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West Dunbartonshire Council, Israel And Political Posturing.

with 43 comments

The West Dunbartonshire Council is boycotting all things Israeli, or so they say:

“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.

I can’t imagine that aside from medical technology, computer chips, Microsoft’s operating systems and various other bits of modern equipment that West Dunbartonshire Council actually import much from Israel, directly or indirectly.

The Council, readers will remember, is about 20 miles from Glasgow, a small municipality with a population of approximately 90,000 [2009 figures] and relatively poor, with low attainment levels in education.

From their statement, it is clear that West Dunbartonshire Council’s determination to boycott Israeli goods is merely posturing. It is not, as if, they get many tins of Israeli chickpeas or Israeli chicken soup sent to them. Over time they have probably imported, none. Therefore their boycott won’t mean a damn to the local residents or the Council, really, but it is a fine political distraction from the many serious problems in the locality. A bit of political posing.

If they were truly serious then they would stop using all of that sophisticated Israeli medical equipment, computer technology and finally Google, which uses a search algorithm developed by an Israeli.

The Council could stop using all of that computer technology from Intel and Microsoft, all developed with Israeli know-how, but they won’t, because it would be a hindrance to them. West Dunbartonshire Council’s supposed boycott is just a pose, a piece of political theatre as they won’t inconvenience themselves, really, for the sake of their alleged principles.

So they don’t import anything from Israel, haven’t banned anything in two years and basically it means nothing to them, but here is the Council’s statement, make your own mind up:

“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 recent 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.’ ” [My emphasis.]

Update 1: Hunting around I found an original minute of the meeting dealing with it, in the Google cache. I am reproducing it, as matter of public record, it is fairly long:

“WEST DUNBARTONSHIRE COUNCIL

Council Offices, Garshake Road, Dumbarton G82 3PU

23 January 2009

MEETING: WEST DUNBARTONSHIRE COUNCIL

WEDNESDAY, 28 JANUARY 2009
COUNCIL CHAMBERS
COUNCIL OFFICES
GARSHAKE ROAD
DUMBARTON

Dear Member,

Please attend a Meeting of West Dunbartonshire Council to be held in the Council Chambers, Council Offices, Garshake Road, Dumbarton, on Wednesday, 28 January 2009 at 7.00 p.m.

The business is as shown on the attached agenda.

Yours faithfully

DAVID MCMILLAN

Chief Executive

Distribution:-

All Members of West Dunbartonshire Council.

Chief Executive
Executive Director of Corporate Services
Executive Director of Educational Services
Executive Director of Social Work and Health
Executive Director of Housing, Environmental & Economic Development

For information on the following agenda please contact Craig Stewart, Legal, Administrative and Regulatory Services, Council Offices, Garshake Road, Dumbarton, G82 3PU on Tel: (01389) 737251 or e-mail: craig.stewart@west-dunbarton.gov.uk

WEST DUNBARTONSHIRE COUNCIL

WEDNESDAY, 28 JANUARY 2009

AGENDA

1. APOLOGIES

2. MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS

Submit for approval as a correct record, the undernoted Minutes of Meetings of West Dunbartonshire Council:-

(a) Ordinary Meeting on 17 December 2008
(b) Requisitioned Meeting on 13 January 2009

3. OPEN FORUM

The Council is asked to consider the undernoted question:-

Rose Harvie, Secretary of Silverton and Overtoun Community Council – Problem of litter and dog mess in Dumbarton

Our community council is very concerned at the problem of litter and dog mess in Dumbarton. The problem of litter is particularly apparent near fast-food outlets and schools. Our councillors frequently see WDC employees doing an excellent job collecting litter. However, despite numerous signs in the streets and parks, none of our councillors can ever recall seeing a Litter Enforcement Officer asking people to pick up dropped litter, not to allow their dogs to deposit mess, or to attempt to hand out a fixed penalty fine, for these offences.

