Argyll & Bute Branch of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, A&B-SPSC, founded in Inveraray

Five people from Oban and Lochawe and three from Dunoon/Ardentinny, with Mick Napier, Membership  of the Scottish PSC, founded the Argyll & Bute Branch of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, A&B-SPSC, in Inveraray, earlier today, 23 March 2013.

Would you like to be kept informed about our new group? Please get in touch by leaving a comment at the end of this post.
(You’ll need to become a member of the Scottish PSC. Easy enough to do by clicking here, and well worth it!) Mick Napier (mick AT scottishpsc.org.uk) will also be more than happy to be contacted for further information.

***
Next, a request from the Scottish PSC about
Motion S4M-05982, ‘Honesty on Nuclear  Weapons in Scotland and in the Middle East’,
condemning Israel’s nuclear arsenal and Israel’s refusal to open the arsenal to IAEA inspection.

Without really trying, the Scottish PSC have obtained signatures from over a quarter of all MSPs across Scotland. Only a few more signatures are required to achieve a majority.

Let’s try and replicate this success in Argyll & Bute and other regions, which will be a significant advance.

For now, please go to

http://coordin8.org.uk/app/index.php/scotparl/findMSPs/S4M-05982
to send a letter to your MSPs, asking them to sign Motion S4M-05982, ‘Honesty on Nuclear  Weapons in Scotland and in the Middle East‘.
Very quick and easy to do – a sample letter has been prepared for you, but do feel free to edit it to reflect your views.
Please note that politely and well formulated letters tend to make more of an impact than hastily tpyed and ill-wroded lines soht trhough with errors. 😉
When you’re done, how about getting family and friends to do the same? Simply copy/paste the part of this e-mail starting at the *** above into a new one, and forward it on to your pals. If and when dozens and dozens of e-mails flutter into our MSPs in-boxes or come through the post, they will take note. We can make a difference!

The next step after that will be to organise concerted letter writing to Michael Russell, MSP, in particular and your other MSPs asking them to sign the motion, with follow-up meetings with each one to let them know they have support or a serious talking to if they decide to protect Israel’s nuclear arsenal, definitively revealed by Mordechai Vanunu (whom Scottish PSC campaigned successfully to get elected as Rector of Glasgow University).

To stay informed and take part in step two of this sub-campaign, please tick the relevant boxes at the end of this page:
http://coordin8.org.uk/app/index.php/scotparl/findMSPs/S4M-05982

By the way, at http://coordin8.org.uk/app/index.php/com you can also congratulate the members of Clackmannanshire Council on deciding, unanimously, to “support Palestinian human and national rights”, calling “for an end to the nightmare of apartheid that Palestinians live under.” (for full text of motion, please see bottom of this message). This council follows in the footsteps of Stirling and West Dunbartonshire in Scotland, and many other councils across Europe.

Argyll & Bute Council are encouraged to follow in the footsteps of Clackmannanshire, Stirling and West Dunbartonshire Councils!

 

Finally, this just in – you may already have heard:

Israel PM apologises for Gaza flotilla deaths

The Turkish ship Mavi Marmara led a six-vessel aid convoy which tried to breach the Gaza blockade.
“Israel’s prime minister has apologised to Turkey for any mistakes that could have resulted in the loss of lives during the 2010 raid on a flotilla that tried to breach the blockade of Gaza.
“In a telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to compensate the families of the victims.
“Mr Netanyahu had previously only expressed regret for the nine deaths. The stance significantly damaged relations between the two US allies.
“The telephone conversation took place at the end of a visit to Israel and the West Bank by US President Barack Obama.
“Before departing Tel Aviv airport for Jordan on Friday afternoon, Mr Obama revealed that Mr Netanyahu and Mr Erdogan had spoken.
“‘The United States deeply values our close partnerships with both Turkey and Israel, and we attach great importance to the restoration of positive relations between them in order to advance regional peace and security,’ he said in a statement.
“US officials told reporters that Mr Netanyahu had apologised for the flotilla incident and acknowledged ‘operational mistakes’.
“Mr Erdogan’s office said he had accepted the apology, ‘in the name of the Turkish people’. In the past, he has always given two conditions for restoring bilateral relations with Israel – an apology and compensation for the victims’ families.”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-21902273

Comment:
This is being interpreted as a great success by the U.S. president. In effect, by reinforcing the close ties between Israel and the U.S., and by accepting Israel’s highest civilian award, the Medal of Distinction,*) from Israeli President Shimon Peres during a ceremonial dinner held in Mr. Obama’s honor at the Israeli president’s residence on 21 March 2013, Obama endorses and continues to assist a country that stands accused of violations of international law (aided and abetted by large private corporations, other states, the UN and the EU, but the U.S. in particular); and apartheid and sociocide by Israel’s regime vis-à-vis the Palestinians – see previous post about the final session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine.
How much hope dare we draw from the fact that President Obama also argued “for peace not merely as a strategic necessity for Israel but as a basic human right.”?
According to Jonathan Chait, this “passage would have struck terror in Israeli hearts had Obama not preceded it with a lengthy affirmation of Zionism:

“the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and justice must also be recognized. Put yourself in their shoes – look at the world through their eyes. It is not fair that a Palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of her own, and lives with the presence of a foreign army that controls the movements of her parents every single day. It is not just when settler violence against Palestinians goes unpunished.  It is not right to prevent Palestinians from farming their lands; to restrict a student’s ability to move around the West Bank; or to displace Palestinian families from their home. Neither occupation nor expulsion is the answer. Just as Israelis built a state in their homeland, Palestinians have a right to be a free people in their own land.

“Here is the progression of his speech. Having demonstrated empathy for Israel, Obama then asked Israelis to feel empathy for Palestinians.”
Let’s hope Obama’s words are having an effect!
(for full post, see Jonathan Chait in New York News & Features)

*) The medal recognizes Mr. Obama’s commitment to maintaining Israel’s security.
(The Washington Times)

May Peace and Justice prevail!

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About Oban Concern for Palestine

. . . supporting people in Palestine and Israel who oppose the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Oban Concern for Palestine are a group of Argyll residents who share an interest in Palestine, a friendship with its people and a deep concern for their welfare. And, for the sake of Israel, we want to encourage the government of Israel to comply with international law. Oban Concern for Palestine believe that the oppression of the Palestinian people is a grave wrong, that the government of Israel is in violation of international law, and that we have a duty to speak up and do what we can to bring it to an end. We welcome new members and supporters. For more information, please contact obanconcern4palestine AT gmail DOT com • +44 7747 300 062 • Oban Concern for Palestine, c/o Stronchriach, Rowan Road, Oban, Argyll, PA34 5TY, UK
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