Making friends on streets of Glasgow

THE success of the Glasgow Friends of Israel Buchanan Street Stall was revealed to guests at a Yom Ha’atzmaut event.

The story was told by GFoI stalwarts chairman Sammy Stein and his wife Vicci, a GFoI co-ordinator, at the Strictly WIZO Israel at 71 lunch.

Vicci told the packed audience at Glasgow Reform Synagogue: “When we decided to set up our stall, Glasgow had a reputation of being very anti-Israel and pro-Palestine and we thought that we would get a really rough ride.

“However, it was great and we discovered that Glasgow is not anti-Israel. It’s just a small group of people filled with hate for the Jewish state.

“Five years on, our encounters are almost exclusively positive. We have a lot of fun and often have returning visitors.”

Sammy added: “In Glasgow we have a 50/50 split between Jewish and Christian members.

“Our stall has both the Israeli and Palestinian flags. We advocate for peace and you can’t have peace for one side only. The decision of the outcome is really for the people of the region to decide upon.

“No one else had both the Israeli and Palestinian flags and the mere fact that we do brings people to the stall to ask questions.”

Among the subjects covered by Sammy were the Mandate for Palestine, the story of the Jewish refugees from Arab countries and the many positive aspects of Israel today.

The vote of thanks was given by Cheryl Gold and a presentation made by Stephanie Silverstone.

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