The hate and extremism at the heart of efforts to manipulate another Scottish council to boycott Israel

According to the website of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, this coming Monday, June 13th, Dundee City Council will vote on the motion proposed by Councillor Fraser Macpherson to condemn Israel as an apartheid state. The wording of the SPSC announcement is rather interesting:

“The motion, which has been submitted by Councillor Fraser Macpherson on behalf of the SPSC Dundee branch, falls short of our original aims. The planned motion had called for a total boycott of Israeli goods.”

In other words, it seems that Councillor Macpherson is acting at the behest of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign which will probably surprise very few, but does mean that it is essential for the rest of Dundee’s councillors to be aware of who the SPSC are and what they represent before – like Fraser Macpherson – they vote to volunteer their services as shills for that organisation.

The chairperson of the SPSC is university lecturer Mick Napier.

If Napier’s demand to “punish the murderers” and talk of the need to “get even” and “punish Israel” sounds more like something from a vigilante rabble- rouser of days (thankfully) gone by than a so-called ‘peace activist’, that should not surprise any of the Dundee councillors who are even slightly familiar with him. Napier’s expression of support for Hizbollah and contempt for British terrorism laws, together with his stated support for violent activism against Israeli targets, clearly show him to be a man who considers himself far superior to – and unfettered by – the laws by which ordinary citizens abide. 

He is also obviously a man whose descent into the far-Left red-green alliance has made him something of a stranger to the truth in many instances and one who is no longer able to limit himself to objective criticism rather than employing antisemitic tropes.  Here he is dabbling with the idea of the all-pervasive ‘Jewish lobby’ and his statement in this interview that “We treat accusations of antisemitism with complete contempt” shows him to be exactly the kind of liability with which Dundee’s councillors should not be linked.  

Napier was, as many will remember, responsible for several controversies surrounding Holocaust Memorial Day. In 2009 the SPSC marked the day by inviting Hamas supporter (and condoner of suicide bombings) Azzam Tamimi to speak. In 2006 it staged the controversial play ‘Perdition’ which implies Zionist Jews’ complicity in the Holocaust and also hosted the known antisemite Gilad Atzmon. In 2010 the British government had to intervene in order to remove mentions of the SPSC’s offensive events from the official Holocaust Memorial Day website.

All this is hardly surprising coming from a man who claims to have attended a memorial in Gaza for the terrorist organisation PFLP’s former leader George Habash , and who is Facebook friends with the disgraced conspiracy theorists at Neocon Europe.  Napier was arrested for disrupting an Israeli string quartet trying to play music in Scotland and wrote extremely offensive commentary on the murder of eight Israeli students at a Jerusalem religious college in 2008 in which he excused the murderer outright in a diatribe of lies and racist misrepresentations.

Alaa Abu Dheim killed eight students who were being trained to oppress and dispossess him, his family, his entire people.”

 One presumes that the majority of Dundee residents would probably be extremely perturbed at the thought of their elected councillors doing the bidding of such a man.

The SPSC’s spokesman John Wight is not much better. Not averse to making anti-Semitic comments on internet forums, he also wrote in the communist newspaper ‘The Morning Star’ that:

“…the Palestinians hold a unique place as the Holocaust’s forgotten victims, at least in the eyes of those charged with maintaining the objective of colonising the Middle East in the interests of Western neoliberalism.” 

“…in short, the long-suffering Palestinians have been sacrificed upon the altar of the West’s continued blind support of that apartheid state otherwise known as the state of Israel.”

 Both Mick Napier and John Wight were among a six-man SPSC delegation which attended the 2008 Cairo Conference  which was dedicated to the International Campaign against US and Zionist Occupation . For those unfamiliar with this annual event, it is basically a networking shindig for extreme Leftists and members of the Islamist ‘resistance’ block.

Admittedly, one has to be pretty far gone to call oneself an ‘anti-war/peace/human rights campaigner’ and yet travel thousands of miles to rub shoulders with members of the Islamist terror groups Hamas and Hizbollah, but that’s exactly what Napier and Wight did.

Here is John Wight describing one of his highlights of that event: a brief meeting with Hizbollah representative Fayad Ali.

“He was on his way out of the hall, surrounded as ever by a coterie of Stop the War/SWP minders, who throughout the three days of the conference seemed intent on keeping him ring fenced away from other international delegates. As he passed me and other SPSC comrades, Ali shook my hand, leaned forward and putting his other hand up to his ear, said: “I heard you.” Then he walked on.”

Here is his report of the whole conference:  should we be surprised that Wight appears to have no qualms – to say the least – about mixing with the antisemitic Muslim Brotherhood?

“The Muslim Brotherhood had a significant presence as well and we enjoyed informal conversations with a number of them.

Their analysis of the Middle East was very sharp and they were extremely friendly and eager to exchange views.

Later, I was part of an international delegation invited to meet the Brotherhood’s leadership at their headquarters on the other side of the city, which proved an interesting experience.”

The SPSC also holds conferences of its own. The program for its 2011 event asserted that:

•has ethnically cleansed most of historic Palestine, creating a huge refugee population 
•attacked its neighbours in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1978, 1982, 2006, 2008 
•let US diplomats know it is prepared to use nuclear weapons on its neighbours 
•bombed neighbouring Syria in September 2007 
•sent murder squads abroad, assassinated Iranian scientists, murdered human rights activists on the high seas 
•illegally holds a part of Syria and a part of Lebanon

It is all too clear that the SPSC is an extremist organization which not only dabbles in antisemitism but is not above falsifying facts and distorting history. Its leaders are extremists who, rather than promote peaceful co-existence of peoples from all nations and ethnicities in the Middle East, idolize violent terrorists with racist agendas.  Its boycott campaign against Israel is just one of many ways in which it whips up vigilante-style fervor which is totally unconstructive and does nothing to help those residents of the Middle East seeking a peaceful solution to the conflict.

