Who are we?
COFIS became a registered charity with OSCR - Charity Number 050079 - in April 2020, with four charitable purposes::
1. To advance education regarding Israel. The single biggest motivation for creating COFIS is to counteract the effects of lazy and biased reporting in the media; the careless words of politicians who are not properly briefed, and the intentional hate speech of certain individuals and organisations, all of which lead to people being misinformed about the nature of Israel as a country. Inevitably, this leads to antisemitism and prejudice.
2. To promote equality and diversity. Israelis and Jews who live in Scotland; who visit Scotland to work, to study or to simply enjoy a holiday deserve the right to do so in safety. There are many "anti-racist" individuals who have a blind spot when it comes to Israel. The good news is that ignorance is curable.
3. To advance human rights, conflict resolution and reconciliation. Israelis visiting Scotland in recent years have frequently felt unsafe; sometimes with very good reason. We believe that Israelis should have the right to visit Scotland to settle; to work or to study without facing prejudice and discrimination that is based on misinformation about things they are powerless to change.
4. To promote religious and racial harmony. Considerable steps have been made in Scottish society, particularly in Glasgow and the west, to stamp out religious prejudice and hatred. Sectarian terms of abuse commonplace in the local vernacular a generation ago are now seen as completely unacceptable. Unfortunately, hatred of Israel, and its inevitable impact on Jewish people, has in some sections of society become socially acceptable. People who consider themselves tolerant and anti-racist frequently have a blind spot when it comes to Israel. Hate speech which calls for Israel's destruction, such as "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free", or which calls for the murder of Jews, such as "Victory to the intifada" have, in recent years, been shouted with impunity by hateful bigots in the streets of Scottish cities with Police Scotland powerless to do anything, knowing that the Crown Office will refuse to prosecute and courts will refuse to convict. It is a goal of COFIS that this generation's socially approved hatred will come to be seen for what it is and prosecuted as vigorously as other sectarian or racially motivated hate crimes.