Call grows for an arms embargo of Israel

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Scottish supporters of Palestine at a recent protest against the conflict in Glasgow 

Supporters of Palestine in Scotland welcome a Scottish Government call for an arms embargo of Israel and an investigation into alleged war crimes

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6th August 2014 by Susan Smith 0 Comments

Campaigners who picketed and forced the cancellation of Israeli state sponsored performances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival have welcomed a Scottish Government call for an immediate arms embargo against Israel.

The Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) also welcomed the Scottish Government’s call for a UN led investigation into the possibility that Israel had violated international law during the crisis.   

These moves were described by the SPSC as a significant stance to take against Israel after more than 1,800 Palestinian women, men and children have died in Gaza.

The news followed a statement from the Scottish Government that it has not offered help to an Israeli state funded theatre company to find a new location for its show in Edinburgh which was cancelled following protests.

The call for an embargo came after claims by the Israeli government that the Scottish Government was assisting in the search for a venue for the Incubator Theatre company were denied. It also follows news that another performance at the Edinburgh Fringe receiving funding from the Israeli government had been cancelled.

The tide is turning. The decision by the Scottish Government to call for an immediate arms embargo and a UN led investigation into Israel’s war crimes is a massive step in the popular campaign to isolate Israel - Albie O’Neill

Albie O’Neill, spokesperson for the SPSC, described the news as a hugely significant development.

“The tide is turning," she said. "The decision by the Scottish Government to call for an immediate arms embargo and a UN led investigation into Israel’s war crimes is a massive step in the popular campaign to isolate Israel.

“The claim by the Israeli government that the Holyrood government was assisting them shows how low they are prepared to stoop in using culture to mask what they are doing in Gaza. To implicate the Scottish Government is an outrageous act which demonstrates the depths to which they will sink.”

Following the announcement that UK minister Baroness Warsi resigned over the UK government’s stance on Israel, O’Neill added: “The UK government can no longer count on the support of its own ministers over Gaza, and now the Scottish government has strengthened its stand against Israel in support of the people of Gaza.”

The Scottish Government minister for external affairs Humza Yousaf called for an embargoe on Tuesday.

“Since the conflict started Scottish Ministers have written to the Prime Minister, home secretary and foreign secretary to ask that the UK takes action to make meaningful progress towards a lasting peace and that it plays its part in international refugee resettlement programmes – in which the Scottish Government stands ready to play its part," he said.

“The Scottish Government has demonstrated that we cannot stand idly by while innocent civilians are being killed. I am today, on behalf of the Scottish Government, calling for an immediate suspension of arms sales to Israel.”

The Scottish Government has also donated £500,000 of humanitarian aid to help the people of Gaza.