Further to the excellent letters from Nigel Goodrich, CEO of the International Shalom Festival and A Soudry, in response to the apartheid accusation letter in the previous week's Sunday Herald, I have yet to hear anyone who supports Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) mention, let alone complain about, any of the many countries with appalling human rights abuses, for example China (shalom Festival does not promote apartheid, Letters, August 6).

Why do we never hear even a peep out of those who call for Israel to be boycotted? Perhaps one (or more) of the signatories to the apartheid accusation letter would care to comment on their views of the Chinese Government's treatment of the people of Tibet or of the persecution and torture of people in their own country, the Falun Gong and, if they don't approve, why they don't call for a boycott of Chinese goods and Chinese shows at the Fringe?

Can any of them let us know if their homes are free from goods made in China and if they do purchase Chinese goods, how do they explain away their double standards?

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Sandra Busell


The pro-Israel lobbyist and organiser of the self-declared "Shalom Festival" Nigel Goodrich boasts of the support of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Unfortunately, Ms Sturgeon and the Scottish Government seem to have developed a moral blind spot where the crimes of the Israeli state are concerned.

In 2014, when pro-Palestine campaigners mounted a successful boycott of two Israeli state-funded shows on the Edinburgh Fringe, culture minister Fiona Hyslop said she was against the boycott on grounds of "freedom of expression". However, barely a week later, the Government announced that it was boycotting productions in the UK-Russia Year of Culture in protest at the Putin administration's policy in eastern Ukraine.

It is a sad state of affairs when the Scottish Government seems to set the value of Palestinian lives lower than those of lives in Ukraine.

The "Shalom Festival" is a propaganda instrument of Israel which seeks to deflect attention away from the illegal occupation in Palestine.

Wael Shawish

Vice-chair, Association of Palestinian Community, Scotland