AN SNP MP has likened the media hostility faced by the Yes campaign in 2014 to the struggle of Palestinians to make the world take heed of their plight.

Philippa Whitford said pro-independence activists "know what it's like" to be unable to communicate effectively with the wider public through traditional outlets after being asked how the profile of the humanitarian crisis could be raised.

The Central Ayrshire MP, a breast surgeon who rose to prominence ahead of the referendum by warning remaining in the UK would mean the end of the NHS in Scotland, made the comments at a fringe meeting at the SNP conference, set up to discuss ways in which Scotland can help Palestine.

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A delegate who said she had travelled to the region asked what could be done to make the wider public aware of the crisis.

Ms Whitford said: "I think things like media prominence and agenda are absolutely crucial. Obviously we are supporters of Scottish independence, we know what it's like, in 2014, to have no media at all. And you meet people afterwards and they say 'why didn't you tell us that?' How do we tell you anything?

"I think we need to use social media, we need to write to our politicians. Because this needs to be put back on the agenda."

John Nicolson, another SNP MP elected last year, told the audience that in his previous role as a BBC news anchor he would rewrite scripts before going on air to remove "establishment" bias.

He said: "the producers always wrote that the Israelis were responding to Palestinian aggression. That was their default position. It was never that the Palestinians were responding to Israeli aggression. Actually, I don't think it's the job of the journalist to decide in every circumstance who is the aggressor."

Ms Whitford told how she had regularly travelled to Palestine and used her medical skills to help treat local people and train other medics. She did not compare the wider cause of the Palestinians to those who back Scottish independence, focusing only on reception in the media.

A third SNP MP, Alan Brown, told delegates of his recent visit to the region and compared actions of the Israelis in displacing Bedouin people to US settlers who forced the Native Americans onto reservations and perpetrators of the Highland clearances. He also said he could "see merit" in adopting a wholesale boycott of Israeli goods in Scotland, saying it should go beyond products solely produced in occupied territories.