Row Over Plan to Fly Palestine Flag Over Glasgow City Council

Glasgow City Council has caused controversy by planning to fly the Palestine flag over its chambers on Friday.

Sadie Docherty, Lord Provost of the city, said that the council would be raising the flag in solidarity with the people of Gaza, but the Paul Morron, president of the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council, said the Jewish community was "angered and hurt" by the decision.

Mr Morron added that flying the flag is "the worst kind of gesture politics" and that the move will do "nothing to alleviate the suffering on either side of the conflict, nor does it bring peace closer by one single minute".

Cllr Docherty had earlier said in a letter to the mayor 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.

She added:

"In solidarity with Bethlehem and Palestine, Glasgow City Council will raise the Palestinian flag on Friday 8th August. We hope that peace can be found to ensure the human rights for the people of Palestine."

However, Mr Morrison said that the council's decision would be more likely to cause division than reconciliation. He said: "Glasgow has just celebrated the most wonderful and inclusive Commonwealth Games, the essence of which was bringing people together and overcoming division.

"The city council as the host of the Games should be emulating their spirit, and bringing people together, not causing offence and division within their community."

He also said that Glasgow's Jewish community condemns the Scottish government's decision to call for an arms embargo on Israel.

"This gesture is a complete hypocrisy. The Scottish government has repeatedly acknowledged the right of Israel to self-defence, but now want to deny them the means to do so."

Fife Council has also announced plans to raise the Palestine flag over one of its buildings for a week "to raise awareness of and protest against the suffering and death of the people of Gaza".

Both Glasgow and Fife councils are run by the Labour Party.


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