Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Pro-Boycott SNP Councillor Calls Anti-Boycott Protesters "Extremists"

Well, the Boycott Derangement Syndromers who've got their iron grip in West Dunbartonshire Council (see
http://daphneanson.blogspot.com/2011/05/swastika-underthe-snps-sporran-snp-led.html) may or may not have a swastika under their sporran, but whatever they wear under their kilts is evidently in a twist.

As a result of all the adverse publicity in the press at the weekend and in blogs over the last few days, which has provoked indignant e-mails to council officials, the Council has posted a clarification on its website:
"West Dunbartonshire Council utterly refutes recent media claims that it has ‘launched a boycott on Israeli books’.
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...."
And the Council has reproduced the motion concerned, which, it turns out, was passed in 2009 following a proposal by Councillor Jim Bollan, who appears to be a dyed-in-the-wool Socialist:
"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."
They've been frightfully earnest about that "made or grown" clause, it transpires: hence the decision to interpret it to the very letter (no pun intended) by including Israeli printed matter - and thus intellectual property.

On Modernity Blog, there's a rather delicious, perceptive post concerning this issue.  It points out that since there are in practice likely to be few if any such books in West Dunbartonshire libraries, the boycott is mere "posturing" ... "political posing".

What the council really needs to do, to display its commitment to the cause, suggests Modernity wryly, is to throw out all the useful equipment in its offices originating in Israel.

(In short, to put its money where its mouth is, like Marrickville, the BDS Council in inner Sydney, meant to do, until its humiliating climbdown when it found how much jettisoning Israeli products would actually cost it!)

Writes Modernity, inter alia:
"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."

Modernity's post has flushed out a retort in the Comments section from Councillor Jonathan McColl (SNP, pictured) who's Deputy Leader of the Council, Spokesperson for Educational Services, Chair of Education & Lifelong Learning, andChair/Vice Chair of Local Negotiating Committee for Teachers.

Says he:
"You do realise this is really REALLY old news?
We’ve had this boycott in place since January 2009!"
To which Modernity bluntly replies:

"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.
...."


Councillor McColl responds:
"You think we should replace all of our computers and stop using medical services?
You clearly have a screw loose somewhere. [My emphasis]
....
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".
It seems to yours truly that the councillor really had no idea of all the essential and everyday items that originate in Israel, or he would not have responded as he did, so I decide to help him learn by recommending to him this post of mine: http://daphneanson.blogspot.com/2011/01/boycotting-israel-your-essential-bds.html

Another commenter takes aim:

".... 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?"
As does Modernity:
".... It is purely a gesture....
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?
.... Please ask Cllr Bollan if he has any motions on Syria forthcoming or do you and him judge their rulers by a lower standard?"
Adds somebody else:
'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.” ....
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."
This proves all too much for the worthy Councillor McColl:
"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. [My emphasis]
....
From now on you can waffle amongst yourselves."

Oy!

As Corporal Jones used to say in 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-posturing/

6 comments:

  1. The Romans couldn't stand the Scots either!! They built Hadrian's Wall to keep them out - or rather in.

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  2. Er - wasn't the target the Picts?
    I actually admire the Scots - with obvious exceptions.

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  3. In the tit for tat spirit, a suggestion from

    http://muqata.blogspot.com/2011/05/scotch-whiskey-boycott.html:

    Its only fitting for people who believe that Israel is entitled to self defense ... that we boycott Scottish whiskys from the areas in Scotland (West Dunbartonshire, Dundee) that are boycotting Israeli products.

    The whisky's I've found so far:

    - Ballentine's
    - Auchintoshan
    - Chivas

    If you find more...please let me know in the comments section. Once we have a definitive list, I will present it the Duty Free people in Ben-Gurion airport and will make the case for them to remove those whiskys from their shelves.

    Boycott these whiskys, people! They don't deserve your money...though I wonder how much support they would get from Gaza.

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  4. Sadly, I live here across the Clyde from Dumbarton and have lived in Scotland for over 22 years..the country is rife with sectarianism particularly in the West part and pockets of extreme poverty,addictions and crime throughout..it would have been better for the council in question to deal with those issues

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  5. Thanks for your comment, Anon.
    There's a similar boycott by a council in Sydney, and the same goes for them!

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  6. The WDC boycott is stupid and if they were serious about it, or even thought for a moment, it would be only one of hundreds they would have to have - of China, of Bahrain, of Saudi Arabia, of Syria, Iran, Azerbijan.... etc., etc.

    There are actually only two distilleries in their region, Auchentoshan which is owned by Suntory, a Japanese company and Loch Lomond, which is almost impossible to buy as a single malt, as almost 100% goes into blended whiskies, so almost every blended whisky coming out of Scotland has the possibility of containing Loch Lomond.

    Ballantines is a blend owned by French drinks giant, Pernod Ricard and is not blended in WDC's area, but the company do own a bonded warehouse there, registered in the old name of Ballantines. Chivas is also owned by Pernod Ricard and is not blended there. Chivas Bros (so, Pernod Ricard) own about 20 distilleries across Scotland. Their presence in WDC's area is little more than a nameplate outside the Ballantines warehouse.

    Hope that clears up the whisky details.

    Only 42% of the WD electorate voted in the election for this council and only about 40% of those voted for the main party, so you are talking maybe 17,000 supporters, most of whom will have absolutely no idea about the boycott.

    Please don't target the rest of Scotland because of WDC's stupidity.

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