Police assessing tweet by Green MSP who claimed Hamas attack was 'consequence' of 'Israel State' actions

10 October 2023, 19:10 | Updated: 10 October 2023, 19:52

Maggie Chapman MSP is having her tweet about the Hamas attack "assessed" by Police Scotland.
Maggie Chapman MSP is having her tweet about the Hamas attack "assessed" by Police Scotland. Picture: Alamy

By Alan Zycinski

Police Scotland is "assessing" a social media statement by a Scottish Green Party MSP who claimed the Hamas attack on an Israeli music festival was a "consequence" of actions "by the Israel State", LBC can reveal.

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The force has been "made aware" of Maggie Chapman's social media post on X which was sent on Sunday and which has been branded "utterly disgraceful."

The MSP for North East Scotland wrote: "What’s happening in Palestine is a consequence of Apartheid, of illegal occupation and of imperial aggression by the Israel state. Palestinian civilians have seen their homes destroyed, their water stolen and their land appropriated illegally."

Her comment was attached to a tweet which stated: "The OPPRESSED are fighting back for their rights.. Don't let the western media fool you into thinking it's terrorism, this is decolonization."

Her statement prompted Scottish Conservatives MSP Jackson Carlaw to write to First Minister Humza Yousaf urging him to cut ties with the Greens, the SNP's coalition partners, as a result.

He said: "Saturday saw more Jews murdered than on any single day since the events of the Holocaust. With notable exceptions, the response to the brutal terror of Hamas from too many Scottish politicians has been silent or feeble or inexcusable.

"Words of the Scottish Greens, shame us all."

He said that Ms Chapman’s intervention exposed “the disgusting bigotry that pollutes the Scottish Greens and makes them totally unfit to be a party of government”.

However, Humza Yousaf, whose parents-in-law are currently trapped in Gaza, said it was “crass” to discuss the co-operation deal between the parties given what was happening "geo-politically".

Conservative MP Andrew Bowie MP also tweeted about Ms Chapman's comment: "I've resisted commenting on stuff like this online for some time this weekend...but this is utterly disgraceful.

"As women, children and the elderly are being used as a weapon of war by terrorists...this is the response of a North East Scotland MSP. Disgusting."

His colleague, MSP Murdo Fraser, said her statement had shown her to be a "rape apologist".

There was also criticism from some in the SNP. One MP staffer and vice-convener of SNP Kelvin, Marcus Carslaw, tweeted: "With each passing day I wonder more and more why we are working with this party. Absolutely disgusting."

Ms Chapman, who is deputy convener of the Scottish Parliament's equalities, human rights and civil justice committee, went on to retweet former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, and said: "We’ll never have peace in Israel or Palestine if we don’t recognise why those who’ve been subjected to blockade, occupation & worse retaliate.

"Peace-making requires honesty. Including acknowledging awful violent acts by different actors. But we cannot erase context of occupation."

A spokesperson for the Scottish Greens said there had been no contact from Police Scotland.

Maggie Chapman's party colleague Ross Greer MSP also came in for criticism for his statement on X which said: "Palestinians have a clear right under international law to defend themselves, including by attacking their occupiers.

"Hamas has no right to massacre civilians. That is just as much of a war crime as when Israeli forces do the same. War won't sole this, ending the occupation will."

The party later put out an official statement in Ross Greer's name which said: “Deliberately massacring innocent civilians is a war crime and an act of pure evil. We condemn Hamas without hesitation.

“Palestinians have the right under international law to resist the Israeli occupation by force, but Hamas fighters murdering young people at a music festival and kidnapping wheelchair-bound pensioners is no act of resistance."

He added: “Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine must be recognised as the root cause of these cycles of violence and both Hamas and the Israeli Government held to account for the war crimes they have committed.

"There is no military solution that does not consign thousands more innocent people, Palestinian and Israeli, to their deaths. The only path to peace starts with Israel ending its siege of Gaza and the occupation of all Palestinian territory.

“Half of the population of the Gaza Strip are children, so it is critical that a ceasefire is reached before Israel follows through on the threats issued by its military and political leaders."

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