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.
- UCU condemned as “institutionally anti-Semitic” (cifwatch.com)
- CiF contributors Ben White & Azzam Tamimi share stage at SOAS: Tamimi defends suicide bombing, calls for annihilation of Israel (cifwatch.com)
- Azzam Tamimi’s big ‘Arab Spring’ lie. (cifwatch.com)
- ‘Friends of Sabeel UK’ : promoting BDS and harming interfaith relations. (cifwatch.com)
- Keep the pressure on West Dunbartonshire Council: Fight Racist Boycott of Israel (cifwatch.com)