Thursday, October 25, 2012

Anti-Israel Demonstration at Edinburgh U in Scotland

Nadene Goldfoot
Waving lots of Palestinian flags Wednesday night tells me who was organizing this anti-Israel group. The "Justice for Palestine group" wrote to the university objecting to the invitation asking the man to speak to this school known for its public research.  The Israeli ambassador to the UK was trying to speak at Edinburgh University, the "Athens of the North",  and there they were, all the protesters waving those flags.  Even though Daniel Taub had been invited to speak by the Edinburgh University Politics and International Relations Society, these protesters disrupted by chanting and waving their flags.

Luckily there was the university security group there.  The ambassador had his own protection unit with him as well, and finally the audience must have come under control, but Taub wasn't able to have private meetings as planned with Jewish students.

It was felt that most of the students in the hall wanted to hear the ambassador.  A few weeks ago they had carried out a referendum on whether or not to boycott G4S, a Danish-British security firm that operates in Israel.  The votes were 538 for and 410 against.  The motion needed 1500 votes to pass. " The Scottish trade union movement has pursued a policy of boycotting Israel despite a dialogue with the Jewish community aimed at understanding both sides of the conflict."

Ambassador Daniel Taub is a British born Israeli who attended schools in Britain such as Oxford.  He is currently the ambassador of Israel to the Court of St. James's which is the royal court of the UK.  "Taub is a much sought after lecturer on Middle Eastern issues, international law and negotiation theory. He is frequently invited to appear on television and radio, and lectures widely in universities and policy institutes in Israel and abroad."

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland.  The university is one of the most prestigious universities in the world.  It ranks 6th and 7th in Europe and 21st in the world.  An important ambassador speaking at such a well thought of university's speaking engagement  turned out to be downright dangerous.  It's a sad state of affairs when ambassadors have to travel with their own guards.  At least he had them.

About 30,000 Muslims  live in Glasgow which is about 42 miles away from Edinburgh.  Jews are a smaller group than Muslims in Scotland.  Most Jews lived in Glasgow, also.  Only the Sikhs are smaller than the Jewish group.  The main religious group of Scotland is the Church of Scotland.  The largest non-Christian groups are atheists and then agnostics.  Muslims come next.  Jews number 18,000 in 1950 but have emigrated, leaving about 10,000 there today.  There are about 1,000 Jews living in Edinburgh.

An interesting book out by Elizabeth Caldwell Hirschman, "When Scotland Was Jewish" goes into history showing that many of Scotland's heroes were Jews from France and Spain who had immigrated to Scotland in the 1100's.  DNA might show that many of today are related to  Jewish families.  Those that stood with the Palestinian anti-Israel group might have had dna of Jews living in Israel today.  This might not make any difference to them, but it is too bad that they are not getting the unadulterated history of the Middle East in a highly rated university..  

Is there an improvement?  "Worse still, in 2010, a student at the University of Oxford shouted Itbach Al-Yahud [Slaughter the Jews]” at Danny Ayalon, Israel’s then Foreign Minister."  Protesters were holding up signs saying, "Stop the Occupation!"  They don't even know that Israel is really not occupying Gaza, Judea or Samaria.  They're all under Hamas and Fatah.  Well, they could have heard all the particulars but chose to just yell and shout.  By me, they're not students in any way shape or form. 


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One first-hand account can be found here: