Jewish community leaders in England and Scotland have called for safety guarantees for teenage girls representing Israel in an international lacrosse tournament in Edinburgh, following threats by from Palestinian supporters to disrupt their fixtures.
Calling for people “not to play with Israeli apartheid,” Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign supporters promised protests at the Women’s 2015 U19 Lacrosse World Championship and the U18 International Festival of Lacrosse, to be played this week at the University of Edinburgh’s Peffermill Playing Fields.
A spokesperson for the group said: “We will be present in each of the matches to protest and send a clear message that Israel’s involvement in an international sporting event is unacceptable.”
It is the latest event to be targeted by boycotters, and drew the wrath of community leaders north and south of the border.
Board of Deputies’ Senior Vice President Richard Verber said: “We support those who express revulsion at the bullying tactics of this extremist group [SPSC]. We join with the Scottish community and their friends in calling on the police and authorities to secure the safety of the Israeli team during their visit.”
A petition for security guarantees attracted almost 1,500 electronic signatories in less than two days, with the Scottish Friends of Israel group coordinating efforts.
A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “A planned demonstration took place at Peffermill yesterday. Officers had been liaising with the relevant agencies and individuals and the event passed without incident and no arrests.”