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Restoration of Relations between Turkey and Israel

That the Parliament welcomes the restoration of relations between Israel and Turkey after a six-year break; believes that this can set an example for other nations in the region to improve relations between one another; further welcomes the news that, as part of the deal, Turkey has already shipped 11,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid destined for Gaza, and hopes that more nations can work together to overcome past difficulties to build a lasting peace in the region.

Supported by: Kenneth Gibson, Clare Haughey, Richard Lyle, Jackson Carlaw, David Torrance, Maurice Golden

Current Status: Fallen on 29/11/2016

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on its position in supporting Palestinian refugees.

Answered by Humza Yousaf (30/09/2015):

Scotland has a strong record in welcoming, supporting and integrating refugees from across the globe. Our strategy New Scots: Integrating Refugees in Scotland’s Communities provides the framework for supporting refugees who have made a home in Scotland.

In July 2014 I wrote to the Home Secretary calling on the UK to help ease the refugee crisis in Gaza and the West Bank at that time, and confirming that Scotland would be willing to accept Palestinian refugees.

Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 30/09/2015
As Gaza Withers, its People Perish

That the Parliament notes the findings of the UN report that suggest that the Gaza strip could become uninhabitable by 2020 due to what it terms de-development, the process whereby development is not only hindered but reversed, stating that “Three Israeli military operations in the past six years, in addition to eight years of economic blockade, have ravaged the already debilitated infrastructure of Gaza, shattered its productive base, left no time for meaningful reconstruction or economic recovery and impoverished the Palestinian population in Gaza, rendering their economic wellbeing worse than the level of two decades previous”; can understand the feelings of many that the Israeli Government’s action and inaction with regards to Gaza are deliberate and leading to the genocide of those living there; supports those Israelis, Palestinians, Jews and non-Jews alike from Glasgow, Scotland and around the world who believe in mutual respect and understanding as cornerstones to a just solution in Palestine and Israel while condemning violence and extremism in any form; further believes that this groundswell of support for justice will only grow should the current situation not change, and hopes that, mindful of such, wise counsel will prevail.

Supported by: Kenny MacAskill, David Torrance, Bill Kidd, Chic Brodie, Cara Hilton, Christina McKelvie, Patricia Ferguson, Patrick Harvie, Michael Russell, Jean Urquhart, James Dornan, Graeme Dey, Linda Fabiani, Rob Gibson, Christine Grahame, Adam Ingram, Richard Lyle, Mike MacKenzie, Richard Simpson, Jim Hume, Sarah Boyack, Kevin Stewart, Neil Findlay, Gil Paterson, John Finnie, Clare Adamson, Malcolm Chisholm, Claudia Beamish, Mark McDonald

Current Status: Taken in the Chamber on 27/10/2015
Festival of St John 2015

That the Parliament congratulates St John Scotland on its annual celebration of the Festival of St John on 26 June 2015 at Wellington Church in Glasgow; acknowledges what it considers the hard work and commitment shown by Sir Malcolm Ross, who has held the position of Prior of Scotland for the last six years; congratulates Major General Mark Strudwick, who was invested as prior at the ceremony, all those who were admitted to the order for the first time and those members of the order presented with service medals and bars; notes what it sees as the considerable and extremely generous charitable work done by the organisation both in the UK and overseas, notably the funding of the St John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem and its associated outreach clinics in Gaza and the West Bank to which St John Scotland provided £212,000; considers that it also provides invaluable support local First Responder groups, including Neilston and Uplawmoor First Responders in East Renfrewshire, which allows these volunteer organisations to continue to provide emergency medical attention for residents throughout the area, and celebrates the organisation's continued efforts to provide defibrillators and lifesaving training to clubs and organisations across Scotland.

Supported by: Jackie Baillie, David Torrance, Nanette Milne, Liz Smith, Cameron Buchanan, Sandra White, Jamie McGrigor, Margaret Mitchell, Anne McTaggart, Gil Paterson, Hanzala Malik, Colin Beattie, Kenneth Gibson, Richard Lyle, Kevin Stewart, Dennis Robertson, Annabel Goldie

Current Status: Fallen on 24/11/2015
Freedom Flotilla Coalition Sets Sail to Gaza

That the Parliament supports the Freedom Flotilla Coalition in its attempts to end the naval blockade of Gaza, which has been described by the UN's Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Baroness Valerie Amos, as amounting to "a collective punishment of all those living in Gaza and is a denial of basic human rights in contravention of international law"; notes that a convoy of ships has departed from European ports with the objective of delivering humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, and calls on the international community to assist in ensuring that Israel allows this much needed aid to enter the Gaza Strip.

