Sanctions should be imposed against Israel say clergy
Economic sanctions should be imposed on Israel over its treatment of Palestinians, the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland was told yesterday.
The Rev Arrick Wilkinson, a minister from Ayr, described Israel as the "bully of the Middle East". He said it was time to take drastic steps to force Israel's hand and bring about peace in the region, reports the Daily Telegraph.
"I call on this Assembly to make clear to Her Majesty's Government and to Europe that the time has come to stop the bias that we see in our media towards the Israeli government," he said.
Several speakers claimed that the Israeli government continued to breach the Geneva Convention and United Nations resolutions.
"It is also time to impose sanctions on this bully of the Middle East until it complies with the Geneva Convention and UN resolutions" the Rev Wilkinson said.
The Rev Paraic Raemonn, representing the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, said that Palestinians were "the primary victims" of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
"No government in Israel since 1967 has been willing to withdraw from the whole of the occupied territories," he said.
"Until that happens there will be no peace and both Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews will continue to suffer and die."
The Assembly, which is meeting in Edinburgh this week, did not vote on a specific resolution about the Middle East yesterday but it is to hold a more substantive debate on the issue tomorrow.