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Scottish Friends of Palestine welcomes the recent inauguration of the Palestinian parliament under occupation, the Palestinian Legislative Council

Scottish Friends of Palestine welcomes the recent inauguration of the Palestinian parliament under occupation, the Palestinian Legislative Council. We wish it well.

We also hope that under its new governship there will be a move to include the Palestinian disapora, amounting to over 5,000,000 Palestinian people, whom the state of Israel seeks to ignore. For a just and lasting peace it is imperative that the rights of all Palestinian people are acknowledged.

SFoP is well aware that its sentiments are at variance with those of the detractors of Palestinian democracy, those for whom the outcome of the Palestinian elections did not meet their desires and expectations.

We would ask such detractors to give cognisance to the following:

The PLO has long recognised the right of the state of Israel to exist within secure borders. The state of Israel has yet to declare its borders. For nearly sixty years the Armistice lines which form the state of Israel have been, and continue to be, stretched out of all recognition. A people have a right to resist military occupation and seek their rights. By what logic should the occupied be required to recognise the rights of a military occupier while the latter consolidate the occupation at the expense of the lives and the livliehoods of the occupied?

Hizbollah was the body responsible for fighting the Israeli occupation of Southern Lebanon. Both the USA and the EU have no objection to this body having political representation and influence in the Lebanese parliament.

In the USA some 60 million evangelical Christians adhere to a "Christian Charter". This Charter is predicated upon the outcome of Armageddon, where amongst other bloodthirsty outcomes, the state of Israel will be wiped out. This Charter does not form the election platform of any political party. It is rarely publicised.

Yet President George W Bush has affinity with the evangelical Christians. He has the power and the capacity to be responsible for many Armageddons.

In Israel the right wing religious zealots have a "Judaic Charter". This Charter is predicated upon extending the state of Israel to encompass the land between the Nile and the Euphrates. In this scenario much of Egypt and Iraq would be wiped out.

This Charter does not form the election platform of the mainstream political parties in Israel. It is rarely publicised in the English speaking media.

The Hebrew media is more honest. The reigning Likud party has strong affinity with this Charter and the religious zealots, although small in number, wield much power, totally out of proportion to their number.

And Israel has the nuclear capacity to attempt to achieve this objective. In occupied Palestine The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, has the "Islamic Charter".

This Charter is predicated upon Israel being wiped out. This Charter did not form part of the recent election platform of Hamas (who, unlike the occupation forces, observed a truce over the past year).

Yet this Charter is plastered all over the Western media and, in recent days, has been repeated regularly in the mainstream media. Hamas, with its human bombs and wildly inaccurate Qassam missile, has no capacity to achieve its objective.

Yet it is the impoverished Palestinian under occupation who is set to pay the price for exercising their democratic right and supporting a political party who they feel best represent their interests. Hugh Humphries Sec Scottish Friends of Palestine Scottish Friends of Palestine was formed in 1982 in response to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the subsequent attacks on the Palestinian refugee communities. It is an independent organisation with no political or religious affiliations.

SFoP supports the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty and the right of all Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.These rights have all been acknowledged by the United Nations.

SFoP campaigns for immediate and unconditional Israeli withdrawal from all territories illegally occupied, including East Jerusalem. We work for educational, social and cultural links between the Scottish and Palestinian peoples

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