Scottish Borders Council's Newtown St Boswells headquarters.Scottish Borders Council's Newtown St Boswells headquarters.
Scottish Borders Council's Newtown St Boswells headquarters.

Move to light up SBC headquarters in Israeli colours divides opinion

The headquarters of Scottish Borders Council are to be lit up in the colours of the Israeli flag following the terrorist attacks in the country.

A statement said the decision to light the headquarters in Newtown St Boswells blue and white was to show “solidarity with all those affected”.

A Scottish Borders Council spokesperson said: “Following the deadly terrorist attacks on Israel in recent days by the proscribed terrorist group Hamas, we are showing our solidarity with all of those affected by these events with the lighting of our Newtown St Boswells offices in blue and white.”

The decision appears to have divided opinion on social media.

On SBC’s own Facebook page the move has been ‘liked’ and supported by around 30 individuals but around the same number expressed their ‘anger’ at the decision.

The council has “limited who can comment” on the Facebook post.

Implicit support for Israel from local authorities after it launched counter-attacks on the Palestinian enclave of Gaza has angered many.

Protesters replaced an Israeli flag above Sheffield Town Hall with a Palestinian flag, after scaling the building during a demonstration.

Footage shared on social media showed a man climbing across the roof to remove the banner before throwing it to a crowd of people below.

Many UK and EU organisations have lit up official buildings in solidarity with Israel, prompting a backlash among those who say that such moves are politically biased and show disregard for Palestinian lives lost as Israel strikes Gaza.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Parliament will not fly the Israeli flag.

Proposals to show solidarity were thrown out by body featuring Greens’ Maggie Chapman who said conflict was ‘a consequence of apartheid’.