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Calls for Israeli flag to fly above Preston Town Hall

Posted on - 2nd August, 2014 - 9:00am | Author - | Posted in - News, Politics, Preston Council
Crowds gathered on Lancaster Road to see the Palestinian flag raised

Crowds gathered on Lancaster Road to see the Palestinian flag raised

A Facebook campaign has been launched calling on Preston City Council to fly the Israeli flag.

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It follows the city council’s decision to raise the Palestinian flag following a request from charity Children of the Ghetto.

The raising of the flag caused significant debate in the city about whether the city council should have shown its apparent support for Palestine.

Now a Facebook group has attracted more than 900 likes as it calls on the city council to fly the Israeli flag.

Preston City Council leader councillor Peter Rankin has defended the decision to raise the Palestinian flag, saying it was to highlight the humanitarian suffering in Gaza.

The city centre has seen a number of peaceful protests in recent weeks calling for Israel to stop its bombardment of Palestine.

The march making its way past Preston's covered market

The march making its way past Preston’s covered market

But Israelis residents now want the city council to fly their flag at the Town Hall.

The Breitbart news network spoke to the founder of the Facebook group who has chosen to remain anonymous.

She said: “I am a member of the public – just somebody who is rather cross and would like to help in what I see as “something wrong” and likely to cause more problems in this country and will not help peace. I watch i24news and noticed that a reporter was talking about anti Semitism in the UK. I really identified with what he was saying – we all feel it and are very frightened by it.

“This coupled with finding out that Preston Council were going to fly the Palestinian flag for three days. I set about contacting people for help to stop it. As you know the flag went up for either four or five minutes. All the letters that I have seen from Preston Council claim not to take sides, but I feel that they have. I was so outraged realising that I did not want Palestinian flags flying from all the City Councils and was trying to think of a way to stop it….so started the Facebook page.”

Councillor Robert Boswell had a response posted on the Facebook group saying: “If a group of Preston Citizens approach the council with evidence of a humanitarian crisis is Israel and ask us to fly the Israeli flag and the evidence seems compelling then this request would be considered. We have a tradition of flying flags in response to requests form Preston citizens. ”

A council spokesman said: “The council hasn’t received an official request to fly the flag, but any requests are considered in line with the flag flying policy.”

The Palestinian flag was flown on Friday, prompting outrage, but was quickly taken down and a peace flag and Union flag have been flown at half-mast for the past week.

Preston’s Conservative group has raised questions about the confusion surrounding what flags were due to be flown and when.

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What do you think? Should the Israeli flag fly? Should the city council be doing this? Let us know in the comments below or vote in the poll above

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