A new pro-Israeli group has been given a stall at the Scottish National Party conference in October, but it will get a frosty welcome, according to pro-Palestinian groups north of the border.

SNP Friends for Peace in the Middle East, led by an American Jewish professor teaching in Edinburgh, has complained to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon of “vile language” used by Palestinian supporters in Scotland’s nationalist camp.

Speaking to The Sunday Times about the conference, Prof. Joe Goldblatt said: “The purpose of our group is to bring together men and women of good heart from all backgrounds to further positive links with the Middle East… We are pro-peace.”

Mick Napier of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign said the SPSC could not afford a presence at this year’s event, adding: “It does not surprise me if Israelis are trying to get a toehold but I think this new group will face hostility and slim pickings.”

Last year, Andy Murray, convener of SNP Friends of Palestine, was arrested and deported from Israel while on a parliamentary visit to the West Bank, and the group claims the support of most SNP Members of Parliament. However, the party does not officially support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.