Regular readers will have noticed that I don’t like Islamic fundamentalists. Nor — though this is perhaps less often on display — do I much like Scottish Nationalists. Not just because their primary cause is to break up one of the two most successful political unions in history, but because so many of their secondary causes are so rancid as well.
Take this poster advertising a ‘Women for Gaza’ rally in Glasgow this Saturday.
The headline speaker is Nicola Sturgeon MSP. She is the Deputy First Minister of Scotland and leading light of the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP).
And one of the two other scheduled speakers is Yvonne Ridley — the notorious convert nutcase with whom I have had cross words before. Ridley used to be most famous for expressing solidarity with the leading al-Qaeda beheader and wedding-bomber Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. In recent days she has re-entered the fray by calling for a ‘Zionist-free Scotland’ (an extension of her ‘Respect’ party leader’s call for an ‘Israeli-free Bradford’).
It is to be expected that Ridley, Galloway et al should utter such fulminations. But why is the Deputy First Minister of Scotland endorsing such sentiments by sharing a platform with their proponents? Does Scotland’s Deputy First Minister also want to make Scotland ‘Zionist-free’? I suppose she will say that she is simply showing support for the women of Gaza, in which case she ought to join a rally against Hamas rather than an anti-Israel one.
But the most rabid forms of anti-peace, anti-Israel activism seem to have become part of the SNP agenda. And it is a tragedy. After all, what of the noble tradition of Scottish support for the state of Israel? Where does it leave Jews and non-Jews who are Scottish and believe in Israel’s right to defend itself — or at least not to be annihilated by the ISIS-like forces of Hamas? Where does it leave Jim Murphy, Baroness Smith, Gordon Brown, Malcolm Rifkind and George Robertson? Where does it leave the Zionist tradition of the Church of Scotland, Jo Grimond, Arthur Balfour and John Buchan? Come to that, where exactly does it leave the people of Newton Mearns or the Jewish populations of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh or Glasgow?
That, in the end, is the problem with the nationalists of the SNP kind. They are never content with their own brand of sectarianism. They want to import and propel every other nasty form of sectarianism too. If Nicola Sturgeon goes ahead with the event this weekend then the best that will be said of her is that she is utterly ignorant of the swamps in which she is swimming.