Supported by: Bill Kidd, Joan McAlpine, Cara Hilton, Christina McKelvie, Stuart McMillan, Rob Gibson, Jackie Baillie, Adam Ingram, Graeme Dey, Mike MacKenzie, Richard Simpson, John Finnie, Neil Findlay, Kevin Stewart, Jim Hume, Colin Beattie, Mark McDonald, Clare Adamson, Christine Grahame, Gil Paterson, David Torrance, Dennis Robertson

Current Status: Fallen on 30/09/2015
Action Needed to Deliver on Gaza Reconstruction Promises

That the Parliament notes with concern the international report, Charting a New Course: Overcoming the stalemate in Gaza, which highlights that six months on from the conflict in Gaza, when donors pledged $3.5 billion toward Gaza’s recovery, many people are worse off and not one of the 19,000 destroyed homes has been rebuilt; understands that 100,000 men, women and children are still homeless and that many are living in makeshift camps or schools; supports the calls made by 46 agencies, including Medical Aid for Palestinians, Action Aid, Save the Children, Oxfam and Christian Aid, for an urgent change in the international communities' approach to Gaza to allow the people there to rebuild their lives; believes that this must include an end to the blockade on Gaza, which has reduced Gaza to dependency on aid, with 80% of the population receiving international assistance and 63% of young people being unemployed; supports calls for an end to the ongoing violations of international law that undermine peace in the region and the immediate resumption of long-term ceasefire negotiations to end the cycle of violence and build a lasting peace in Gaza and security for both Israelis and Palestinians, and urges both the Scottish and UK governments to support international calls for action to deliver on Gaza reconstruction promises.

Supported by: Patricia Ferguson, Elaine Smith, Jackie Baillie, Elaine Murray, Neil Findlay, Anne McTaggart, Richard Simpson, Hanzala Malik, David Torrance, Jean Urquhart, Sarah Boyack, Margaret McDougall, John Finnie, Sandra White R, Malcolm Chisholm, Lewis Macdonald, Dave Thompson

Current Status: Fallen on 16/06/2015
Get on Your Bike for the Children of Gaza

That the Parliament congratulates Red Spokes on organising the Big Ride, a sponsored cycle from Edinburgh to London that aims to raise £100,000 in aid of children in Gaza; understands that the money will be donated to the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA), a non-profit organisation working for the rights of children in the Middle East; further understands that MECA will put the money toward its projects in Gaza, which are helping to support and rebuild children's lives that have been damaged as a result of the continuing conflict in the region; understands that the Big Ride will be launched on 17 January 2015 at Edinburgh City Chambers, with the ride taking place from 1 to 9 August, and wishes all involved the best of luck with the event.

Supported by: Joan McAlpine, David Torrance, Roderick Campbell, Cara Hilton, Richard Lyle, Adam Ingram, Patricia Ferguson, Bruce Crawford, Kevin Stewart, Mike MacKenzie, Rob Gibson, Neil Findlay, Colin Beattie, Bill Kidd, Jean Urquhart, Drew Smith, Dennis Robertson, Linda Fabiani, James Dornan, John Finnie, Claudia Beamish R, Stuart McMillan

Current Status: Fallen on 27/03/2015
Scottish Medical Aid for Palestinians Fundraiser in Edinburgh

That the Parliament recognises that, on 8 November 2014, the Scottish Medical Aid for Palestinians will host its annual fundraising day at Christ Church Hall in Morningside, Edinburgh; understands that there will be offerings of traditional Palestinian food and drink, crafts, plants and home baking; applauds that the programme for the day includes auctions, poetry recitals and talks from influential members of Medical Aid for Palestine; appreciates that Scottish Medical Aid for Palestinians works to address a wide range of medical issues and challenges such as displacement faced by those worst affected by the conflict in Gaza; considers that the strength of Scottish Medical Aid for Palestinians will continue to aid Palestinians in the coming months and years;  commends the work of Scottish Medical Aid for Palestinians thus far in its role as what it sees as a vital resource in delivering the highest attainable healthcare standards in extremely difficult conditions, and wishes it continued success for the benefit of the Palestinian people.

