Leaked email reveals group links to Israeli government representatives in Scotland
A SMALL PRO-ISRAEL group which plans to target the SNP Autumn conference is supported by the Israeli Government’s consul in Scotland for “waving the flag” for the country’s controversial political record.
Three individuals, Joe Goldblatt, activist Sammy Stein, and Frank Angell, plan to pay out thousands of pounds for a stall at the event to challenge the growth of support for justice in Palestine within the party.
This week the group denied connections to support for Israel, its military occupation of Palestinian land, or Israel’s bombing campaigns on Gaza.
However, CommonSpace was leaked an email from the Israeli Government’s consul in Scotland, which promoted the group this week.
Stanley Lovatt, honorary consul, celebrated that the group would be “waving the flag for Israel!” at the conference.
Despite this, Goldblatt sent an email to CommonSpace claiming the organisation was “not a[n] Israel Group” despite him previously encouraging investment into the occupied territories, which is discouraged by the Scottish Government.
Stein, one of the group’s three members, is a well known pro-Israel campaigner and opponent of Palestinian solidarity campaigning. Mr Angell has previously said he “has reservations” over support for Palestine in Scotland.
The group is attempting to follow the success of the SNP Friends of Palestine group, which is supported by over half of the party’s MPs after less than two years in existence. Pro-Palestine campaigners support the ‘Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions’ (BDS) campaign, as a political means of seeking a change in human rights for citizens in Palestine.
Mick Napier, spokesperson for Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said: “Mr Stein served in the Israeli Army for five years, is Chair of Glasgow Friends of Israel, and is a defender of Israeli actions which Amnesty, Human Rights Watch and the United Nations Human Rights Committee have identified as war crimes and possible ‘crimes against humanity’, the most serious category of crime under international law.
“Since the Israel Minister of Strategic Affairs has complained that the UK is a major centre of BDS activity, and his colleagues in the embassy have identified Scotland as ‘the worst’ part of the UK for BDS, it beggars belief that none of the Israeli Government allocated budget of 100m shekels for anti-BDS activity hasn’t reached our small country.”
Goldblatt and Stein did not respond to a request for comment by time of publication.
Picture courtesy of Ric Lander
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