Stop the boy­cott: we’re not Is­raeli

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY SI­MON ROCKER

THE SCOT­TISH Pales­tine Sol­i­dar­ity Cam­paign (SPSC) has re­fused to call off protests against a top Ed­in­burgh ho­tel it claims has been bought by Is­raelis — de­spite a le­gal de­nial.

The Cale­do­nian Hil­ton Ed­in­burgh Ho­tel was sold in the sum­mer to the Cale­do­nian Op­er­at­ing Com­pany which, ac­cord­ing to re­ports in the Scot­tish press, was owned by a con­sor­tium of Is­raeli in­vestors.

Three weeks ago, the SPSC staged a small demon­stra­tion out­side the build­ing, hand­ing out leaflets claim­ing that “us­ing The Cale­do­nian fi­nances Is­rael’s mur­der ma­chine” and urg­ing a boy­cott of Is­rael “un­til it stops its eth­nic cleans­ing of Pales­tine”.

How­ever, a let­ter sent on be­half of the Cale­do­nian Op­er­at­ing Com­pany by so­lic­i­tors Mish­con de Reya warned the SPSC that the al­le­ga­tions were “in­cred­i­bly dam­ag­ing” and sought as­sur­ances that the demon­stra­tions would stop.

The com­pany, the let­ter stated, was in­cor­po­rated in the UK and had “no Is­raeli share­hold­ers”. It con­tin­ued: “We be­lieve that you may have en­gaged in this cam­paign un­der a false as­sump­tion that the ho­tel was bought by an Is­raeli prop­erty group. There were some news­pa­per re­ports sug­gest­ing this to be the case. In fact, the deal never hap­pened and the ho­tel was bought… by our client.”

But the SPSC wrote back to Mish­con de Reya: “When the Is­raeli au­thor­i­ties lie so brazenly about their crimes… it is ob­vi­ous that Is­raeli busi­ness­men have an in­ter­est in con­ceal­ing their own­er­ship of busi­nesses that could fall within the am­bit of the grow­ing boy­cott move­ment.”

Un­less the Scot­tish me­dia, which re­ported the al­leged Is­raeli link, make a re­trac­tion, “we will pro­ceed on the ba­sis of the in­for­ma­tion which is un­chal­lenged in the pub­lic do­main”.

The ho­tel is by no means the only tar­get of the SPSC, a vir­u­lently an­tiZion­ist group which this year marked Holo­caust Me­mo­rial Day by stag­ing the play Perdi­tion, which al­leges Zion- ist-Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tion. It has also lob­bied against Eden Springs, a com­pany with Is­raeli links which sup­plies wa­ter cool­ers.

A mo­tion put to Ed­in­burgh City Coun­cil last week by Gor­don Munro, a mem­ber of the Labour op­po­si­tion, called on the coun­cil to can­cel its con­tract with the wa­ter com­pany. But coun­cil­lors de­ferred any de­ci­sion un­til next month’s meet­ing, pend­ing a re­port into Eden Springs.

On its web­site, the SPSC claims that Eden Springs’ par­ent com­pany in Is­rael draws wa­ter from a spring in the Golan Heights.

A spokesman for Eden Springs UK main­tained that it used lo­cal wa­ter in Scot­land.

The SPSC has also lodged a com­plaint with the Of­fice of the Scot­tish Char­ity Reg­u­la­tor, chal­leng­ing the char­i­ta­ble sta­tus of the newly formed KKL-Scot­land, a break­away from the Jewish Na­tional Fund.

A spokesman for the reg­u­la­tor said: “We have re­ceived a let­ter of com­plaint and will re­spond in due course.”

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