The motion was supported by 21 Scottish MSPs, including 20 Conservatives: Chief Whip John Lamont, Miles Briggs, Liz Smith, Jeremy Balfour, Maurice Corry, Donald Cameron, Peter Chapman, Margaret Mitchell, Alexander Stewart, Douglas Ross, Edward Mountain, Finlay Carson, Alison Harris, Bill Bowman, Oliver Mundell, Rachael Hamilton, Murdo Fraser, Annie Wells, Ross Thomson, and Maurice Golden.
Jackson Carlaw MSP’s motion acknowledged that: “Bar-li is a career diplomat with 22 years of experience and an academic background in the history of the Middle East; notes that she has previously served in Uzbekistan, Australia, Turkey and Ghana”.
The motion continued to read that the Deputy Israeli Ambassador “helped re-establish the Israeli resident Embassy in Ghana after 38 years of absence and was Ambassador to Ghana and Liberia between 2011 and 2015, and hopes that she will build on the strong ties between Scotland and Israel that it considers that her predecessor, Eitan Na’eh, helped foster”.
In August 2016, CFI led its first ever delegation of ten Scottish Conservatives to Israel, including Chief Whip John Lamont MSP, and the Director of the Scottish Conservatives Lord McInnes CBE. As a result of the trip, the Scottish MSPs pledged to lobby for direct passenger flights between Scotland and Israel.
The Israel Cross Party Group in the Scottish Parliament, ‘Building Bridges with Israel’, was set up in September 2016 to engage with Israel, build links based on business, culture and academia, as well as countering anti-Semitism in Scotland and abroad.
In January 2017, Building Bridges with Israel held an inaugural meeting discussing Israeli culture, displaying five works from ‘The Women and their Olive Trees’ collection, which features artwork from Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Circassian Israeli women.