The following letter was printed in today’s Sunday Herald, with some alterations – particularly the last paragraph, in the author’s capacity as Secretary of Scottish Friends of Palestine:
“For 30 years I have promoted and argued for Palestinian rights. I have seen peace initiatives such as Madrid, Oslo, Road Maps, Quartet talks, come and go. Israel would participate and talk the talk while local (Arab) initiatives and proposals were ignored. There was never talk of boycott. And throughout these decades settlement expansion, dispossession and continuing denial of Palestinian rights prevailed and flourished.
“Last week in Edinburgh, while Batsheva rehearsed their role in projecting Brand Israel, their brothers and sisters in arms in the West Bank played their role. In the Jordan Valley water containers were confiscated leaving the new born, the sick, the elderly to suffer in the searing heat – all in the shadow of nearby settlements with their surfeit of stolen water. A group of invited visitors to Glasgow’s twin city, Bethlehem, bearing gifts of educational material for the children of the city, were denied entry by the occupation army. And all this happened in the certainty there would be no outcry, no action, from the governments of the world.
“All that is now left is civic action – boycott, divestment and sanctions – until Israel ceases to boycott the rights and lives of the Palestinian people. I am very much encouraged by the actions of those who signed The Herald’s letter, who have publicly declared their commitment to the growing boycott movement. I very much look forward to the day when, through the principled actions of countless individuals throughout the world, the state of Israel realises that legitimacy can only be achieved by giving the Palestinian people their rights and their freedom.”