Fighting Injustice: A Common Cause for Ireland, Scotland and Palestine
By Mohammad Sleem
Beirut – In Glasgow, during the football matches between the Rangers and Celtic, the famous derby of the Scottish football league, Celtic fans do not hesitate to show every act of solidarity possible with Palestine. Images of fans waving the Palestinian flag and wearing the kufiyah over their shoulders circulate social media platforms, in an act which has been a tradition in Scotland for decades.
On October 9, the 'Israeli' football team represnting the Zionist entity played against the Scottish national team for the World Cup qualifications. The match took place in Scotland. The Palestinian flag and kufiyah dominated the seats in the stadium. The event was a great chance to display activities in and outside the stadium to express empathy with the Palestinian Cause. Fans shouted slogans and held banners calling for the boycott of the “Israeli” entity, with “don’t play ball with the ‘Israeli’ apartheid” written on banners.
As the game started, jeering and booing were heard out loud whenever any of the “Israeli” players touched the ball. A winning goal at the last minutes made the scenario even better for the Scottish fans, who celebrated loudly in the face of the “Israeli” fans.
Fighting injustice and calling for independence, are the main common factors bringing the Scots and Palestinians together, as Scotland has been previously colonialized. In addition to the aforementioned, the Palestinian Cause has a popular and political support led by the Scottish National Party, which sees Palestine as a repetition of its experience of independence, following numerous demands for secession from the United Kingdom.
“We want Palestinians to know that we are thinking about them”, that’s how Scots comment on their pro-Palestine activities.
The Scottish people and the Palestinians share a common cause: injustice; both nations have faced suppression and oppression and they share the same values and retell the stories of their sufferings and the experiences they went through.
In a related notion, the Irish also support Palestine since they consider the Palestinian Cause a reflection of their own experience as they have resisted the British occupation for the right to self-determination.
With this being said, we understand the reason behind the empathy of the Scots and the Celtic with Palestine. The Celtic football club founder was an immigrant from Ireland who settled in Glasgow and came up with the idea of founding a football club.
The spokesperson of Celtic expresses the Scottish club’s solidarity with the Palestinian immigrants saying, “They are always welcome in their home”, since we are immigrants and we feel the situation they are in.
Besides, Ireland’s parliament has issued a law to consider all the “Israeli” annexation of Palestinian lands “illegal”. Later on, Irish deputies passed the law and it became official.
The Irish and Scottish are highly knowledgeable when it comes to the Palestinian Case. Not only this, but several activities had also been held in solidarity with oppressed people in different countries such as Africa, to condemn suppression, oppression and ethnic cleansing.