Search This Blog

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Dundee City Council. Memorandum on motion to censure Israel‏

Dundee City Council
June 13, 2011. 6pm
Policy & Resources Committee 



It is reported that a request for a deputation to be head in support of the item placed on the agenda at
Cllr Fraser Macpherson
the request of Councillor Macpherson, relative to Palestine, has been received from the Scottish

Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

3 PALESTINE (AN92-2011)

The under-noted item has been placed on the agenda by Councillor Macpherson.

"Dundee City Council, proud of its historic links with the people of Palestine and the past support it has
given to the oppressed inhabitants of the region, condemns the Government of Israel for its continuing
illegal occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank and the illegal blockade of Gaza. The
Council recognises that Apartheid was not acceptable in South Africa and it is not acceptable in
Palestine. The Council furthermore notes the Government of Israel's continuing disregard of
successive UN Resolutions and its continuing failure to comply with the requirements of the Geneva
Conventions in regard to its treatment of Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories."

Scottish Friends of Israel have forwarded the following memorandum on the motion to all councillors:

Dundee City Council on June 13, 2011 is scheduled to debate a motion critical of Israel. Believing that councillors will want to be informed regarding the basis for the censure and judge its merits according to established fact, Scottish Friends of Israel have forwarded the following memorandum on the motion to all councillors:

Dear Councillor,
Memorandum on motion to censure Israel
The Dundee Council on June 13 is scheduled to debate a motion critical of Israel. Before considering the issue, Councillors will want to be informed regarding the basis for the censure and judge its merit according to established fact.
This memorandum has been prepared by the Scottish Friends of Israel who strongly support a peaceful understanding between Israelis and Palestinians. Some of the Friends reside or work in the Dundee area.
The motion, being presented by Councillor Macpherson on behalf of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC), is part of a wider undertaking which that Campaign promotes to delegitimise Israel’s standing and promote boycott of Israel goods and services. The arguments they adduce are historically inaccurate and distorted.
Some relevant facts are outlined here.
Arabs in Israel—an Apartheid state?: Israel is a multi-racial and multi-colour society, and the Arab minority (20% of the citizenry) actively participates in the political process. There are Arab parliamentarians, Arab judges, Arab cabinet ministers, Arab university professors, Arab diplomats, and senior Arab police and army officers. Incitement to racism in Israel is a criminal offence, as is discrimination on the basis of race or religion.
     The Apartheid charge repeated by the SPSC and their like aims at the denial of the legitimacy of the State of Israel. The only status they allocate for Jewish residents in Israel is that of an inferior “dhimmi” minority in an Arab Palestinian state.
Arabs in Occupied Territories: Over the last 63 years, the Arab Palestinians have rejected opportunities to progress towards a separate Palestinian statehood. In 1947 the future leaders of Israel agreed to the UN partition plan which also postulated a Palestinian state; that state did not come into being because Arab leaders refused to agree to the other part of the partition plan—the creation of a Jewish state. It is not Israel that denies Palestinian national rights, but the Palestinians who deny Israeli national rights. The future of the territories and the settlements can be resolved only when the Palestinians accept Israel's legitimate rights. The Palestinian culture of terror and rejectionism is the principal obstacle to winding down the occupation.
United Nations Resolutions: Resolutions of the UN Security Council are mandatory on members; General Assembly resolutions are recommendations neither binding nor injunctive. Israel has abided by all Security Council resolutions.
     In particular, UN Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967 obliges Israel to “withdraw from territories” (specifically so worded—not “from all territories”) occupied in the 1967 war, and that withdrawal within the context of a negotiated peace agreement. Israel 's peace agreements since 1967 fulfil the letter and spirit of UN Resolution 242 – the peace treaty with Egypt involving Israel 's withdrawal from Sinai, and the peace with Jordan have benefited all three countries. The full implementation of UN Resolution 242 remains blocked by Arab rejectionism and violence.
     It should be noted that Israel came into control of the West Bank in 1967 only in repelling the unprovoked attack by Jordan; and further, that the area never was part of Jordan which had held it illegally.
Gaza and the blockade: Israel unilaterally withdrew completely from the whole Gaza Strip in 2005, leaving undamaged the technically advanced fruit and vegetable growing hothouses. The response was a still continuing rain of thousands of rockets on Israeli townships near the border. Israel attempts to control the flow of arms, including some sophisticated weaponry, as far as it can by land and by sea, allowing in food and fuel (including electricity from the Israel grid). The provocative flotillas claiming to bring aid by sea to Gaza are rather publicity-seeking ventures aimed at discrediting Israel.
     Mathilde Redman, the deputy director of the Red Cross in the Gaza Strip stated: "There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. If you go to the supermarket, there are products. There are restaurants and a nice beach.”
     Lynn Pascoe, the UN Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs, expressed the UN and international community's opposition to Gaza flotillas, stating that the "appropriate way to meet needs in Gaza is through legitimate crossings", and that there is "no need for unnecessary confrontations."
The Arab-Israel dispute is not black and white. The prize of peace and justice remains hard to gain and Arabs and Israelis need support in its achievement. Knowledge and understanding are the prerequisites for those genuinely desiring to help. Boycott, disinvestment, sanctions and censure of Israel are obstacles to a solution. That concept is totally negative, offering no constructive aid to the Palestinians, its sole aggressive aim to injure Israel and anyone friendly to her, America in particular.
It is to be hoped that due consideration will prompt Dundee Council to reject this destructive motion, and thus join the majority of Scottish Councils also lobbied by the SPSC.
Stanley Grossman
Hon. Sec. Scottish Friends of Israel.

No comments:

Post a Comment