GIVEN lands. It's all there in a wee book closed the BiblePalestine like the Palestinians is an invention a weapon to destroy Jews and anyone who believes your racist revisionists lying drivel truly deserves people like you. The COS for one with their pathetic Jewhate replacement theology 'inheritance of avram' garbage. Jewhate oozing out of every word.

27th October 2015 by Elliot

The Grand Mufti Al Husseini was one of the initiators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry, reported Eichmann`s deputy, Dieter Wisliceny. [He had] played a role in the decision to exterminate the European Jews. The importance of this role must not be disregarded…. The Mufti was one of the initiators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry.The Palestinins were steeped in Jewhate their founding father was a nazi - guess who his nephew was? Muhammad Al Husseini. Otherwise know as YASSER ARAFAT.Arafats best buddy and similarly 'educated' by Al Husseini? Mahmoud Abbas, today's Muslim leader of these Arabs and another jihadist intent on annihilating all Jews.Mick sure can pick 'em. What's next Mick. Support for the ISIS 'resistance' movement against colonialist Christians and Yazidis?Or perhaps Boko Haram fighting back against these imperialistic female school childrenIts a post Christian post imperial post Holocaust world and boy does Mick play with facts and history. So many lies so little time so much hate. Welcome to your world Mick, shame no one believe your often hilarious drivel anymore.24news shows us 11 million Muslims slaughtered by Muslims; knife welding fascists screaming Allah akbur as they plunge knives into Jewish kids and mothers ; Muslim suicide bombers going about their daily business ; the eradication beheading and enslavement of Christians all over the ME and N Africa by Islamists and useful idiots like you who support them by your silence. It's the Jews wot did it eh Mick? Cause if all the conflict in the ME Mick?All sound and fury Mick. Signifying nothing except vicious lies and hate. How 1930s Gernany

27th October 2015 by Matt

What a pitiful and horrendous stream of lies and untruths."Zionists seized the land and property of Palestinians who are now in refugee camps" - No they did not! Mechanised armies from 5 surrounding Arab countries invaded Israel in an attempt to eradicate Middle Eastern Jewry once and for all. It's a pity that the Muslims sided with the genocidal Jordanians, Saudis, Egyptians and Syrians. Ask the Druze and Circassians who stood by their Jewish neighbours rather than the invading Arabs, who are now the most loyal and valued members of Israeli society."Ethnic cleansing of Palestinians" - what on Earth is he on about? Arab population of Israel has gone up exponentially since Israel's creation, and so has the population of the so-called Palestinian territories.Go to any Jewish community in Israel and you will hear the call to prayer from mosques in nearby Arab villages. Go to any beach in Israel and you'll see Muslim kids playing in the sea with their parents. Napier lives on a different planet!Israel is the ONLY country in the entire middle east and north Africa that values and protects individual freedom of conscience and religious affiliation - something that a would-be fascist like Napier would know nothing about!BDS has one goal and one goal only, to isolate, discriminate against, starve and exterminate the Middle East's only remaining Jewish communities - carrying on the legacy of the Nazi Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and every Jew-hating Arab dictator since him. People are not stupid, and the more of this abject one-sided drivel people like Napier write, the more obvious that becomes.