Would the Council tell us whether this situation is because it is cheaper to employ litter pickers than Enforcement Officers?

4. MINUTES OF THE JOINT CONSULTATIVE FORUM

Submit for information, and where necessary ratification, the Minutes of Meeting of the Joint Consultative Forum held on 4 December 2008.

5. MINUTES OF THE AUDIT AND PERFORMANCE REVIEW COMMITTEE

Submit for information, and where necessary ratification, the Minutes of Meeting of the Audit & Performance Review Committee held on 14 January 2009.

6. NATIONAL PAY AWARD – LOCAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
(

With reference to the Minutes of Meeting of West Dunbartonshire Council held on 17 December 2008, submit report by the Chief Executive seeking the Council’s approval to implement the National Pay Award with effect from 1 April 2009, as recommended by the Employer’s Secretary of the Scottish Joint Council (SJC) for Local Government Employees.

7. STANDING ORDERS – LENGTH AND TIMING OF COUNCIL MEETING

Submit report by the Executive Director of Corporate Services asking the Council to consider the timing and length of Council Meetings and whether to introduce a new Standing Order to deal with the issue.

8. REVIEW OF PARTS 1 AND 2 OF THE STANDING ORDERS

Submit report by the Executive Director of Corporate Services asking the Council to approve changes to parts 1 and 2 of the Standing Orders which relate to the Standing Orders for meetings of Council, Committees and other bodies. A seminar for Members on the proposed options and issues was held on 5 December 2008. This report groups the possible changes under 3 categories being those that received unanimous agreement at the seminar, those that received unanimous disagreement at the seminar and those where there were differing views.

9. REPRESENTATION ON OUTSIDE BODIES

Submit report by the Executive Director of Corporate Services asking that consideration be given to making a nomination to the Scottish Councils Committee on Radioactive Substances.

10. STRATHLEVEN REGENERATION COMPANY

Submit report by the Executive Director of Corporate Services asking the Council to consider a request from Strathleven Regeneration Company that the Leader of West Dunbartonshire Council become a Director of the Company.

11. THE FUTURE OF SCOTTISH DEVOLUTION WITHIN THE UNION

Submit report by the Executive Director of Corporate Services advising of the new consultation issued by the Commission on Scottish Devolution and inviting the Council to agree a formal response.

12. WEST DUNBARTONSHIRE COMMUNITY PLANNING PARTNERSHIP – KEY DEVELOPMENTS

Submit report by the Chief Executive providing the Council with an update on key developments within West Dunbartonshire Community Planning Partnership.

13. VISION FOR THE VALE OF LEVEN HOSPITAL (CONSULTATION DOCUMENT OCTOBER 2008 – JANUARY 2009)

Submit report by the Executive Director of Social Work and Health inviting the Council to consider the draft response, appended to the report, to the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Board’s latest consultation on the Vale of Leven Hospital.

14. CORDALE HOUSING ASSOCIATION – PROPOSED ACQUISITION OF KIPPEN DAIRY SITE

Submit report by the Executive Director of Housing, Environmental and Economic Development informing the Council of a legal offer that has been received from Messrs, T.C. Young, Solicitors, acting on behalf of Cordale Housing Association Limited, to purchase land at Main Street/North Street, Alexandria from West Dunbartonshire Council.

15. /
15. PROPOSAL TO ADMIT SIR JACKIE STEWART OBE AS AN HONORARY FREEMAN OF WEST DUNBARTONSHIRE

Submit report by the Chief Executive proposing the admission of Sir Jackie Stewart OBE as an Honorary Freeman of West Dunbartonshire.

16. NOTICES OF MOTION

(A) Motion by Councillor Jim Bollan – Proposed Boycott of Israeli Goods

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.

(B) Motion by Councillor Geoff Calvert – Experian Research on Economic Downturn

This Council notes that the independent research company Experian has identified Clydebank as one of only five Scottish towns that will be affected disproportionately due to the economic downturn.

