August 14, 2009

Anti-racism on trial

Here's an update on the impending show trial of Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign activists:
Appeal for support by activists on trial for 'racism'!

An arrest warrant was issued at Friday's court hearing against Sofiah MacLeod, Scottish PSC Secretary currently in Palestine witnessing Israel's racist dispossesion of Palestinians. Sofiah will bring her recent experiences of Israeli state-driven racism when she goes on trial accused of 'racism'. Three of the other four accused will similarly produce evidence from first-hand experience of Israel's programme of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

On trial for ‘racially aggravated conduct’ are five Scots who responded to the Palestinian appeal for boycott of Israel. We protested a visit by the Israeli state-sponsored Jerusalem Quartet to the 2008 Edinburgh International Festival. Next appearance in Edinburgh Sherriff Court is on Thursday October 1st, when our lawyers will argue to dismiss the case against us .

The Scottish legal authorities will attempt to prove that shouting 'End the siege of Gaza', and 'Boycott Israel' equals 'racism'. We five will argue that boycott of Israel is a duty while that State violates every canon of international law.

This is a political show-trial, encouraged by the stated positions of the British Government, and is aimed at intimidating Palestine supporters. We shall certainly not be intimdated: last year we saw off some Zionist rascals from SCoJeC (Scottish Council of Jewish Communities) who were unwise enough to claim in print that Scottish PSC is anti-Semitic. They then had to pulp 6,000 copies of a book, Scotland's Jews, in open admission that the claim was without foundation and libellous.

We will show in our defence/attack that

  • we are bound to oppose grave Israeli crimes and British Government complicity in those crimes, including political, diplomatic, economic and military support for Israeli Governments
  • the nearest domestic political equivalent in Britain to the factions in the Isaeli Government is the neo-Nazi British National Party (BNP)
  • Israel is an apartheid state as defined in international law
  • the Palestinian-inspired BDS campaign is a duty for consistent supporters of human rights, i.e. those who repudiate a racist attitude that Palestinians, Iraqis, Afghans and others have a lesser entitlement that others
  • the Jerusalem Quartet are indeed, as we claim, institutionally linked to the Israeli Army and its State, and thus to be boycotted by human rights supporters

Expert witnesses - Palestinians, Israelis and others - will show that the growing support for the Palestinian BDS appeal is justified by

  • the history of ethnic cleansing carried out by the Zionist movement and its State from 1948 to the present
  • the conscious determination of the Israeli State to continue with further criminal acts of ethnic cleansing
  • the failure of the British Government to honour its international legal obligations to opppose Israeli apartheid, specifically the illegal Wall and settlement building

Witnesses who have agreed to give expert evidence or personal testimonies for the defence include:

  • Leila Khaled, Palestinian refugee and resistance fighter, Member of Palestinian National Council
  • Dr. Ghada Karmi, Palestinian writer and academic
  • Omar Barghouti PACBI (Palestinian Academic and Cultural Boycott)
  • Dr. Hisham Genayem, Palestinian refugee and surgeon
  • Dr. Moshe Machover, Israeli academic and anti-Zionist political activist
  • Dr. Michael Kearney, University of York (t.b.c)
  • Dr. Keith Hammond, University of Glasgow
  • Yael Kahn, Israeli human rights activist
  • Marion Woolfson, Hon. President of Scottish PSC
  • Liz Elkind, ex-President of the STUC, moved successful report and recommendation for BDS at STUC 2009 Perth Conference
  • Tony Greenstein, (JBIG) Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods
  • Rt. Hon. Peter Hain MP, veteran anti-apartheid campaigner in the 70's, Chair of Stop All Racist Tours (awaiting reply)
  • Members of the public who witnessed the protest during the performance
  • BBC sound technicians who recorded the entire event (awaiting reply)

We are asking supporters to

  • send letters of support to
  • invite one of the accused to speak and explain the background and aims of the campaign to your trade union, political party branch, mosque, church or campaign group
  • turn up outside, and inside, the Court on October 1st and later sessions
  • make a donation to the campaign (Judge Horseburgh criticised the Legal Aid board severely for refusal to provide legal aid to one of the accused.)
  • boycott everything Israeli, except those Israelis supporting Palestinian human and national rights
  • join the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign to help us build this campaign
I wonder who the prosecution will call as witnessing to "prove" that condemning racism is itself racist. If you can stand the dross, check out this thread where you will see it argued that Israel isn't racist because there are academics that say it isn't, that Israel doesn't check people's DNA before discriminating for or against them and that, wait for it, Israel isn't racist because it only does to the natives of Palestine what white people did to the natives of the Americas and Australasia.

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