Jewish leaders in Scotland have poured scorn on the decision by Glasgow City Council to fly the Palestinian flag from the City Chambers on Friday, deriding it as the “worst kind of gesture politics”.
Paul Morron, President of the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council, also remarked on the timing, saying: “Glasgow has just celebrated the most wonderful and inclusive Commonwealth Games, the essence of which was bringing people together and overcoming division.”
He added: “Flying the flag is the worst kind of gesture politics. It does nothing to alleviate the suffering on either side of the conflict, nor does it bring peace closer by one single minute.”
The Lord Provost of Glasgow, Councillor Sadie Docherty, had earlier written to the Mayor of Bethlehem offering “heartfelt sympathy to the people of Gaza”.
She wrote: “Glasgow is home to many friends of Palestine and this is a deeply distressing time for them. They represent a variety of ethnicities, political persuasions, faiths and none. However they are united by a common desire to support the Palestinian people.
“In solidarity with Bethlehem and Palestine, Glasgow City Council will raise the Palestinian flag on Friday 8th August. We hope that peace can be found to ensure the human rights for the people of Palestine.”
The move follows a similar display by West Dunbartonshire Council and comes as the Scottish Government calls for an arms embargo on Israel, an option currently being reviewed in Westminster.
Morron described the gesture as “complete hypocrisy” given that the Scottish Government had repeatedly acknowledged the right of Israel to self-defence.