This Council notes also that the Scottish Government has brought forward £230 million of spend to specifically target the effects of the downturn and to aim to mitigate them. This Council feels that this spend ought to be targeted at the areas where the downturn is expected to have most negative impact.

Therefore, this Council agrees that the Leader of the Council will write to the Cabinet Secretary for Finance to argue the specific justification for a proportion of this funding to be directed to address the results of the Experian research and, in so doing, this Council will project a strong voice for Clydebank. “

Update 2: Engage cover it too.

Written by modernityblog

23/05/2011 at 22:41

43 Responses

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  1. You do realise this is really REALLY old news?

    We’ve had this boycott in place since January 2009!

    Setting the record straight. West Dunbartonshire Israeli Goods Boycott
    [no ads please, you can type all you want here, no ads].

    Cllr Jonathan McColl

    23/05/2011 at 23:02

  2. The fact in two years that you’ve manage to do nothing, really, concerning Israeli products shows what a pile of political trite it is.

    If you weren’t such a bunch of hypocrites, then you’d stop using your PC, never use Google, and probably buy a different processor for your computer.

    Then when you went to hospital you could deliberately ask to avoid all of those sophisticated medical techniques that the Israelis have developed recently.

    But you and the Council won’t.

    You won’t inconvenience yourself, you will posture, play petty politics, but not inconvenience youself.

    Will the Council have a motion on boycotting products from the rest of the Middle East? All of unsavoury dictatorships which are shooting their own populations (Yemen, Syria, Mauritius, etc) or helping to put down legitimate protests (Saudi Arabia and Bahrain)? Unlikely

    And you wonder why local Council get a bad reputation? posturing that’s all it is.

    modernityblog

    23/05/2011 at 23:16

  3. You think we should replace all of our computers and stop using medical services?

    You clearly have a screw loose somewhere.

    Perhaps we should stop speaking and writing given that much of our language is based on Latin and we all know what the Italians did during the war.

    To cease to use medicine and kill ourselves to make a point is also a ridiculous suggestion. I’m getting flashbacks from ‘Monty Python’s The Life of Brian’ and the ‘Judean People’s Front crack suicide squad! Suicide squad’.

    As a Local Authority, our primary responsibility is to our own citizens and I could not vote to spend tens of millions of pounds replacing computer systems.

    This was a private member’s motion from an Independent Councillor who wanted support to express his feelings on Israel’s military policy.

    As a small Council, we are well aware that a boycott will have little actual impact in the Israeli economy, but it’s about taking a position on the issue.

    You call it “posturing”, I call it standing up and saying, “We think what you are doing is wrong.”

    If you really believe that’s such a terrible thing to do then we’re going to have to agree to disagree.

    I supported Jim’s motion two years ago and I’d support it again were the vote today.

    Cllr Jonathan McColl

    24/05/2011 at 08:40

  4. Mr McColl,

    where else do you boycott, and for what reasons?

    Gaza elected the overt homophobes and anti-semites of Hamas – people who do not hide the facts and rather seem to proud of them. Why not boycott them too?

    Wibble Wibble

    24/05/2011 at 10:27

  5. Well said, Modernity – and shame on you, Councillor McColl.

    Takes a look at this, and reflect on your racism and hypocrisy:

    http://daphneanson.blogspot.com/2011/01/boycotting-israel-your-essential-bds.html

    Daphne Anson

    24/05/2011 at 11:53

  6. Cllr McColl,

    “You think we should replace all of our computers and stop using medical services?”

    No, but I’m suggesting that you might acquire elementary reading skills.

    Basically, you don’t have anything to do with Israeli products directly, anyway, so you make a gesture to boycott them. You might as well try to boycott all of the nonexistent ice cream from Outer Mongolia that your Council does not import.

    It is purely a gesture. That’s not me saying it, but that’s what it is.

    But like many politicians you are oblivious to history and obviously won’t know of the historical resonance of boycotts and Jews, because if you did you probably wouldn’t go there, assuming you had an ounce of common sense.

