Anti-Israel Activists 'Occupy' Scottish Parliament

Anti-Israel protesters, who sought to “occupy” the roof of Scottish parliament, have been charged by police.

Rachel Hirshfeld ,

anti-Israel protesters
anti-Israel protesters

Anti-Israel protesters, who sought to “occupy” the roof of the Scottish parliament to demonstrate against an official meeting with the Israeli ambassador to the UK, have been charged by police.

Ten anti-Israel activists who said they belong to a group calling itself “We Are All Hana Shalabi”, named after an Arab hunger striker, climbed onto the roof of the Scottish parliament late last week during a meeting between Scottish first minister Alex Salmond and Israeli ambassador to the UK, Daniel Taub.

The protesters, who were carrying banners declaring "End Israeli War Crimes" and "Stand With the Oppressed or You're Standing With The Oppressor", were removed by police and arrested. They have been charged with a breach of peace, according to the BBC.

During the meeting ambassador Taub and First Minister Salmond discussed "elements of extreme hostility to Israel in parts of Scottish society."

The two officials also discussed possible cooperation between Israel and Scotland, particularly in business, technology, health and renewable energy.

"We thought it was disgraceful that the first minister met with the Israeli ambassador at a time like this, and we would hope that the ambassador will not be invited back to Scotland,” said protester Jack McGinn, according to the BBC.

In September, a group of Scottish anti-Israel protesters disrupted performances by the Tel-Aviv based Batsheva dance company, which had been performing at the Edinburgh International Festival in the United Kingdom.

Approximately 100 people, associated with the “Don't Dance with Israeli Apartheid Campaign,” reportedly gathered outside of the theatre to sing, demonstrate and burn tickets.

While the protesters did not state their direct affiliation with the “Occupy” movement, their actions bore great resemblance to the group, which was first hijacked by anti-Israel activists last year. Protesters began using the “Occupy” brand name to undermine and de-legitimize Israel and denounce the “Israeli occupation”, rather than to voice their opposition to the economic injustices of Wall Street, as was originally intended.