Opposing Zionism not racism: Scottish court rules
A pro-Palestinian organization in Scotland has clinched a landmark victory in a UK court that ruled in favor of its members, who were accused of racism for having participated in a protest against Israel three years ago.
Glasgow Sherriff’s Court announced on Friday its verdict in favor of two members of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC), which supports Palestinian issues in Britain.
The members of SPSC Mick Napier and Jim Watson had been facing charges of racism and aggravated trespass for a protest against an Israeli firm in September 2014.
The two were arrested in a shopping center back then when they refused to leave the demonstration, which was held against Israeli company Jericho cosmetics that operates in the occupied West Bank and had been involved in Israel’s 2014 military offensive against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
Napier said they “were accused of being motivated by hatred of Israelis rather than opposition to Israel’s repeated massacres, apartheid across the whole of Palestine and genocidal violence in Gaza.”
The prosecutor in Scotland claimed that the two were recycling an ancient anti-Semitic “Jewish blood libel” by speaking about Israel’s murdering of Palestinians.
Napier said these claims were being made in support of the Israeli regime, while the people of Gaza “were still looking for ice-cream freezers and vegetable refrigerators in which to store the bodies of children killed by Israel’s military.”
“When the Scottish government joined in by denouncing the ‘deep inhumanity’ of the Israeli massacre,” Napier said, the Scottish procurators were “working hand in glove with pro-Israel lobby groups to silence voices of Palestine solidarity.”
The SPSC has been under pressure from pro-Israel lobbyists and Scottish prosecutors who were trying to criminalize their actions in support of Palestinians.
Last year, two employees of the pro-Israel Community Security Trust made allegations against SPSC members but that was also thrown out by a court.