    I’m pointing out as well that Israelis do many wonderful things (and yes, their government does make major mistakes), they contribute to the wealth of human knowledge, whereas you and your council come across as small-minded and unaware of the issues.

    Could you ask Cllr Jim Bollan if he is so aggrieved at the conduct of China in Tibet? Been going on for 60+ years.

    Or perhaps Cllr Bollan feels the conduct of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain deserves a boycott too?

    Cllr McColl, I would hope that you could learn something from this issue, but I suspect as local politicians you won’t, for your own sake at least try to educate yourself.

    Please ask Cllr Bollan if he has any motions on Syria forthcoming or do you and him judge their rulers by a lower standard?

    modernityblog

    24/05/2011 at 11:55

  7. “No Entrance for Dogs and Jews By israelseen Tel Aviv : Israel | 11 months ago ”
    no entrance for dogs and Jews- Jordan This just came to my email and I wanted to post it ASAP.

    Jordan 2011

    “Our community council is very concerned at the problem of litter and dog mess in Dumbarton”

    16. NOTICES OF MOTION

    (A) Motion by Councillor Jim Bollan – Proposed Boycott of Israeli Goods

    Dumbarton 2010

    A similar sign of “no dogs, no Jews” was attached to the gates of a German park (Frankfurt?) until well into the 19th century.

    And, of course, it was nenver simply because they were Jews, but because they were Jew who denied Christ, were of a different religion, were Zionsts, were citizens of a state that does some fairly bad things.

    Well done Dumbarton for keeping alive a might fine tradition.

    History Lesson

    24/05/2011 at 13:49

  8. Cllr McColl,

    Perhaps you should read your own resolution- the one you voted for. It says: “This Council also recognises the disproportionate force used by the IDF in Palestine and agrees to boycott all Israeli goods as a consequence.” The text is on your own website so I assume you read it (assuming you can read).

    So according to that plain text of your resolution, you have to boycott all (ALL) Israeli goods – and that includes microchips. You voted for this piece of nonsense so it appears you are the one with a screw loose. Or did you not understand the implications of what you were voting for?

    With so much evil in the world today (from Zimbabwe to Tibet to Syria to Libya), you single out the Jewish state of Israel for a boycott. That is not anti-Zionism; it is anti-semitism.

    teni

    24/05/2011 at 14:12

  9. I’m not going to comment on here any more.

    It’s occurred to me that by responding to these ridiculous posts from people who are clearly extremists and don’t care, let alone understand how Council’s operate, is futile and only spawns more mince from your keyboards.

    If you are not open to a reasoned debate then so be it. I’m disabling notifications of posts from here.

    From now on you can waffle amongst yourselves.

    Cllr Jonathan McColl

    24/05/2011 at 15:20

  10. Extremists, Councillor McColl?
    That’s called “projection,” laddie.

    Daphne Anson

    24/05/2011 at 15:51

  11. Cllr McColl,

    Comment or don’t comment, that is your choice.

    You are free to make any point you wish here, but it is obvious that you have failed to engage with any of the issues concerned

    1) the nature of the council’s boycott
    2) the political posturing involved
    3) the historical issues at hand.

    I’d like to say I’m surprised, however, politicians are notorious for their evasions and an inability to engage with direct points from non-politicians, instead they often do as you have, Cllr McColl, which is to repeat what was previously said and deliberately misunderstand what their interlocutors are saying. No change there.

    modernityblog

    24/05/2011 at 16:03

  12. James Mendelsohn

    24/05/2011 at 16:09

  13. “If you are not open to a reasoned debate then so be it.”

    And this from someone who supports a boycott!!

    Absolute Observer

    24/05/2011 at 18:52

  14. “understand how Council’s operate”

    It evidently operates by equating discusions of dog shit with motions (no pun intended)of boycotting Israel.