Supported by: Bill Kidd, Jackie Baillie, John Finnie, Chic Brodie, Patricia Ferguson, Cara Hilton, Joan McAlpine, Christina McKelvie, Rob Gibson, Dennis Robertson, Annabelle Ewing, Gil Paterson, Angus MacDonald, Clare Adamson, Adam Ingram, Richard Lyle, Mike MacKenzie, Kevin Stewart, Sarah Boyack, Marco Biagi, David Torrance, Christine Grahame, Maureen Watt, Colin Beattie, Stuart McMillan, Sandra White, Bob Doris

Current Status: Fallen on 04/02/2015
35th Anniversary of Mercy Corps

That the Parliament celebrates what it sees as 35 years of Mercy Corps’ positive contribution to the world; notes that it was established in the USA in 1979 as the Save the Refugees Fund; understands that, after changing its name, in 1996 it merged with the Edinburgh-based Scottish European Aid to launch its European-led operations; notes that these are headquartered in Edinburgh; thanks Mercy Corps on what it sees as its ongoing efforts to raise the public’s awareness of the importance of international development; believes that its work has helped improve 229 million lives in 115 countries; understands that it is currently working in over 40 countries; notes that 93% of its staff are from these countries and believes that its determination to work with locally-based people has given it a deep insight into the problems and solutions needed in the areas in which it operates; understands that it aims to solve a multitude of issues, including the marginalisation of women and minorities, responding to conflict, and dealing with economic collapse and natural disasters; supports it in what it sees as its approach toward long-term recovery by staying in the country beyond any initial emergencies to help ensure stability; applauds Mercy Corps in its continued presence in Pakistan, Liberia, Haiti, Gaza, Afghanistan and Indonesia; believes that, in these countries, it aims to move communities from relief to recovery to resilience and it is committed to engaging market forces; recognises the bravery and determination of its staff who continue their operations in war-torn countries such as Iraq, Central African Republic, South Sudan and Syria while helping thousands of internally-displaced civilians; commends it on its work in Liberia to help stop the spread of the Ebola virus; supports the Scottish Government’s continued spending on international development and on the funding of non-governmental organisations such as Mercy Corps, and wishes Mercy Corps every success in its future endeavours.

Supported by: Mark McDonald, Bill Kidd, Stuart McMillan, Joan McAlpine, Patricia Ferguson, Kevin Stewart, Adam Ingram, Graeme Dey, Liam McArthur, Linda Fabiani, Hanzala Malik, Jackie Baillie, Anne McTaggart, Christina McKelvie, John Mason, Mike MacKenzie, Richard Lyle, Rob Gibson, Kenneth Gibson, Annabelle Ewing, Chic Brodie, Elaine Murray, James Dornan, Gil Paterson, David Torrance, Angus MacDonald, Dennis Robertson, Nigel Don, Drew Smith, Colin Beattie, Richard Simpson, Maureen Watt, Clare Adamson, Sandra White, Malcolm Chisholm

Current Status: Taken in the Chamber on 20/01/2015
Spike in Antisemitic Incidents in Scotland

That the Parliament condemns the recent reported spike in antisemitic incidents in Scotland, many of them under the pretext of political protest against the conflict in Gaza; understands that the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC) has received as many reports of antisemitic incidents in a single week as during the whole of 2013; is appalled to learn that many members of the Jewish community have said that they do not feel safe wearing a kippah or Star of David or speaking Hebrew in the street and that a number have said that they no longer feel welcome in Scotland and are actively considering moving elsewhere; is shocked that the participant in SCoJeC's Being Jewish in Scotland project who two years ago said "Scotland is a darn good place to be a Jew" now says that she "feels alienated and no longer Scottish first then Jewish. Feel Jewish only." and that she "has to be very guarded when speaking to people"; welcomes police assurances that they are taking the situation very seriously; urges all victims of hate crime always to report all incidents to the police, and calls on the Scottish Government, local authorities, trades unions and all other public bodies to condemn all forms of antisemitism in whatever guise it may appear.

Supported by: John Mason, Michael McMahon, Kenneth Gibson, Anne McTaggart, Richard Lyle, Jackson Carlaw, Murdo Fraser, Jayne Baxter, Stewart Maxwell, Gil Paterson, Kevin Stewart, Linda Fabiani, Mark McDonald, Annabel Goldie, Maureen Watt

Current Status: Fallen on 05/12/2014