Orkney Vigil Supporting the #Palestinian People

A group of islanders came together yesterday, 15 th of May, joining in a worldwide event which commemorated #Hakba 73 – 73 years since Palestinians were forcibly evicted from their homes by Israeli forces.

The vigil in Orkney was held outside St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, and was attended by a diverse range of people who wished to express their solidarity with the People of Palestine.

More than 130,000 Palestinian homes have been demolished in Israel and the Occupied Palestine Territory (OPT)  since 1947


Over this last week there has been an escalation of events and the world has witnessed dreadful scenes from Gaza of residential areas targeted by Israeli fire power. UN Human Rights High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet on Saturday appealed for a de-escalation in tensions and urged all sides to respect international law.

She said:

“Over the past 10 days, the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel has deteriorated at an alarming rate. The situation in Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem, triggered by threats of forced evictions of Palestinian families; the heavy presence of Israeli Security Forces and violence around the al Aqsa mosque during Ramadan; the severe escalation of attacks from and on Gaza; and the shocking race-based incitement in Israel have all led to vicious attacks and mounting casualties in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and in Israel. ” Statement here

“I am particularly concerned at reports that Israeli police failed to intervene where Palestinian citizens of Israel were being violently attacked, and that social media is being used by ultra-right wing groups to rally people to bring ‘weapons, knives, clubs, knuckledusters’ to use against Palestinian citizens of Israel.”

There are also reports of excessive and discriminatory use of force by police against Palestinian citizens of Israel, hundreds of whom have been detained in relation to incidents of violence.

“I remind the Government of Israel of its duty to protect all its residents and citizens without discrimination based on notions of ‘nationhood’, religious or ethnic origin, and to ensure equal treatment before the law,” Bachelet said.

“Political leaders must refrain from any action that will inflame tensions, but must take action to prevent and address incitement to hatred and violence and ensure all citizens of Israel are fully and equally protected, including by taking preventive action.”

Casualty figures issued by the UN late on Friday, indicated that according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, 119 Palestinians had been killed and 869 injured. The death toll in Israel, has risen to nine, with hundreds injured, based on official data and media reports.

 On Saturday, UNICEF Palestine reported on Twitter that eight children were killed overnight in Gaza, and that so far 40 children there, and two in Israel, have lost their lives.

You can watch a short film of the Orkney event here:

See also: Silent Vigil to be Held for #Gaza

6 replies »

  1. Maybe I’m being simplistic, but I have never understood why, after thousands of years of being put down and got at, the Jewish Nation – Nation of Israel – having been given ascendance in Palestine, should choose to behave in so very vile a way.

    It’s as though they see the native Palestinians as vermin, to be eradicated. As they were seen themselves, for so long.

    But – why? I genuinely don’t understand why – they were given a place to call their own – a bit strange, as there were people already living there – but they could have just lived with the people who were there. Instead, a long tale of suppression and dominance.

    And now, recently – wholesale – well, it isn’t war, as one side has weapons and an army, and the other side doesn’t. It’s not war – it’s genocide. We can all see that.

    Britain, and then America, stepped in against genocide in Germany, but Palestine isn’t on our doorstep.

    Looks like no one is helping them.

    When the Israelis have cleared away the people that they don’t want, presumably they will live in the land they have cleared, but…how will they feel, living there? Not soldiers, not military people, just ordinary people. How will they feel living on that stolen land, where so many will have died? It should be un-thinkable.

    There really is something wrong with us, us humans. There is. We do the same things, time and time again.

    I’ve been trying not to think about how it is in Palestine right now, as I can’t do anything about it and found myself going into a black cloud about it – feeling how the folk there might feel, just trying to live their lives, with such venom being thrown at them, as well as destruction – and they did nothing to provoke it. Nothing apart from living in a place which was used as something of a conscience salve for those who won the war.

    Madness – all round – madness.

    That’s why I’m trying not to think about it – but not succeeding.

  2. I hope you are all out next week showing support for the inhumane treatment of the million Uyghur peoples in China as well as the Muslim Rohingyas in Burma. I know its fashionable to only show solidarity with the Palestinians, but there is a big world out there with oppression going on.

    • I don’t see this as people being ‘fashionable’ and I don’t think they are ‘only’ thinking about Palestine. It’s people being good-hearted and concerned about people in other parts of the world. NOT having a limited view – in fact – the opposite.

      Further thoughts – there was what happened in Rwanda – what is now referred to as ’the former Yugoslavia’ – India – Ireland – South Africa and other African nations – the list goes on and on ……….and in these places the people now have autonomy and can shape their own lives

      We do these things to each other, and somehow work through it.

      Being sour serves no purpose, and feeds the bitterness.

  3. I received this email from the Campaign Against Arms Trade………taking these actions could help – a bit…….

    Dear friend,
    As the death toll in Gaza nears 200, demonstrators across the UK took to the streets this week to protest Israel’s relentless bombing and the ongoing occupation.
    Following seven days of Israeli airstrikes that have bombed homes, the offices of media organisations and damaged health clinics, CAAT is calling for an immediate investigation into whether UK-made arms have been used in the ongoing bombardment of Gaza.
    In the last five years alone Downing Street has licensed over £400 millions worth of military equipment to Israeli forces, including many weapons & components that are likely to be used in this sort of bombing campaign.
    Unfortunately it would not be the first time. A review by the government in 2014 found that 12 licences for arms are likely to have been used in the bombardment of Gaza that same year. Likewise, in 2010, the then Foreign Secretary David Miliband said that UK-made arms had “almost certainly” been used in the 2009 assault.
    Help us to strengthen the movement
    1. Call on the UK government to block all arms trades to Israel
    2. Email your MP to demand that the UK government stops arming Israel
    3. Follow & support CAAT, War On Want, Palestine Solidarity Campaign and others for further actions and upcoming demonstrations across the UK
    4. Share our social media post on Twitter and Facebook to show your solidarity with Palestinians
    If you’re able to, please make a Donation in support of our work
    For decades, successive governments have spoken about their commitment to peace whilst they continue to arm and support Israeli forces. These arms sales do not just provide military support, they also send a clear sign of political support for the occupation and blockade, and the violence that is being inflicted.
    When this stops being shown on the news and ‘normality’ resumes, it is a normality that is intolerable and a normality that must be stopped.
    In solidarity,

    Campaign Against Arms Trade https://caat.org.uk/news/

  4. Who is supplying Hamas with the thousands of rockets fired indiscriminately at civilians.
    More than likely fundamentalist muslim states waging a proxy war against the state of Israel.

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