    History Lesson

    24/05/2011 at 19:03

  15. It’s a shame that Cllr McColl declines to comment further here. I would be interested in exactly what effect this boycott has had.

    If no books have been boycotted,if no items already purchased have been discarded then I wonder what exactly the council has boycotted.

    I am sure that the council can say with absolute authority that it has not purchased a single Merkave tank since the resolution…

    jams o donnell

    24/05/2011 at 19:22

  16. Dear cllr,
    A “serious” question.
    A book by an Israeli author is published in English in Israel. It is a book that is recognised as having something mature to say about the conflict. Its success was a surpise. and no English publisher has yet sought the rights.
    People come to the Library and ask for it. They want to know what it has to say.
    Are you permitted to purchase the book for the library?
    If you are, you have breached your own policy.
    If you are not, then the idea that the boycott has no effect on Israeli books, that there is no “censorship” (your word) is simply not true.

    How do you envisage the Council acting?

    ps I hope this question isn’t to “extremist” for you to answer.

    History Lesson

    24/05/2011 at 19:32

  17. I think Cllr McColl has done the virtual equivalent of running off, fingers in ears, loudly shouting “la-la-la-la I can’t hear you, la-la-la-la”.

    Pity, but that’s the level of some local politicians, immature and unable to defend their views intellectually or with any sense of depth.

    modernityblog

    24/05/2011 at 19:57

  18. I guarantee that he’s checking the comments anyway, despite running away from the issue.

    As for being an extremist, well I’ve only ever voted mainstream, work as a teacher and am rather depressingly dull I think. I just don’t care much for ill thought-out ideas such as ther Israeli boycott which isa clearly done to make people feel better about themselves and to ‘impress’ those who are sadly ‘impressed’ by such things.

    Now Mr McColl, howabout dealing with my point about the elected politicians in Gaza being jew-hating, homophobes quite prepared to brutalise their political opponents and populace etc. Not worthy of a boycott too?

    And where will your next boycott be?

    Wibble Wibble

    24/05/2011 at 20:39

  19. [...] Dad’s Army, “They don’t like it up ‘em!”Read the entire thing here: http://modernityblog.wordpress.com/2011/05/23/west-dunbartonshire-council-israel-and-political-postu…Source: Israel BlogsPublished: 24 May 2011Site: daphneanson.blogspot.comSource by Date: Israel [...]

  20. Cllr. McColl, you are a liar and a fraud and a hypocrite. Like most of Scotland, you are a disgrace to Scotland.

    Alec Macph

    25/05/2011 at 15:09

  21. >> The Council, readers will remember, is about 20 miles from Glasgow, a small municipality with a population of approximately 90,000 [2009 figures] and relatively poor, with low attainment levels in education.

    It was where I grew-up. Last time I checked, the job centre in Alexandria still was the oldest in Britain; dating from the 1930s.

    Glad to see Cllr. McColl knows where his priorities are.

    Alec Macph

    25/05/2011 at 15:12

  22. I don’t think we should abuse Cllr. McColl, irrespective of our views.

    He may be a good local councillor and a decent person, but his understanding of anti-Jewish racism seems to be next to nil, and he has failed to engage with the issues of this topic.

    Those are the points that need emphasizing.

    modernityblog

    25/05/2011 at 15:41

  23. Welcome to Scotland. One moment it’s all “yer ma best mate” and “ah luv ye, man”, then it’s Glesga kisses and fish-hooks in our lapels.

    What caught my eye about this petulant man-child’s melt-down was:

    >> As a Local Authority, our primary responsibility is to our own citizens and I could not vote to spend tens of millions of pounds replacing computer systems.

    So why’s he endorsing statements on a regional conflict at the eastern end of the Mediterranean? Since when did the WDC have a foreign policy desk?

    I can only conclude they’ve stopped finding the headless corpses of prostitutes and other margionalized women in the River Leven (not that men haven’t been found), leaving McColl to devote time to foreign policy issues.

