Conservative Members of Scottish Parliament, Professor Adam Tomkins MSP and Jackson Carlaw MSP, this week tabled two Scottish Parliament motions this week to congratulate the International Shalom Festival on a successful Edinburgh Festival Fringe event on Wednesday, emphasising that boycotts against Israel must be opposed.
The International Shalom Festival was organised by the Confederation of Friends of Israel Scotland, as a day-long celebration of the cultural diversity of Israel. The festival featured Jewish and Arab Israeli performers, who emphasised the day as an opportunity to build cultural bridges and promote co-existence.
Professor Tomkins MSP’s motion stated that Parliament “stands with the organisers and artists associated with the festival in advocating peace and security for the world’s only Jewish state, and applauds everyone who seeks to foster closer cultural links between Scotland and Israel”.
Jackson Carlaw MSP’s motion acknowledged “that the event was aimed at building cultural bridges with Israel… that this was through an cultural exhibition that demonstrated the different communities in Israeli culture, from Christian to Druze and Jewish to Muslim”.
It stated further that it “believes that the fringe must be a festival at which culture is embraced rather than boycotted, and hopes to see the return of The International Shalom Festival in 2017 for another successful outing”.
The motion was supported by 18 Scottish Members of Parliament: Liz Smith, Dean Lockhart, Douglas Ross, Oliver Mundell, Annie Wells, Alexander Burnett, Miles Briggs, Jeremy Balfour, Jamie Greene, Alison Harris, Richard Lyle, Murdo Fraser, John Lamont, Maurice Golden, Donald Cameron, Gordon Lindhurst, Adam Tomkins, Peter Chapman.
The motion follows CFI’s first ever delegation of 10 Scottish Conservatives to Israel this month.
On Wednesday, anti-Israel protesters demonstrated outside of the peace festival which featured Jewish and Arab Israeli performers, calling out to those entering the venue, “Your tickets are covered in Palestinian blood”.