• STV
  • MySTV

Israeli ambassador voices concern to Alex Salmond over ‘extreme hostility’

Daniel Taub met Alex Salmond in Edinburgh to discuss co-operation between Israel and Scotland.

Meeting: Alex Salmond.
©: STV

Israel's ambassador to the UK has held talks with the First Minister about "elements of extreme hostility to Israel in parts of Scottish society".

Daniel Taub met Alex Salmond in Edinburgh to explore the possibility of co-operation between Israel and Scotland, particularly in the fields of business, technology, health and renewable energy.

Israel's honorary consul to Scotland, Stanley Lovatt, said it was a "very convivial meeting" and confirmed that Mr Taub raised concerns about hostility to Israel in Scotland.

A follow-up meeting has been arranged between the Israeli embassy and enterprise minister Fergus Ewing.

A few hours after the meeting last week, Mr Taub's lecture to Jewish students at Edinburgh University was disrupted by activists from Students for Justice in Palestine.

Pete Ramand, of Edinburgh University Students Association, said: "Taub was here to defend the racist policies of the state of Israel. It is an unacceptable situation when someone with such abhorrent and dangerous views can be brought on to campus.

"It is threatening to students from a Palestinian or Arab background, who are then treated like criminals for attempting to voice their justified opposition to it."

Mr Taub told The Jewish Chronicle: "I gave the First Minister an update on the situation in the Middle East and shared with him my concerns about the elements of extreme hostility to Israel in parts of Scottish society.

"We also explored the possibility of co-operation between Israel and Scotland, particularly in the fields of business, technology, health and renewable energy."

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "The First Minister held a courtesy meeting with the ambassador at Bute House on Tuesday of last week. The meeting was part of His Excellency's first official visit to Scotland and a number of issues of mutual interest were discussed, including the situation in the Middle East and the Scottish Government's support for international efforts to secure a peaceful two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"The First Minister also discussed with the Ambassador the Scottish Government's ongoing commitment to tackle and eradicate all forms of religious and racial prejudice in Scotland, wherever it occurs and whoever the victims are."

Mr Salmond has made several remarks condemning Israel in recent years.

In 2002 he attacked "those who flout the will of the international community," including Israel, and then attacked Foreign Secretary Jack Straw for exporting display units for F-16 fighters "used in attacks on Palestinians in the illegally occupied territories".

In 2004, Mr Salmond called Tony Blair "George Bush's toady" for backing a policy switch on "illegal" Israeli settlements, and then condemned "massacres in Gaza" during an Israeli offensive.

During the Holyrood election campaign that brought him to power in 2007, Mr Salmond attacked UK "inaction on Palestine", saying he was "appalled by the British approach that runs contrary to our Scottish view of the world".

In 2009, SNP MEP Alyn Smith accused Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Avigdor Lieberman of being devoid of "any regard for human rights" and called Israel the "primary opponent" of the EU`s peace efforts. He called on the EU "to bring the Israeli government to account, and the only weapons we have at our disposal are economic ones".

The Scottish Government awarded £427,996 emergency funding for humanitarian aid to Gaza that year.

In 2010 Mr Salmond wrote to Israel condemning the "violence and deaths aboard the Mavi Marmara" vessel which took part in flotilla attempting to break Israel's blockade on Gaza, which led to the detention of several Scottish residents. A UN investigation into the incident found that Israeli soldiers who boarded the vessel came under pre-meditated attack but responded with excessive force in defending themselves.

Last month, the SNP reversed its 30-year opposition to military alliance Nato, against the wishes of almost half the party including former SNP MSP John Finnie who resigned over the issue.

During the debate, Mr Finnie said: "Vote to join Nato and there will be pressure on Alex Salmond and his deputy not to support the Palestinians and similar causes around the globe."

The First Minister has previously intervened in the issue of anti-Semitism in Scotland.

During his evidence to the Leveson Inquiry in June, Mr Salmond said he had made representations on behalf of the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities about antisemitic remarks posted in the comments sections of the websites of the Herald and the Scotsman newspapers. The First Minister said he wrote letters to the editors of the newspapers to highlight the matter.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.