    Bonhill must no longer have the highest murder rate in Scotland – by potential extension, in the UK – allowing this indulgence In a less-than fortnight period after I left, there were two murders not to mention some rapes and an armed seige. When still there, walking to the shops at Ladyton I had to jump out the way as a car was pushed down the slope into the burn.

    When I lived in Nobleston, I calculated that the new estates in Bonhill – Nobleston, Ladyton, O’Hare, Braehead – had a density of some 5,000 in under one mile ^ 2; with three primaries (one RC) and a few shops and minor bus routes. More crowded than Gaza.

    Alec Macph

    25/05/2011 at 16:06

  24. Sheer lunacy. Why are these swivel-eyed people always obsessed with the Jews? As if Israel is the only country in the world that ever does anything wrong.

    Charles Dexter Ward

    25/05/2011 at 21:48

  25. The councilor isn’t very bright is he.

    Ed H

    26/05/2011 at 17:35

  26. I would have to say, the Council doesn’t seem too smart either.

    They haven’t thought through the implications of their policy, what it really means and how offensive it is.

    modernityblog

    26/05/2011 at 17:59

  27. I was a councillor – deputy leader of a council in fact – so I think I know a thing or two about the way in which councils and councillors operate – or should operate. Deputy leaders of councils aren’t generally extremists either, Cllr McCol!

    This was one of the most ill-advised actions I’ve ever seen. For so many reasons. And those reasons apply without even having to mention the word ‘Israel’.

    On Harry’s Place I belive the councillor has said this vote arose because one councillor wanted support for his ‘strongly held’ views. A council isn’t a support group. Nor is it a place for global issues – you’ve got an MP and a government for that. A local council should be about local issues.

    The date on the agenda indicates that the council took a vote on a global issue (which as mentioned, is irrelevant to their remit)long before any official inquiry could possibly have taken place. Therefore, their vote appears to be emotional and potentially prejudiced rather than informed.

    As there had been no official enquiry into Operation Cast Lead at the time of this vote, the members could not have had any real facts, figures or similar data with which to make an informed vote. I find it hard to believe, therefore, that this vote was taken with any more information than could be gleaned from the media.

    The issue of boycotts is contentious. It affects the people directly in terms of goods and services, but it also affects how others view the organisation voting for them. As mentioned, I read about Dunbarton’s boycott vote on HP, but I have since seen another on what I believe is a fairly prominent American site which, unfortunately, isn’t confining its views to the council, but to the people of Scotland.

    Again, given the date of the agenda I doubt the people of Dunbarton – much less Scotland – were asked their opinion on what is, in my view, a contentious issue. Yet now they’re being discussed and criticised in America.

    Councils should be very wary of setting precedents. Unless the council has a track record on voting on global issues, it should consider quite what this precedent now means. If it fails to vote on, say, Bashirs actions against the people of Syria, does that mean it’s in agreement with his government? I doubt it but this is the folly of a local council getting involved with global issues’ – or those which one councillor has a ‘strongly held opinion on.

    I could go on! But even in these few observations I think I’ve made enough points to demonstrate that this was an irresponsible and foolish vanity vote.

    Penny

    27/05/2011 at 15:58

  28. I would add a few final but in my view, important points. Sorry if I’m rattling on but this vote has left me open-mouthed with astonishment.

    This case tends to indicate that Dunbarton has a council apparently able – and indeed willing – to vote with no more evidence than what its members read in the papers or see on the TV. And of course, we have no idea what papers they read. They might read the Jerusalem Post for all I know. Or they might read the Sun.

    Now, if they are able to do that on one issue, it tends to indicate that they may not know how vital it is to have properly informed sources and data for every single thing they vote on. And if they have any doubts, then they have officers to guide them. Or they can do their own personal research if they still have questions or doubts. The public are entitled to trust that its representatives will do a little more than vote with their emotions or use the newspapers as research material.