27th October 2015 by Jimmy Powdrell Campbell

It is to be expected that any article critical of Israel will be followed by comments along the lines of the Zionist responses I've just read. I realize how offensive it must be for a Scottish Jew who has been brought up to believe in all that is positive about Israel to be reminded that there are so many who, like me, see Israel as a racist, apartheid, settler colonial state conducting a brutal, oppressive occupation against the determined resistance of the indigenous population of Palestine, but set against their indignant fury at the mention of ethnic cleansing and mass murder, I have to weigh the real suffering of the victims of that ethnic cleansing and mass murder.I agree completely that it is Palestinian voices that must be heard. It was the words of a young mother in Gaza during the 2009 Cast Lead massacre that got through to me and frankly made me ashamed of the man I had become. She asked, “how can the world stand by and let this happen?”That is not to deny that some of the most articulate advocates of Palestinian rights over the last few decades have actually been Jewish. I read a book not long ago by a man called Richard Forer who was brought up to believe fervently in the Zionist dream of "a land without a people for a people without a land". For most of his adult life, like the Zionists above, he would spring to the defence of Israel no matter how monstrous their serial atrocities might be in other eyes. One day, a friend suggested that he find out for himself. He went to the library and selected books only by Jewish authors; he did not trust any Palestinians to be honest or capable of an impartial view. Rich Forer went on to publish his own story: Breakthrough: Transforming Fear into Compassion. I commend it to those who posted above.He describes his story as an emotional and intellectual journey from prejudice to compassion. I found it a moving and very human account of a man's personal struggle with his own repressed doubts and, ironically, it was a sentence in one of these Zionist comments above - "Perhaps if the author stepped back from his purblind hatred the scales would fall from his blinkered eyes." - that reminded me on Rich Forer's fascinating story for that is almost exactly the metaphor that he used to describe the transformative moment in his life when his fear evaporated, leaving in its place, nothing but compassion for the Palestinian people who had for so long been the object of his hatred and fear.Irony is never far from Zionist commentary: "Should Israel be wiped off the face of the earth? Should all Jews be eliminated?" The irony of these questions is breathtaking when it is Israel that has been engaged assiduously in ethnic cleansing since its terrorist birth in 1948 and to this day. And that is why, especially now, it's Palestinians voices we need to listen to.For the record, this is what they said, in unison, in 2005 (the call for BDS):In light of Israel’s persistent violations of international law; andGiven that, since 1948, hundreds of UN resolutions have condemned Israel’s colonial and discriminatory policies as illegal and called for immediate, adequate and effective remedies; andGiven that all forms of international intervention and peace-making have until now failed to convince or force Israel to comply with humanitarian law, to respect fundamental human rights and to end its occupation and oppression of the people of Palestine; andIn view of the fact that people of conscience in the international community have historically shouldered the moral responsibility to fight injustice, as exemplified in the struggle to abolish apartheid in South Africa through diverse forms of boycott, divestment and sanctions; andInspired by the struggle of South Africans against apartheid and in the spirit of international solidarity, moral consistency and resistance to injustice and oppression;We, representatives of Palestinian civil society, call upon international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era. We appeal to you to pressure your respective states to impose embargoes and sanctions against Israel. We also invite conscientious Israelis to support this Call, for the sake of justice and genuine peace.These non-violent punitive measures should be maintained until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law by:1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall 2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and 3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

27th October 2015 by Matt

Is Mick Napier trying to deny that the grand mufti of Jerusalem was a Nazi sympathiser who enthusiastically supported burning Jews? Especially read the bit where Hitler promises to exterminate the Middle East's Jews once he wins the war. Oh dear....

27th October 2015 by sammy stein

Mick Napier's article and his assertion that pro-Israeli voices are much more likely to be heard than those of the Palestinians is just another example of the untruths he and his organisation continue to peddle. One only has to examine the anti Israel rhetoric in the Scottish Parliament, almost 60 motions against this tiny State as compared to a mere 13 about China, 7 about the USA and 13 about Syria. Also, how many pro-Israel articles have appeared in the TFN. Perhaps the recent one has been the first and very welcome indeed Mick Napier's response is full of the standard list of false allegations against Israel. The stealing of land is a reinterpretation of the United Nations decision to set up Israel as a home for the Jews. In fact, those Arabs who chose not to follow their leaders' call to leave their homes in 1948 now continue to live in comfort and security in modern Israel. As Mahmoud Abbas himself has written as long ago as 1976 in Falastin el Thawra, the official journal of the PLO, ' The Arab armies entered Palestine to protect the Palestinians from the Zionist tyranny but instead they abandoned them and forced them to leave their homes'. There are now over 1.3 million Arabs living safely and securely in Israel, including:- 1. Salim Jourbran who is an Israeli Muslim Arab judge who sits in the Israeli Supreme Court 2. Majali Wahabi, a Druze who has served as acting President of Israel 3. Arabs have been members of the Israeli National Football Team 3. An Arab woman, Yityish Aynaur, became Miss Israel 4. Raleb Majadele is a Muslim Arab politician who represents the left wing Israeli Labour Party 5. Nawaf Nassalha was a Muslim Arab minister in the Rabin administration. Mick Napier complains that Palestinians are now in refugee camps. The question is why are they still in these camps and why have their brother Arabs not settled them in more humanitarian conditions. Does Mick Napier know that in 1948 over 850,000 Jewish refugees were forced out of many Arab countries and fled to Israel for safety and security. Does Mick Napier know how many of them are still in refugee camps? None, zero, not one. There are of course extremists on both sides but only one side is governed by an internationally recognised terrorist organisation. There are wrongs committed by both sides but which of them has a Peace Movement, is a democracy where all citizens are free to criticise and protest against their own government without fear of punishment or even deathPeace will only be established when both sides have leaders that love their people more that they hate the other side. With that in mind, both the Israelis and Palestinians should focus on initiatives that embrace both sides. There is no mileage in actively supporting one side and demonising the other. It would be great if Friends of the Palestinians would devote more of their time to working jointly with other peace seeking organisations rather than pursuing an agenda of hate and division

