Do or don’t Israel’s policies regarding Palestine/Palestinians amount to Apartheid?

Dear All

Following on to SFoP’s Open Letter sent to Scotland’s First Minister in June 2014 (see here), the following exchange of correspondence has just come in from Scottish Friends of Palestine:

***** [Letter from SFoP *****
[Please scroll down for
Humza Yousaf MSP’s reply of 18 November 2014] 

19 October 2014

Humza Yousaf MSP
Minister for External Affairs and International Development
Victoria Quay
Edinburgh EH6 6QQ

Dear Mr Yousaf ,

I refer to your letter of 24 July 2014 in reply to Scottish Friends of Palestine’s (SFoP) Open Letter to the First Minister

This reply was further considered by SFoP’s executive at its recent meeting. It was felt that with the referendum behind us, the Scottish Ministers, on whose behalf you replied, will now be in a better position to reconsider this reply. I say this because your letter mistakenly refers to the events of Gaza. Shocking and horrifying as these events were, Gaza was not the focus of the Open Letter. In fact, the Open Letter was written before Israel’s onslaught on the residents of Gaza. It was concerned with the nature of the Israeli state and the position of the Scottish Government on this.

Specifically, the accepted definition of apartheid as defined by Article 7(2)(h) of The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court 2002 was given. It was pointed out that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people, whether within the boundaries of the state or within the territories under military occupation, conforms to the practices and intent as outlined in Article 7(2)(h). A statement acknowledging the position of Israel as an apartheid state was solicited thus ensuring that Scotland is in the vanguard when it comes to realising the rights of the Palestinian people. I am sure the Ministers will wish to acknowledge the error in the reply, put matters right and clarify the position of the Scottish Government.

As you know, the Open Letter was copied to all SNP MSPs. One MSP took the time to reply. His position was quite simple. The Scottish Government should not “take sides”. It must be stressed that this is not a matter of taking sides. It is a matter of taking a principled and informed decision. To help formulate this position I would refer you to the following link to be found on the website of Adalah, The Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel. Please note that this does not include a further 29 discriminatory laws pending as of June 2013.

Yours sincerely

Hugh Humphries
[Scottish Friends of Palestine]

***** [Reply from Humza Yousaf, MSP] *****

Please click on letter for an enlarged view:

141118 Humza Yousaf to SFoP Reply to Open Letter 140624



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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