IT READS like the grim manifesto of a fringe group.
“We condemn Zionism as a racist ideology based on Jewish supremacy in Palestine, as well as the related ideology of Christian Zionism… We support the Palestinian non-violent struggle for resistance to the colonisation of their lands, resources and peoples by Israel and by Zionist settlers.”
In fact, these words come from the policy statement on Israel and Palestine adopted by the Scottish Green Party at its conference last weekend.
The document has attracted attention for its demand that Hamas be removed from the list of proscribed terrorist organisations, but there are even more disturbing provisions.
The resolution “condemns Israel’s claim to be ‘the Jewish State’”, instead declaring it an “apartheid” society “in which non-Jews have inferior rights”. As such, it demands the law of return be scrapped for Jews and a right of return introduced for Palestinians.
To achieve this, the Scottish Greens endorse boycotts of Israeli businesses, academics and cultural institutions, Jewish and Arab, Hebron and Haifa. And while calling for the release of Palestinian “political prisoners”, they want to see the JNF stripped of its charitable status.
There is some throat-clearing about Israel as a safe haven after the Holocaust but it’s tepid stuff. Even amid rising anti-Israel sentiment on the European left, the Greens have carved out a startlingly extreme niche.
Stanley Grossman, of Scottish Friends of Israel, said the resolution was “absurd… little more than a hymn of hate for Israel”.
The reason it must be taken seriously is the ongoing upheaval in Scottish politics, where the pro-independence Greens have recorded a five-fold membership jump since last year’s referendum. They hope to boost their seats into double figures at next May’s Scottish Parliament elections. The proportional voting system helps smaller parties, and a Green surge could cost the SNP their overall majority.
That would leave the Greens kingmakers, and while the Scottish government enjoys no foreign policy powers, the SNP likes to push the boundaries, especially on the Mid-East.
In their equation of Zionism to racism, the Greens unearth the notorious UN resolution 3379 and wear it with pride. When the General Assembly carried that motion, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the United States UN ambassador, proclaimed: “A great evil has been loosed upon the world.”
Despite the resolution’s eventual repeal, that evil has never been contained again. It is at the root of much “progressive” anti-Zionism today. It is why a party of mild-mannered Scottish environmentalists can inveigh against “Jewish supremacy” without shame. Stephen Daisley is digital political correspondent at STV