Glasgow Flying Palestinian Flag Prompts Row

Glasgow Flying Palestinian Flag Prompts Row

Glasgow's council has provoked controversy by flying the flag of the Palestinian people from the City Hall.

The council said it had decided to fly the flag - a green, white and black tricolour with a red triangle at one end - as a mark of support for those affected by the violence in Gaza.

The banner was erected on one of the flag poles outside Glasgow City Hall on Friday morning.

It came about after the mayor of Bethlehem, which in twinned with Glasgow, wrote to the city's Lord Provost, asking Glasgow to show solidarity.

Although Bethlehem is in the West Bank, the city council said it felt it was necessary to fly the flag to support all the people in the Palestinian Territories.

It has prompted outrage from Jewish groups, who say it will not achieve anything.

Jewish Representative Council president Paul Morron told Sky News: "Flying the Palestinian flag achieves nothing.

"It's the worst form of politics. It's not going to change views and minds. Glasgow council should also be flying the Israeli flag."

A letter sent to the Mayor of Bethlehem from Glasgow's Lord Provost, Councillor Sadie Docherty, said: "I offer heartfelt sympathy to the people of Gaza who are suffering during this most recent outbreak of violence.

"Glasgow is home to many friends of Palestine and this is a deeply distressing time for them.

"They represent a variety of ethnicities, political persuasions, faiths and none. However, they are united by a common desire to support the Palestinian people.

"In solidarity with Bethlehem and Palestine, Glasgow City Council will raise the Palestinian flag on Friday August 8."

Councillor Archie Graham, deputy leader of Glasgow City Council, said the council had had a lot of emails from residents asking for them to show their support for the people of Gaza

He told Sky News: "If any of our twin cities find themselves in difficulties, then we jump to help, of course we do.

"We met with people from the Jewish Representative Council ... The last thing we want to do is offend anyone and we absolutely condemn any anti-Semitism anywhere and we feel for the victims of the conflict no matter which side they are on.

"We are working with the Jewish Representative Council to try and allay any fears they might have but we feel absolutely that we have to show solidarity with the victims of this conflict, many of whom are innocent children."