    It would also indicate that, as far as this council is concerned,it seems only to need one person in a town of 90,000 to bring about a boycott of goods and services. Unless enough members of the public were calling for action against Israel, and unless other councillors were on board prior to this motion appearing on the agenda, then that’s precisely what has happened. One person’s strong opinion. The ego and, I would venture to say, the sense of elistism here is unbelievable.

    The Councillor is probably right in saying that his council can’t boycott all Israeli products. They don’t have that kind of power. They can’t influence shops because they are private enterprises. They can’t influence the NHS unless one of them is on an NHS panel – and no NHS panel would support such a move given that the boycott would need to be so wide that it would affect even GP prescription-producing systems. This council might possibly be able to influence the type of computers and mobile phones used in their own council’s offices but they’d struggle to overcome every Israeli-influenced technology.

    It seems to me, therefore, that they have chosen perhaps the only thing they could influence – libraries.

    When you think about that, it somehow seems a worse case of prejudice than it did at first glance.

    Any councillor worth his or her salt will know that they have to be ‘above Caeser’s Wives’ if they want to do the job professionally. Dunbarton – if you do pop back to this blog, you need to take this on board. Less of the emotional and fashionable, more of the professional.

    Penny

    27/05/2011 at 18:51

  29. Is your boycott still in place, Councillors?

    Then it isn’t old news.

    I’d be interested in the list of other Council’s alleged to have done similar things – 10 or so?

    Matt Wardman

    28/05/2011 at 19:49

  30. One good boycott deserves another….good-bye to:

    - Ballentine’s
    - Auchintoshan
    - Chivas
    - Glenlivet (sigh)
    - Loch Lomond
    - Laphroaig
    - The Singleton
    - Bowmore

    We’ll be drinking Irish whiskey to show our strong disapproval of book-banning and stupid Scots council decisions. We look forward to the Council’s no-doubt-upcoming-shortly condemnation of Hamas rocket and missile attacks against Israeli children, the on-going Sudanese slaughter in Darfur, the Syrian slaughter of its own protesting civilians in the street (twice more than Cast Lead’s civilian dead), and China’s ethnic cleansing in Tibet. Slainte!

    Sarah Netofi

    29/05/2011 at 06:04

  31. Sarah Netofi,

    I wouldn’t blame *all* Scots for the actions of a handful.

    The motion was proposed by one individual, seconded by the councilor below and probably voted on by about a dozen time servers.

    They do not represent all Scots or anything close.

    modernityblog

    29/05/2011 at 14:03

  32. How about if I call it “…standing up and saying, “We think what you are doing is wrong,” since I have such a strong aversion to book-banning and hypocritical double-standards. Clearly not all Scots are at fault, but then again, not all Israelis are at fault, and the nuanced distinction seems to be lost when applied to us. Some of the biggest demonstrations against Cast Lead were held in Tel Aviv.

    Sarah Netofi

    29/05/2011 at 14:30

  33. @modernity.

    It was unanimous in the Council vote (heaven knows why), and Cllr McColl is being disingenuous in limiting his own role.

    Matt Wardman

    29/05/2011 at 20:05

  34. Sarah N,

    I think many of these pro-boycotters don’t want to paint a fair picture of Israeli society, that’s not how they see the world, they are more manichean in outlook. Certainly, they don’t want to acknowledge that many of the most vocal opponents of the Israeli Government’s actions, are ISRAELIS themselves.

    In my experience, most non-Jewish pro-boycotters have a very limited knowledge of the Middle East and are often prey to media hype.

    Often, it seems to me, to be more of an outlet for their own alienation and frustrations rather than any genuine concern for Palestinians.

    Because if that were the case, then they would have to admit the murder and torture of Palestinians by Hamas. Further, if they were really concerned with the welfare of the Palestinians then they’d have to acknowledge their poor treatment by the Arab states for the past 63 years.

    But you’ll never hear that from non-Jewish pro-boycotters.

