WELL done to The National for publishing Jamal Juma’s piece on Palestine (Why the time is right for action to help Palestine, April 23).

Juma’ provides a rarely seen and heard Palestinian perspective on the Great March of Return that has been taking place in Gaza since March 30.

If anyone requires further reminder of the barbaric policies of the Israeli state towards unarmed Palestinian protesters, Medecins Sans Frontieres has revealed the extent of the devastating bullet woundings inflicted on large numbers of the thousands of injured Palestinians in Gaza, which are described as unusually severe and complex to treat, with some exit wounds as large as a fist. Many will live with permanent disability. These are besides some 40 shot and murdered by Israeli snipers in the last few weeks.

Juma’ calls for practical actions in Scotland such as a military embargo or such as those taken by Dublin City Council to endorse the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) campaign. We can start here with our own local authorities and tell their pensions committees that it’s time to divest from companies that collude in these massacres.

Helen Skulina

IT’S hardly surprising that the ranks of those fighting for justice for the Palestinian people have a plentiful supply of Irish citizens and descendants whose awareness of their own historic colonisation has so much in common with the brutality and mass murder meted out to the Palestinian people. So no-one should be surprised by Dublin City Council’s endorsement of BDS, and the proposal that the Israeli ambassador be expelled for the recent bout of carnage inflicted on the Palestinian people, whose only “crime” is to demand their basic human rights.

Racism in any form, from whatever source, is repugnant. And whether it’s the London Daily Sketch’s 19th-century portrayal of Irish people as ape-like creatures, or the Israeli Government’s pretence of Palestinian non-existence, the stench from both cauldrons serves the same purpose: to make crime, however brutal, seem less in the eyes of onlookers who might otherwise come to the rescue.

Arrest without charge or trial, indefinite imprisonment, child-snatching at night followed by ill-treatment, mass killing, travel restrictions, land grabs, sniper fire, assassinations – with all victims Palestinian – will end a lot sooner if more people stand up and demand it.

Lawrence McDonald
Scottish Borders

WE were very pleased to see the call for support of the Palestinians by Jamal Juma’ – especially since, in general, there has been a lack of media coverage of both the growing levels of Israeli aggression and the Palestinians’ inspiring mass movement of peaceful resistance. Our only quibble would be with the article’s title – action to help Palestine is long overdue!

We write as Scottish Jews who believe that Zionism has been an appalling disaster for both Palestinians and Jews. We have been proud of the support for Palestinian rights shown by people in Scotland, but are concerned that this has made Scotland a special target for Israeli propagandists who seek to brand any criticism of Zionism as anti-Semitic. We want to make it absolutely clear that Israel does not represent Jews as a people and cannot speak in our name.

Palestinians have called on the world to break economic ties with Israel and with companies that support the Israeli Government.

We hope that Scottish support for BDS will continue to grow, and that our elected representatives will not be cowed from backing this important action in support of human rights.

Sarah Glynn, Catherine Lyons, Liz Elkind, Alice Flebotte, Naomi Junnor, Leora Wadler, Jola Litwitz

ISRAEL is a state that relies on privilege to prop up its fundamental ideology of Zionism, which provides cover for ethnic cleansing to transform a land which was “Arab” into a Jewish state. “A Jewish state could not have arisen without a major displacement of Arab population”, as Israeli historian Benny Morris concluded. This inhuman process is a present-day reality that shames ever greater numbers of activists of all faiths and none into challenging the anti-human rights actions of those who represent us.

Support for the BDS campaign is a choice made by those of us who uphold human rights as a fundamental privilege for everyone and is an effective means of registering our offence to those who actively support the inhuman practices of the rogue state of Israel, whether Zionists or not.

Jerry Headley
North Berwick

YESTERDAY you published an article from Jamal Juma’, calling for action to help Palestine.

Marek Edelman, the great Polish Jewish war hero of the Warsaw Ghetto, in August 2002, published an open letter to the Palestinians of Gaza, written as one resistance fighter to another. He offered support and advice in their fight for freedom.

He was unequivocal and transparent on his anti-Zionist position, and matched words with deeds, refusing to “make Aliyah” and migrate to Palestine. He died in Poland in 2009.

Just a few days ago, by contrast, Carles Puigdemont, in the face of the deaths of peaceful protestors in the Gaza March of Return, tweeted explicit support for the State of Israel: “Congratulations Israel on the 70th anniversary of your independence. Your struggle against adversity and your spirit of self-sacrifice has gained our respect in Catalonia.”

His statement was met with howls of protest from members of his own party and the wider Catalan independence campaign, who clearly identify with the Palestinian freedom struggle. They realise that Puigdemont’s statement can only hurt their own movement.

Palestine and Catalan flags are commonly flown at Scottish Independence rallies. I’m not suggesting we drop solidarity with the Catalan cause because of one tweet from one man, president though he be. But it is long overdue to heed the call from Palestine for Scottish authorities at all levels for BDS of all goods and services to and from Israel.

As long ago as 2010, Alex Salmond demanded that we “end the diplomatic dance” with Israel. He said “You can’t have normal relationships if you believe another country has been involved in what Israel has been involved in.” Humza Yousaf in 2014 called for a bilateral arms embargo on Israel.

LAST time I checked, we had six local authorities with explicit BDS policies against Israeli goods or services, in protest against the crimes against humanity of the state of Israel. It is time to make that 32, plus the Scottish Government.

Palestine has asked for our support. We’ve stated our position, as a nation and as individuals. Let’s put our words into action.

Bill Mair
Dysart, Fife