Glasgow Junket Canceled by Purported U.S. Exec Over Gesture to Gaza

Email tells mayor that 600 sales people won't be coming because city hall is flying Palestinian flag.

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Palestinian flag flying from Glasgow City Chambers in solidarity with Gaza, August 2014.Credit: Scottish Daily Express

The mayor of Glasgow has been informed by a man purporting to be the vice president of a Fortune 500 corporation that the company has canceled a junket to the city because the municipality is flying the Palestinian flag in solidarity with Gaza.

In its report Sunday, the Scottish Express did not name the company or the vice president. It quoted the man's email to Glasgow Lord Provost Sadie Docherty – which contains false accusations and is arguably racist – to read:

I was, until I read the article in the Scottish Express, and substantiated by the press all over the world, spearheading an event in Glasgow for 600 business visitors to be guests of your wonderful city. We were scheduling six days in Glasgow, three for business and three for leisure time.

Having read your statement endorsing Hamas and its leadership due to the number of Muslims in your city, I have decided to cancel all plans for our trip. We are a Fortune 500 Company, so costs were really not a serious consideration, location was.

Hopefully, the Muslim population that you so sincerely endorse will have the spending power of the very people you have chased away so well.

Docherty's statement, contained in a letter to the mayor of twin city Bethlehem, did not even mention Hamas let alone endorse it, nor did it say that Glasgow was flying the Palestinian flag because of "the number of Muslims" in the city. Docherty's letter to Bethlehem Mayor Vera Baboun in fact read:

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 8th August. We hope that peace can be found to ensure the human rights for the people of Palestine.

Controversial move

Glasgow's decision to fly the Palestinian flag from city hall – one of several British cities to do so since the Israeli-Gaza war began early last month – has been a controversial one in the Scottish metropolis.

Paul Morron, head of the local Jewish Representative Council, said he was "angered and hurt" by the move, as did many other residents, while still other locals wrote on social media that the gesture had made them "proud to be Glaswegians."

In protest against the hoisting of the Palestinian flag, City Council David Meikle flew the Israeli flag from a City Chambers balcony, prompting some 2,000 locals to sign a petition demanding his resignation.

After a few days without hearing from Docherty, the purported vice-president of the Fortune 500 company sent her another email, this one reading: It appears that being Provost of a wonderful city such as Glasgow does not require the holder of said title to have any manners, or upbringing whatsoever.

A spokesman for the city council said, The council has received more than 1,500 emails/calls/online forms, etc, about the flag and is responding to each.