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Sunday, June 05, 2011

How to fight the Scottish boycott of Israeli books

From CiFWatch:

In 2009, the West Dumbartonshire Council passed a motion boycotting Israel. The motion reads in relevant part:
"Officers should immediately cease the purchase of any goods we currently source, which were made or grown in Israel.  Officers should also ensure we procure no new goods or produce from Israel until this boycott is formally lifted by WDC." 
Publicity of the boycott recently came to light after the Daily Express reported that Scottish National Party led West Dunbartonshire Council ordered that its libraries ban any new volumes by Israeli authors, printed or published in the Jewish state. In a failed attempt to deflect criticism, West Dunbartonshire Council claimed the ban didn't apply to all Israeli books just those printed in Israel and transported to the UK while maintaining that a boycott of Israeli products is in effect.
As media attention to this grew, activists began complaining to the council members over the boycott and a number of the council members responded exposing the bigotry underlying the boycott. In a series of emails, as reported by Ynet, CiF Watch exposed that Councillor Jim Bollan, the proposer of the motion, wrote that he viewedHamas as "freedom fighters". With pressure mounting, Councillor Jonathan McColl has been at the forefront of defending the boycott and even posted a rambling videoblog which was a display of rank ignorance and victim playing unbecoming of a political figure.
Since then, the Jewish Chronicle has reported that West Dunbartonshire Council library recently purchased a copy of the antisemitic forgery, Protocols of the Elder of Ziyon [sic - LOL], a decision that the council defended in the interest of freedom of speech.
With West Dunbartonshire having the dubious honor of being the top unemployment blackspot in the UK, the motivation behind singling out Israel, and only Israel, for boycott out of all nations of the world is clear. In Australia similar moves to boycott Israel by a local Sydney councilended up in failure after mass publicity of the planned boycott.
Together with your help, we can reverse the motion and send a message to other Scottish councils that are considering the same that such moves are immoral and racist.

CiFWatch gives all the details needed to email, tweet or otherwise get the message across to the council that their actions are not acceptable.