Ooops ! – Andrew Murray and Bill Mair – one accused of lying, another caught spreading lies!!!



Widely described as a ‘dad’ of two in the press reports and blog-posts at the time – as if anyone would actually care about his parental responsibilities – and also as a ‘community campaigner’, Andrew Murray, Chair of the Friends of Palestine group in the SNP (Scottish National Party), was recently barred from entering Israel. He had been part of an advance party for a delegation of Scottish MPs due to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories, but was detained for more than 24 hours and placed in a cell.

Andrew Murray - activist for Palestine.
Andrew Murray – activist for Palestine.

The Israeli Interior Ministry said that Murray had lied about his reason for travelling to Israel by saying that he was a tourist. The fact was that, after border control checks were carried out, he was found to have come to the region for a conference. He had lied to border control.


What Murray hadn’t realised, clearly, was that security personnel worth their salt – anywhere – are trained to react to non-verbal reactions. When you evade answering questions put to you by security, or tell open lies, or not tell the whole truth, you are setting yourself up for further questioning. When you enter Israel and are not open with the security services and border control personnel there, you are likely to be interrogated until they can determine what it is you are hiding and if you are a threat to the security of other tourists, and Israelis.


Murray himself claimed that he did not lie in response to any of the questions asked – in other words he had been evasive and possibly obtuse (Just saying… tho’ none of us were there… only Murray and his questioners). He said that he had been detained and barred entry to Israel and thus to Palestine because it was quite obvious that he ‘was a Palestinian activist’. He believed that he ‘was targeted because of his campaigning for Palestinian rights’ and that ‘Israeli officials had a file on him’. Goodness… Murray certainly can’t be fooled!! Very smart indeed.

Had he simply told the truth rather than hiding his planned attendance at the ‘conference’ (anti-Israel hate-fest somewhere in the West Bank presumably), he would have been able to enter without any special attention. People visit Ramallah – capital of Palestine – and Bethlehem and Nablus all the time. Instead, Murray managed to sacrifice his trip to Palestine in exchange for lots of news exposure at home. Perhaps this had been his intention all along. As it stands though, Murray will be unable to travel to West Bank through Israel for 10-years.

Perhaps he can go to Gaza instead… via Egypt… well… probably not actually. Egypt has sealed its border with Gaza!!!… You’ll not read about that much in the press however.

Corner of image_Images from Palestine

Then there is Bill Mair, Solidarity candidate for the constituency of Mid-Scotland and Fife in the forthcoming 2016 Scottish Parliament elections.


Bill Mair - candidate for 'Solidarity' in 2016 Scottish elections - can be viewed on party websites and party social media.
Bill Mair – candidate for ‘Solidarity’ in 2016 Scottish elections – can be viewed on party websites and party social media.

Mair spreads lies and helps peddle propaganda… the sort of propaganda and narrative that Goebbels would have been proud of. In another life Mair might have found a career in ‘strategic communications’.

Shared to social media by Bill Mair... a false 'Image from Palestine'.
Shared to social media by Bill Mair… a false ‘Image from Palestine’.

He creates and pushes a narrative in the streets and through social media that instructs on how we should view Israel and its policies. He likes to turn Israel into the ‘Dick Dastardly’ or ‘Snidely Whiplash’… the arch-villain and foil to the ever-innocent ‘damsel-in-distress’, Palestine. He demonises Israel through spreading propaganda. Once we have a ‘Dick Dastardly’ stuck in the mind of the frenzied student demonstrating against Israeli dancers at the local theatre, or against other Israeli performances, you can then say whatever you want about him, and then disparage anyone who dares to question the narrative, offer a different narrative and analysis, or question the extreme depiction. This is what Mair helps to do when spreading lies.

Image claimed to be of Palestine... the chimney stacks, the roofing, in fact everything, point to a European city.
Image claimed to be of Palestine… the chimney stacks, the roofing, in fact everything, point(s) to a European city.

A few weeks ago on social media, in October 2015, Mair shared an image which claimed to be from among a collection of ‘Images from Palestine’. The image showed part of a very battered city which clearly had suffered sustained shelling and perhaps bombing over a very long time. In the bottom left-hand corner there was a title, ‘Images from Palestine’. Making way along the battered cobbled street was lone figure. There was no other sign of life. It was a shatter zone. Sharing the image was a quote attributed to Don Freeman which read, ‘If people destroyed my home, killed my family, and bombed my country, I would become a terrorist too’.

The same city view as that appearing as an 'Image from Palestine'.
The same city view as that appearing as an ‘Image from Palestine’.

To the trained eye, and to anyone who has spent more time in the Middle East than a stop-over at Amman, Dubai or Abu Dhabi airports, everything about the image was wrong in its claim to be an ‘image from Palestine’ or image from any other city or town beyond the shores of the eastern Mediterranean. The cobbled street was wrong, the lamp-posts and chimney stacks were wrong, the roofing was wrong, the window structures were wrong… indeed, everything about the image spoke ‘central Europe’ not Middle East… everything about the photograph spoke of World War Two… maybe Berlin… more likely Warsaw.

Street in modern Warsaw which may be compared to the false 'image from Palestine'.
Street in modern Warsaw which may be compared to the false ‘image from Palestine’.

Indeed the same image had been used some years before to publicise the film The Pianist, 2002 (Roman Polanski), based on the autobiographical memoirs of Polish-Jewish composer, Władysław Szpilman.

Mair was challenged about sharing or spreading the image on his pages, and he asked in response where he had posted it, but remembered and wrote, ‘I think the idea is to compare bombed WW2 cities to Gaza’.

But of course we all know what Mair’s idea was… the spreading of lies. And there we have it, as far as Bill Mair, Solidarity candidate for Mid-Scotland & Fife is concerned, it is perfectly acceptable to spread on social media an example of ‘Images from Palestine’ when it isn’t an image from Palestine. It is acceptable to support your cause with a false claim. It is perfectly acceptable as far as Mair is concerned to then use a false image for propaganda purposes. It is perfectly acceptable for Mair to tell a story that goes like this:

‘Here is a picture of a bombed city from Europe during World War 2… Palestinian communities have also suffered bomb damage… They might look like this… In fact so that you think it is a Palestinian town or city, we have placed a label on the WW2 image saying that it is… when it isn’t…!!!’.

Bill Mair - candidate in 2016 Scottish elections... Solidarity.
Bill Mair – candidate in 2016 Scottish elections… Solidarity.

Let’s hope that Bill Mair languishes in the political wilderness, along with his party. Let’s not give his party our 2nd vote in 2016. Also, as far as Andrew Murray is concerned, let’s hope the SNP learns fast and starts to project a more grown-up and balanced ‘foreign policy’. By all means support the people of Palestine, but do it by demonstrating against the fascist leaderships of Fatah and Hamas.