PUBLISHERS of a book on the history of Jewish people in Scotland were told by Alex Salmond he was “disappointed” that disparaging comments regarding the Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) were included after he wrote its foreword.

Mr Salmond wrote a foreword to the 2008 edition of Scotland’s Jews, published by the Scottish Society of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC).

Glasgow Times:

In a letter sent to Michael Napier, the Glasgow chair of the SPSC dated July 19, 2008, the then-First Minister said that comments which accused the pro-Palestine group of “demonising Jews” were not included in the text he was shown when he agreed to write a forword for the book.

He wrote: “The foreword which I provided for Scotland’s Jews was based on a text which did not contain the references which are now the subject of concern.

“Whilst, of course, the provision of a foreword does not indicate an endorsement of every comment that is contained within such publications, I am disappointed that comments which may be construed as offensive were contained in the version of Scotland’s Jews which accompanied the launch meeting.”

It is claimed by Mr Napier that the comments in question alleged that Scottish universities were at the time experiencing “publicity campaigns that demonise the Jews by organisations such as the SPSC”.

Speaking after a recent protest against a Scotland vs Israel game at Hampden, Mr Napier said that the SPSC threatened the book’s publishers at the time with legal action, claiming that such comments were potentially libellous.

In his 2008 letter, shared with the Glasgow Times, Mr Salmond said the book contained comments “which have been interpreted by the SPSC as potentially libellous”.

Mr Salmond did not respond to requests for further comment.

A spokeswoman for the SCoJeC said: “The entire contents of the book, Scotland’s Jews, were sent to the Scottish Executive to review with a request for a foreword by the First Minister. No changes were made to the contents thereafter. However, because of a technical issue with the printing press, the book had to be reprinted, which allowed time for some additional editing.

“Several minor changes were made to the text of the book, which again were agreed with the Scottish Executive.”