Nov 212013

With thanks to Stuart Maltman, Secretary, Aberdeen SPSC

palestineflagpicOn the 29th of November – the United Nation’s International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People – Aberdeen City Council will be flying the Palestinian flag from the Town House.

Palestinians suffer daily due to the ongoing Israeli occupation of the West Bank and east Jerusalem and the siege of the Gaza Strip.

Palestinians within Israel also suffer discrimination and today, according to the UN, some 5 million Palestinian refugees around the world remain unable to return to their homeland.

The flying of the Palestinian flag signals Aberdeen’s solidarity with the Palestinian people who remain steadfast in the face of the denial of their national and human rights.

Dame Anne Begg MP is highly supportive of the Council’s plans, stating that:

“I am proud that Aberdeen City Council are flying the Palestinian flag from the Town House on November 29th to commemorate the UN International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

“This day serves as an important reminder of continual hardships Palestinians face on a daily basis and the need for a just and lasting peaceful resolution to the conflict. I am happy to see Aberdeen stand side by side with the Palestinians at this time

To celebrate this important event Aberdeen Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the University and College Union are hosting a public reception at the University of Aberdeen’s Macrobert Lecture Theatre on the evening of the 29th November.

A number of excellent speakers will be talking on the night, with the theme of the evening focused on how best to build and strengthen links and solidarity between Aberdeen and Palestine.

There will be an opportunity to hear directly from Gaza, as Rafat Abushaban, a Gazan activist, will speak live through video –link, giving an update on the situation in Gaza. Frank Doran, MP for Aberdeen North, will reflect on his own visit last year to Palestine as part of a Labour delegation.

Poetry of the Palestinian struggle will be provided by Hilda Meers from Scottish Jews for a Just Peace. Mike Arnott, from Dundee Trades Union Council, who was part of the effort which led to Dundee’s twinning with Nablus, a Palestinian city in the West Bank, will tell of this success.

We will also be joined by Aberdeen TUC’s Tommy Campbell who will discuss Aberdeen’s history of solidarity struggle, particularly against South African Apartheid.

Karolin Hijazi, a Palestinian activist, working with Aberdeen UCU and SPSC will then talk about the potential and importance of taking forward Palestine Solidarity in Aberdeen.

It is hoped that as well as marking a historic date for Aberdeen’s solidarity with the people of Palestine, this event will build on and strengthen the struggle for Palestinian rights in Aberdeen. If you would like further information, please contact

Flying the Flag for Palestine in Aberdeen
6pm on 29th November,
Macrobert Lecture Theatre,
University of Aberdeen,

  • Comments enabled – see comments box below. Note, all comments will be moderated.

  4 Responses to “City Council To Fly Palestinian Flag”

  1. I was reading about Israel a couple of months ago. I discovered that despite it being a middle eastern country, it has the kindest human rights laws towards its own people and that many people flee/take shelter there from the surrounding countries and even from Palestine. I’m sure the politics must be quite complicated, I hope one day there will be peace.

    • Hi Sean, As someone who has spent some time in Israel, albeit a long time ago, and who may have more reason than most to harbour resentment toward sections of the Israeli security services, I find the on – going vilification of the state of Israel and the extremely biased and one sided commentary of the pro -Palestinian lobby to be unreasonable in the extreme.

      Whilst I have no knowledge of those involved in the staging of the specific and forthcoming presentation mentioned here, I generally find the majority of those actively involved in the Palestinian cause to be intellegent and highly motivated individuals whose unwillingness to consider events from an Israeli perspective often leaves me searching for an explanation which does not come close to anti – semitism.

      I will try to take the time to attend the forthcoming event in anticipation of a refreshingly fair and informed presentation and/or discussion.

      • Hi Bruce, Sean,

        Let’s speak in abstract. Regardless of your view for the Israeli laws or the pro-Palestine activism, one fact remains: Israel is the occupier. Palestinians are being blocked, imprisoned, harassed and ill-treated at Israeli check points in the Westbank. In Gaza we don’t dare think about normal life having closed borders, lack of electricity and basic services.

        I urge you to attend these events to understand the Palestinian point of view so that you are informed enough to make your own judgement. I would welcome your questions in the event.

  2. Hi Rafat,

    Unfortunately my time in Scotland is limited and I have an important prior engagement which I had overlooked and cannot cancel. I really did hope to attend the event and may still be able to do so, albeit only for a short time and this may be inappropriate.

    I’m sure there are many issues on which we would disagree but many more on which we would most wholeheartedly agree. I should add that I was not seeking to be sarcastic when I indicated my anticipation of a fair and informed discussion and I’m sure it would have been a great pleasure to have met you.

    Israel are undoubtedly the occupier in the West Bank though I think it should be acknowledged that they voluntarily abandoned their occupation of Gaza and were rewarded with the election of Hamas, an organisation dedicated to the destruction of the Israeli state, who refuse to accept the right of Israel to exist and, of course, incessant rocket attacks. I also think it is worth remembering that the Israeli occupation came about as a result of a war waged against them, on all sides, by forces who were unequivocal that their aim was the annihilation or expulsion of all Jews within Israel. I think the phrase Nasser used was “drive every living Jew into the Mediterranean” I do, however, acknowledge that much of what you say is an accurate description of daily life both in the West Bank and Gaza and that this is unacceptable.

    It would, of course, be futile to try to engage in any meaningful or detailed debate on this forum and I apologise if you feel I have, in seeking to respond to the points made by yourself, put you in a position in which you feel bound to address aspects of my response.

    There is, I am sure, little doubt that we both want a just and lasting peace for the long – suffering citizens of Palestine and the wider region and I hope I will have the opportunity to meet you at some time in the future.

    I wish you well in your struggle.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>