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Scottish Council Launches Ban On Israeli Books

The latest sick chapter in the BDS story.

A SCOTTISH council has sparked outrage after banning books as part of a politically-motivated boycott on goods from Israel which critics have described as “a grossly insensitive insult”.

SNP-led West Dunbartonshire Council has ordered that its libraries ban any new volumes by Israeli authors, printed or published in the Jewish state.

It follows an earlier decision by the local authority to boycott Israeli goods and produce as part of a pro-Palestinian display.
Now, it has emerged the areas’ libraries have been told not to stock any new books from Israel.

But a similar boycott move by Dundee City Council has had to be abandoned because legal experts advised such a move is illegal under EU law.

Several left-wing councils in Scotland have looked at banning Israeli products and services but almost all have rejected it.

Last night, the move was condemned by a spokesman for the Israeli Embassy.

Press attaché, Amir Oftek also made reference to the infamous events of May 10, 1933, when, encouraged by Nazi propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, crowds in Berlin burnt 25,000 books by leading Jewish authors and academics.

He said: “This must be the only organisation in the 21st century which is still banning books. Not only does it close down debate but for many Jews and others who wish to contribute to the peace process in the Middle East this is grossly insensitive.

“What happened in Europe in the 1930s should be a warning to us all. Where will this end? By burning books again?”

Meanwhile, here is West Dunbartonshire Council’s response.

West Dunbartonshire Council utterly refutes recent media claims that it has ‘launched a boycott on Israeli books’.

The Council’s boycott does not in any way seek to censor or silence authors and commentators from Israel.

The Council’s boycott only relates to goods ‘made or grown’ in Israel. The vast majority of mainstream books by Israeli authors are published in the UK and are therefore not affected by this boycott. Only books that were printed in Israel and transported to the UK for distribution would be potentially boycotted.

In the in the two and a half years the boycott has been in place there has never been a case when the library service has been unable to purchase a book it wished to as a result of this boycott.

Contrary also to some media reports the boycott is not retrospective and absolutely no books have been or will be removed from our library shelves as a consequence of the motion.

Councillors of West Dunbartonshire Council voted to introduce the boycott in 2009 in response to the disproportionate use of force used against Palestinians and resulting loss of life.

The full motion is:

‘This Council deplores the loss of life in Palestine which now numbers well over 1,000.  This Council also recognises the disproportionate force used by the IDF in Palestine and agrees to boycott all Israeli goods as a consequence.  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.’

Leaving aside the ridiculous and offensive nature of the boycott itself, notice how the council talks of “disproportionate force”, without taking into account how many of the palestinians killed were terrorists (the majority) nor the culpability of these terrorists for the loss of civilian life (by using human shields, as well as residential areas as rocket launching sites). It is all black and white to them.

Meanwhile, here’s a list of the councillors behind this disgraceful motion (with their contact details). I encourage you all to contact them and let them know how you feel (phone calls to their home where possible would be the preferred option!) 

Provost Denis Agnew  

Address: 17 Millburn Avenue Clydebank G81 1EW 

Home Telephone: 0141 952 8954 

Work Telephone: 01389 738697 

Email: [email protected]  

Councillor George Black

Address: 24 Lennox Road Milton Dumbarton G82 2TL 

Home Telephone: 01389 761449 

Mobile: 07909 890 840 

Email: [email protected] 

Councillor James Bollan

Address: 4 Endrick Way Alexandria G83 0UR 

Home Telephone: 01389 756397 

Mobile: 07803 668766 

Email: [email protected]

Councillor Jim Brown

Address: C/o Council OfficesRosebery Place Clydebank 

Home Telephone: 01389 876449 

Mobile: 07961 713 010 

Email: [email protected]

Councillor Geoffrey Calvert   

Address: 45 Mary Fisher Crescent Lomond Gate Dumbarton G82 1BJ 

Home Telephone: 01389 730983         

Mobile: 07776 467 224     

Email: [email protected] 

Councillor Gail Casey

Address: 28 Benbow Road Dalmuir Clydebank G81 4DP

Home Telephone: 0141 951 4595  

Mobile: 07909 891 242     

Email: [email protected] 

Councillor Jim Finn

Address: c/o Council Offices Rosebery Place Clydebank G81 6EN 

Home Telephone: 01389 878397    

Mobile: 07961 713 007    

Email: [email protected]

Councillor William Hendrie

Address: C/o Council Offices Rosebery Place Clydebank 

Home Telephone: 0141 952 7636

Mobile: 07943 813 111     

Email: [email protected]

Councillor Douglas McAllister

Address: 3 Thomson Place Glasgow Road Hardgate Clydebank G81 5QX 

Home Telephone: 01389 890623

Email: [email protected]

Councillor David McBride

Address: 48 Langlands Terrace Bellsmyre Dumbarton G82 3AZ 

Home Telephone: 01389 767758    

Mobile: 07961 711 664

Email: [email protected]

Councillor Ronnie McColl

Address: Coltfield 1/1 Argyll Park Alexandria G83 OSE 

Home Telephone: 01389 772142    

Mobile: 07801 493 076    

Email: [email protected]

Councillor Jonathan McColl

Address: Coltfield 1/1 Argyll Park Alexandria G83 OSE 

Work Telephone: 01389 737511 

Mobile: 07939 002 886 

Fax: 0141-555-0172 

Email: [email protected]

Councillor Jim McElhill   

Address: C/O Council Offices Rosebery Place Clydebank 

Home Telephone: 01389 875073 

Mobile: 07961 713 009 

Email: [email protected] 

Councillor Patrick McGlinchey 

Address: 15 Hillend Crescent Duntocher Clydebank G81 6HL 

Home Telephone: 01389 873186 

Work Telephone: 01389 738599 

Mobile: 07961 713 361 

Email: [email protected] 

Councillor Craig McLaughlin 

Address: 27 Castle Avenue Balloch Alexandria G83 8HU 

Home Telephone: 01389 758628  

Mobile: 07920 700 954 

Email: [email protected]

Councillor Willie McLaughlin    

Address: 28 Benbow Road Clydebank G81 4DP 

Home Telephone: 0141 951 4595 

Mobile: 07961 714 907 

Email: [email protected]

Councillor Marie McNair  

Address: 26 Langlands Terrace Dumbarton G82 3AZ 

Work Telephone: 01389 738743  

Mobile: 07909 891237    

Email: [email protected]

Councillor John Millar    

Address: 240 O’Hare Bonhill Alexandria G83 9DT 

Work Telephone: 01389 737882  

Mobile: 07961 713 003    

Email: [email protected]

Councillor Lawrence O’Neill    

Address: 7 Heather Avenue Hardgate Clydebank G81 6LH 

Work Telephone: 01389 738704  

Mobile: 07909 890842 

Email: [email protected]

Councillor Iain Robertson    

Address: 191 Nobleston Estate Bonhill Alexandria G83 9DE 

Home Telephone: 01389 722140    

Mobile: 07884 113 254    

Email: [email protected]

Councillor Martin Rooney 

Address: 136 Broomhill Crescent Bonhill Alexandria G83 9QL 

Home Telephone: 01389 602562 

Work Telephone: 01389 737547 

Mobile: 07909 890846 

Email: [email protected]

Councillor May Smillie

Address: 25 Second Avenue Bonhill Alexandria G83 9BH 

Home Telephone: 01389 772141   

Mobile: 07961 713 004   

Email: [email protected]

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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