Scotland’s Israeli community dismissed putting Palestine’s flag above Glasgow’s city chambers as a “vapid piece of gesture politics.” The City Council, led by Lord Provost Sadie Docherty, said the flag raising was meant to show solidarity with the people suffering in Gaza; Deputy Leader of the Council Archie Graham added that “It is not intended to show support for one side or the other in this conflict.”
Nevertheless the Israeli and Jewish community in the U.K. was quick to voice their disapproval of the government’s choice. The Glasgow Jewish Representative Council reported it was “angered and hurt,” by the decision. The Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Leeds Jewish Community have also denounced the move.
Naturally, social media sphere became swamped with people either celebrating or condemning the Glasgow flag raising:
As Debbie Barnett wrote:
“I am horrified that Glasgow City Council are flying the Palestinian flag on the City Chambers… The victims are the innocents on both sides but by flying the Palestinian flag, you are legitimising Hamas and victimising Israel. It perpetuates the ‘them and us’ mentality and the deep division which already exits.”
Nevertheless, many in the Twittersphere say Glasgow did the right thing showing support for Palestine.
A sign of Europe’s public opinion?
According to the Economist, the majority of Europeans now have a negative view of Israel, some are even questioning the legitimacy of the Jewish state. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, demonstrations across Europe have become increasingly anti-semetic. Mick Napier, Secretary of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said:
“This is a small indicator of Scottish public opinion, already very suspicious of Israel’s massacre of Palestinians in Gaza.”
Even the Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has called for an arms embargo against Israel for the Gaza conflict.
Despite the raucous debate Palestine’s flag has caused, the local government still insists that it was merely a sign of solidarity with those suffering in Gaza.
Glasgow is the twin city of Bethlehem, which is heavily affected the current conflict. Glasgow’s Lord Provost wrote in a public letter to the government of Bethlehem:
“As Lord Provost of Glasgow I write in response to the statement issued by Bethlehem City Council in relation to the ongoing violence in Gaza. I offer heartfelt sympathy to the people of Gaza who are suffering during this most recent outbreak of violence.”
Whether they’re pro-palestine or pro-Israel, some citizens of Glasgow are going outside the flag debate to simply ask, shouldn’t the council be more focused on “potholes and rubbish bins” than Gaza?
[Image Credit: STV News/Twitter]