27th October 2015 by Clive Hyman

Mr Howard is quite correct when he states that I was selective in referring to UN

27th October 2015 by Clive Hyman

Let's start again. Mr Howard is quite correct when he states that I was being selective when referring to UN Resolutions. But what he has failed to grasp - or chosen to ignore - is that both were rejected by the Arab nation states. Had they accepted 181 which divided the erstwhile Ottoman territory called Palestine into two states - one for the Jews and the other for the Arabs - there would probably have been no need for further UN Resolutions on this matter. Instead they attacked Israel by crossing the area designated for the Arab state but when they were beaten off they retained the land they had invaded. Trans-jordan kept the West Bank and eventually incorporated it into what is now Jordan; Syria retained the Golan; Lebanon kept the land to the north; and Egypt retained what was then called the Gaza Strip. Not to put too fine a point on it, these countries stole the land which was intended for a Palestinian state. And they declared that they were still at war with Israel. And the same happened in 1967 when the five Arab states - Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria - rejected UN Resolution 242 which called for Israel to return land acquired in the war in return for recognition, peace and security. Again had they agreed to this, the Arab states would have had the land back and could have established the state of Palestine on it - and that might have obviated the need for further UN Resolutions. But they didn't. Instead they chose to perpetuate the state of war with Israel. Can you please explain to me why in both cases they chose war instead of a peaceful resolution? And on a different but related topic, can you please tell me how the Palestinian leadership has spent the $18 BILLION of international aid they have received since signing the Oslo Accords improving the lives of the people they govern and for whom they are responsible?

28th October 2015 by Matt

One simple question for Mick Napier. How many times have the Palestinians been offered their own state, and why have they never accepted it? Take your time Mick.

28th October 2015 by for a

The question from 'Matt' is simple and also nonsense. The offer in 1948 was an offer of 45% of Palestine to the Palestinians while the Zionist Jewish third of the population who owned 6% of the land area of Palestine were allocated 55%. A rejection was entirely apropriate since the Zionist plan - from Herzl to Netayahu - has always been to colonise and seize 100% of Palestine and expel the native population. I could go on but anyone who supports the colonisation of another people's country, the expulsion and violation of the native people, and serial Israeli massacres of civilians is lost to human decency

29th October 2015 by sammy stein

The right of return for the Palestine refugees to their homes is part of resolution 194.This resolution was adopted on December 11, 1948, near the end of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. The Resolution defined principles for reaching a final settlement and returning Palestine refugees to their homes. It called for an establishment of a U.N. Conciliation Commission to facilitate peace between Israel and Arab states, continuing the efforts of UN Mediator Folke Bernadotte, following his assassination.But how many people know that although the resolution was adopted by a majority of 35 countries from among the 58 members of the United Nations at that time, all six Arab countries then represented at the UN voted against it (Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen, all were parties to the conflict in question).Go figure!!!

14th November 2015 by Britain First

There can be no negotiation with Muslim terrorists. Israel knows this. We should learn to.