I was aware of the SCoJeC report. Obviously there is concern within the Jewish communities in Scotland and crucially, increasingly within the non-Jewish circles, as to the rise in the level of anti-Semitic incidents. While rightly highlighting the problem, SCoJeC and GJRC are ensuring that it is kept in perspective.Here in Glasgow , the Jewish community may seems to have closed in on itself; people are increasingly reluctant to draw attention to their Jewishness or to engage in political debate just my friend's kosher deli and café owner, Mark who says he wants to get on with serving all customers and does not want to talk politics and that is due partly to advise given by the Jewish Leaders and orginasation like CST to stay safe and protected.
Serious recognition must be given to those in political circles who think they can gain by hitching their wagon to the extreme left anti-Israel brigade. And we must also be on continuous alert for the anti-Israel/anti-Jewish rhetoric of the Church of Scotland which is growing in boldness. But, if Jews are to still believe that Scotland is still the safe and welcoming country that it has always been, Scottish Friends of Israel and I must continually challenge that rhetoric.
It's true that Antisemitic attacks have risen right across the UK in the last year; but while in England a significant numbers are being committed by the rise of lunatic Islamists and from Far right groups, in Scotland where ties between Jewish and Muslim leaders are strong – they are more likely to be connected to left-wing ideology of the of the like of SPSC targeting and brainwashing the weak students within Scottish universities. As I said the worst tension is focused on university campuses like In 2011, when a pro-Palestinian campaigner was convicted of a racially motivated attack on a St Andrews student after he put his hands down his trousers before wiping them on an Israeli flag hanging in his room. And late last year Yiftah Curiel, a spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in London, suggested Glasgow University had failed to uphold freedom of speech after a talk he was giving was halted by rowdy demonstrators.
I believe many English Jews may have contemplated moving to Israel, and some may even have booked the one-way ticket, but I doubt very much that idea has ever been contemplated by Scottish Jews. Despite Netanyahu’s call to Jews to leave Europe, the Jewish community in Glasgow is staying put because of the recent tough Scottish laws on antisemitism, racism and hatred to guarantee the safety of not only Jews but to all races living in Scotland.
Under the SNP and previously Labour Government a lot of work has been done to strengthen links with Muslim, Jewish and Christian leaders. There has also been investment in education, with schoolchildren being taught about the Jewish faith. There has even been a thawing of relations with Glasgow City Council; as awareness of the rise in antisemitism has grown it seems the leadership has started to pay more heed to Jewish sensibilities.
So I don't accept the JC article's inference that there is or might be any rush by Jews to leave Scotland prompted by anti-Semitism. And the false description of those such as SPSC and their fellow-travellers as "pro-Palestinian" is lazy and misleading. The vast majority of those "activists" are anti-US, anti-British, anti-West anti Capitalism and anti-Jewish. They do very little, if any, to advance the lot of Palestinians.
Scottish Friends of Israel