Dundee City Councilors who truly support peace in the Middle East will not allow themselves to become pawns in the SPSC’s ugly and divisive game.

Councilors can be contacted via the City website here.

21 replies »

  1. FYI: Our blogging site is experiencing technical difficulties.

    However, you can still comment by scrolling all the way down to the bottom of this page, where you’ll see the comment box.


  2. Well. Seems that Adam has uncovered a ‘pretty kettle of fish’ there.

    Not surprising.

    The OnLineMail seems to be taking an interest.

    The Guardian is somehow very lax here. Here is a blatant ‘Zionist Conspiracy’ to pillory and upstanding (and ignorant), member of the Scottish Loony Left. I can visualize their headlines now.

    But somehow, they are loudly silent . I wonder why?

    • Not much chance in some areas, Infidel. I believe Dundee has quite a history of communism.

      • The makeup of the Council:

        Political Party Number of Councillors
        Scottish National Party (SNP) 14
        Scottish Labour Party 8
        Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party 3
        Scottish Liberal Democrats 2
        Independent 2

        Political Control
        Scottish National Party (SNP)
        Leader of the Administration – Councillor Ken Guild (SNP)

        Leader of the major opposition – Councillor Kevin Keenan (Labour)

        Leader of the Conservative Group – Bailie Rod Wallace

        Leader of the Liberal Democrats Group – Councillor Fraser Macpherson

  3. Er, this doesn’t appear to have anything to o with Comment is Free. Running out of ridiculous comments to make about it so moving onto other topics?

  4. Speaking as a one-time deputy leader of a council my response to this motion would be and immediate and unequivocal – ‘move next item’. That’s if it had made it as far as an agenda. Which in my council it would not.

    I wouldn’t touch this with a barge pole the length of Hadrian’s Wall. The councillors are almost certainly being used and, given the extent of the Israeli technology they probably use themselves on a daily basis, might well find themselves having to abandon their computers, anti-virus programs, fire walls, mobile phones, certain medical innovations and medicines…. and heaven knows what else.

    The complexity of this conflict is such that very, very few people have the required information to take such a vote. Certainly the media should never be used as a reliable source of data for council decisions. Nor the mere words of biased individuals. There are issues of legality that I’m almost sure councillors will not have the experience to deal with.

    Another area the councillors must consider is their apparent lack of condemnation taken against Syria, Libya, Iran, Saudi Arabia and other countries rife with human rights abuses. To that list I would add Darfur and the genocide still going on in this country. I wonder if those seeking the ‘boycott’ vote are aware that Darfur’s leader, Omar al-Bashir, has been indicted for crimes against humanity by the ICC – and that their ardent supporters in this are Hamas? (see link below).

    Being on-side with those who support the Darfur genocide must surely have repercussions in terms of bringing a council into disrepute?

    All in all, to single out Israel is leaving the councillors of Dundee open to all manner of accusations – and rightly so, in my view.

    This is a foolish and unnecessary posturing. Dunbartonshire council took a ridiculous vote on an issue they clearly knew nothing about and now find themselves being discussed and criticised as far away as America. I have personally visited some of these American sites where the criticism has gone way beyond councillors and has extended to the Scottish people as a whole. Who, I’m sure knew nothing about this vote before they found themselves the focus of such media attention. Shameful. Councillors shouldn’t lose sight of the people who elected them. That is why they are there, not to congratulate themselves on slamming another country about which they actually know very little.

    This vote will not affect Israel. It is, as I said, posturing. If the motion to boycott passes it is likely to end up being as discussed as was the ridiculous, ill-informed motion passed by West Dunbartonshire. And for what? Do the electorate really care? Will they appreciate the Scottish people yet again being vilified in America simply to enable a few councillors to feel good and to please a tiny group of anti-Israel activists who are using the council to further their aims?

    I hope the councillors of Dundee have their eyes wide open when they meet tonight.

    • Thanks for this Penny. So there are some intelligent mature sane councillors in the UK, thank the Lord.

  5. Duvid enjoys playing Scottish folk music. But never mind the The Bonnets of Bonny Dundee and The Dundee Weaver, Dundee’s renown in modern times is as a drug-infested, violence-plagued Giro town. Don’t go there. Possibly councillors could devote their time to addressing these civic responsibilities rather than formulating an outlandish Middle East foreign policy, but don’t hold your breath?

      • Love the American/Scots accents and *0 year-old Pete Seeger’s banjo, together, of course, with the dour Scots “message-to-self”.

        • NB. After their meeting, the councillors might enjoy a slice of LIDL Dundee cake made in Germany. They might even taste some Abernethy biscuits (developed by Dr. John Abernethy) all the way from Thailand without having a foreign policy on either country.

  6. Funny how Dundee is considering this boycott of Israeli goods while being twinned with Dubai in the non-democratic United Arab Emirates which has been clamping down on human rights activists.

  7. His sites and sites by others like him can be shut down very easily the online companys that deal with him don’t know what he is about and what he is up to because applying for a donate button or advertising banners simply involves filling out an online form handled by a computer. It just needs to be brought to their attention. These businesses like PayPal wouldn’t want their business reputation to be associated with funding terrorism and this may down the line have much more serious consequences for these businesses. Action against these people simply involves writing an email citing evidence with references to the facts.