Thursday, 21 August 2014

Edinburgh WILL fly the flag

Yesterday I noted there was a move to fly the Palestinian flag. 

Initially the Labour and SNP leadership of the Council indicated they would not accept this - but at the last minute they changed their position and agreed to fly the Palestinain flag apparently as a 'gesture of support for the people of Gaza.'   Certainly it is only for one day and there will be the longer term appeal flag to enable/encourage contributions to the DEC fund for Gaza.  But there will be a letter of condemnation to the the Israeli ambassador in London.  There was little attempt to be non partisan or even to recognise the context of the events in Israel and Gaza - and scant regard for the other conflicts which are causing humanitarian suffering on an enormous scale.

I moved the counter motion which was, alas, defeated:  Edinburgh Council. . .
1. notes the appalling suffering associated with the death, injury and displacement of families in current conflicts which include:
a. Gaza
b. Syria
c. Iraq
d. Ukraine
e. South Sudan
2. recognises the desire of many in Edinburgh to contribute to the relief of such suffering
3. notes that Edinburgh already has strong links with Mercy Corps, an international humanitarian agency experienced and active in relieving suffering in disaster areas including most of the above current conflict areas
4. notes that the European Headquarters of Mercy Corps is in Edinburgh
5. resolves to fly an appeal flag which prominently features Mercy Corps appeal donation information to encourage generous giving for humanitarian relief in the above, and other, conflicts and disasters
6. agrees to promote actively the significance of the flag and the opportunity to give generously via Mercy Corps.
My comments are at this link (11 mins long)  A sad day for Edinburgh.

Note:  Mercy Corps provide humanitarian relief in, I think 40 countries.  Despite what the Council Leader claimed, it would have been a simple matter to promote a single number for donations for the majority of the places I have highlighted via Mercy Corps - instead of the single Gaza relief number.

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