We will have all seen by now the footage of the boarding of the Mavi Marmara by Israeli soldiers.
Clearly what happened was appalling and the deaths of the nine activists is utterly deplorable.
Some people said that Israel has a right to defend herself and her people, and that the convoy of ships were clearly warned what might happen. Others have called this a massacre, or state terrorism. The use of loaded terminology is brandished effortlessly to sway public opinion one way or the other.
There are many conflicting versions and opinions of the same event. Emotions will inevitably be running high, in Turkey, in Palestine, in Israel, and right around the world.
Violence can never be an answer to conflict. I pray that all sides in this crisis will now realise that continued intransigence and provocation will never result in peace. This disaster needs to be investigated with a clear mind to search for the truth, in order that we can learn how to avoid anything like it ever happening again.
I hope that Christians, Jews, Muslims and all people of faith can come together to reject violence, and in particular condemn anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in Scotland. I fear that there may be a backlash against Jewish communities living in the UK following the actions by the Israeli state. It’s at times like these that we need to speak up for the right of all people to live free from fear, and in peace.