    Matt,

    Really? Cllr. McColl is playing fast and loose as you might expect from a low ranking politician.

    modernity

    29/05/2011 at 20:21

  35. Yep. It’s not only ‘a private motion from an Independent with strong opinions’.

    According to the Minutes, ’twas Cllr Jonathan McColl who spoke for adding the national campaign to the Boycott.

    “(A) Motion by Councillor Jim Bollan – Proposed Boycott of Israeli Goods

    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.

    Councillor Bollan was heard in support of the above motion.

    After hearing Councillor J. McColl, Councillor Bollan agreed to accept the undernoted wording as an addendum to his motion:-

    That the Chief Executive be instructed to write to all other Councils in Scotland with regard to seeking their endorsement of the motion.

    Councillor McGlinchey asked Councillor Bollan to accept a further addendum to his motion. After hearing the Head of Legal, Administrative and Regulatory Services, Provost Agnew ruled that this addendum did not arise directly out of the motion. However he would accept it as a separate motion in light of urgency. Thereafter, Councillor McGlinchey seconded the motion.

    The Council unanimously agreed to approve the above motion, as amended.

    Councillor McGlinchey, seconded by Councillor Calvert, moved:-

    That the Chief Executive be instructed to prepare a letter to be signed by the Leaders of the Council and Opposition to the Director General of the BBC and the Chief Executive of Sky News requesting that they reconsider their decision not to screen the Disasters Emergency Appeal concerning humanitarian aid to Gaza.

    The Council unanimously agreed to approve the motion.”

    http://wdccmis.west-dunbarton.gov.uk/CMISWebPublic/Meeting.aspx?meetingID=1511 and the “Council” doc.

    It’s also a bit of alliance with the opposition, too, as the proposing Councillor was something of a critic. 3 months later the SNP faction of the Council appear to have got the SSP chappie who proposed the original motion banned from the Council for 9 months after a stooshie.

    Matt Wardman

    29/05/2011 at 21:19

  36. On the “low ranking”, he’s Deputy Leader.

    http://wdccmis.west-dunbarton.gov.uk/CMISWebPublic/Member.aspx?personID=121

    Interesting stuff in some of the other Councils too. Post planned at annaraccoon.com tomorrow.

    Matt Wardman

    29/05/2011 at 21:22

  37. Matt,

    You’re right,

    “Deputy Leader of the Council
    Spokesperson for Educational Services
    Chair of Education & Lifelong Learning
    Chair/Vice Chair of Local Negotiating Committee for Teachers”

    Had forgotten, looked him up the other week.

    But really, his answers, his argumentation suggest that he is promoted above his abilities, I would reasonably expect a deadly leader of a council to put up a good case, particularly something that he believes in, as with this motion.

    However, what we’ve seen from Cllr McColl is repetitive argumentation, an inability to engage with the issues and a host of straw men, not very impressive.

    modernityblog

    29/05/2011 at 21:59

  38. I’ve uploaded a video blog on @WDCouncil #boycott of #Israeli goods. http://bit.ly/luCtlU Further threats will not be tolerated. Please RT.

    Cllr Jonathan McColl

    31/05/2011 at 00:46

  39. Cllr McColl,

    Please stop being a drama queen.

    NO one has threatened you here.

    Rather people have expressed their understandable disgust at your behaviour and that of West Dunbartonshire Council.

    Stop playing the victim, it is unbecoming of an adult.

    Particularly when you consciously chose this course of action, have some character, live with your decisions and stop playing more games.

    modernity

    31/05/2011 at 01:53

  40. [...] West Dunbartonshire Council and the man, that made a critical amendment of the motion to boycott all Israeli goods, has now released a video on the matter. [...]

  41. As daft as the (joking?) suggestion to boycott Scotland because of some cranks in West Dunbartonshire (where?) is, slightly ironic to move to Irish Whiskey given the coincidence of sectarianism…

    Green Gordon

    31/05/2011 at 14:02


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