THERE can be a third Shalom Festival in Edinburgh this year, providing it gets the backing.
Shalom Festival chief executive Nigel Goodrich told the Jewish Telegraph: “We hope to produce another Shalom Festival this year, but can only do so if we receive major grassroots and other funding.
“We have run the Festival in 2016 and 2017, bringing the message of peace and co-existence to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
“A group in Israel of Shalom Festival friends is organising a fundraising drive throughout the world. What we really need, also, is for support to come from within Scotland.”
Donations can be made at jewcer.org/project/shalomfestival
Mr Goodrich addressed the Association of Jewish Refugees on Sunday at Glasgow Reform Synagogue.
He spoke on how, as a non-Jew, not even born in Scotland, he became totally involved with supporting Israel and the Jewish community.
He spoke about being prompted to act in 2014 after the Israeli theatre company Incubator was forced out of the Edinburgh Fringe and there was a demonstration against an Israeli stallholder at the Braehead shopping centre.
Mr Goodrich said: “I bought 16 bags full of products from the Jericho stall.
“I went outside where there were around 24 Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign protestors. I saw the hatred and got called a Nazi, a fascist and a child murderer, all for buying beauty products.”
Mr Goodrich, who has visited Israel 10 times in the past two years, set up 12 groups under the Confederation of Friends of Israel banner and organised the Shalom Festival, at which the Incubator Theatre appeared last year.
Mr Goodrich said: “Bringing the Incubator Theatre back to perform in Edinburgh has been the highlight of my life.
“Calling Israel an apartheid state is an appalling, grotesque lie. Israel is a merciful state. It has a genius for innovation that is a light unto other nations.
“We love Israel and the Jewish people and recognise that you have been treated shamefully.
“The SPSC are not helping the Palestinians. They are driven by a hatred of the Jewish people. I don’t understand it. There is no reason for it, but it exists. Israelis are the Jews you can seemingly hate.
“I have no fear of going into a public square and flying the Jewish flag. Fear and hatred has an opposite — love.
“Love overcomes fear and drives it out and our love for Israel is greater than their hatred.”
The speaker was introduced by AJR Scotland and Newcastle co-ordinator Agnes Isaacs.