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)

Monday 20 October 2014

BDS: The Sheep Who Roared ...

No, this is not George Galloway on a bad whisker day.  It's North Wales farmer Owain Williams, who according to Wikipedia
'is a fervent nationalist committed to an independent Wales. In the 1960s he was imprisoned for bombing the site of the future Llyn Celyn reservoir but later turned to the democratic route being the chairman of the Independent Wales Party as well as a member of, at different times, both the Welsh Labour Party and Plaid Cymru. In May 2008 he was elected chairman of Llais Gwynedd after their emergence following the 2008 Welsh Local Elections....''

The entry adds:
'In the summer of 2009,he was reported to the authorities for leaving the bodies of several dead sheep to rot in his fields.'
Ten days ago, Councillor Williams had better luck with a flock of live sheep, for a BDS motion
he introduced at the Gwynned council was passed by a whopping 42 votes to three, with six abstentions.

The local paper takes up the story:
'Gwynned Councillors have agreed not to conduct future trade with Israel in the wake of the recent conflict in the Gaza Strip.
In a full council meeting last week, councillor Owen [sic] Williams proposed a motion condemning Israel for the bombardment and ground invasion of the Palestinian territory.
He said:
“Following the latest attacks by the Israeli State on the territory of Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip, this council calls for the suspension of trading with Israel and condemns the over-reaction and savageness used.
Furthermore, we confirm and underline this Council’s decision not to invest in Israel or that country’s establishments.
We believe that if Gwynedd leads the way that there is hope that other councils in Wales and beyond will follow our example.” ...'
The local member, Plaid Cymru MP Hywell Williams, was suitably impressed with this ground-breaking move.  He was able to boast during last week's Commons debate regarding recognition of a Palestinian state:
"My local authority, Gwynedd, has taken a lead in condemning the Israeli Government for the indiscriminate violence used in the recent attacks in Gaza and will not invest in or trade with Israel."
Heady stuff, for a council whose normal agenda is concerned with such business as:

But there's no bite in these sheep, bleating about a trade embargo on a plucky little country that's just the size of theirs, for Gwynned council does no business with Israel in the first place.

Furthermore, to compound the absurdity of the situation, Gwynned council is in deep dreck.

To quote from its website:'
"People living in Gwynedd have the opportunity to have their say on what the Council’s priorities should be as it tackles the £50 million budget deficit between now and 2017/18....
The Council wants to hear the priorities of individuals, families, communities and businesses ..."
It seems a safe bet that passing motions advocating BDS is not a priority of anybody in the county except Owain and his flock.

Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Greens, they are the main demonisers of Israel in the Land of Song; here's a message from the latters' leader:

Incidentally, the next British council  that will debate a BDS motion will be Fife's, in Scotland, early next month.

 Meanwhile, Australian academic Associate Professor Philip Mendes has just written, from his standpoint as a moderare leftist,  another article arguing the follies and flaws of the BDS movement.

He concludes:
'Oslo and Geneva remain the benchmarks of any Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Both Israelis and Palestinians have legitimate national rights. There is no alternative to difficult mutual concessions and compromise. There is no alternative to a two-state solution which upsets both Greater Israel extremists who want to hang on to all West Bank settlements, and equally Greater Palestine extremists who hope to eliminate Israel. Neither Israeli Jews nor Palestinian Arabs are going to suddenly disappear. They will still be living side by side in 100 years time.
Progressive intellectuals on both sides have an obligation to meet and talk and debate until they find common ground that will provide a pathway to peace and reconciliation. Instead, the BDS movement proposes a ban on any dialogue that doesn't explicitly contribute to the end of Israel's existence. They eschew contact with those Israeli academics and intellectuals who are mostly likely to recognize Palestinian rights, and progress two states. And they do nothing to confront Palestinian reactionaries and religious fundamentalists such as Hamas.
Their activities will only lead to an ongoing nightmare for Palestinians and Israelis alike.'
See Mendes's entire article here


  1. Gwynedd sounds just like the Scottish local council West Dunbartonshire who thought dictating foreign policy was more important than balancing the books and collecting the rubbish. It appears Gwynedd doesn't make anything, so it's going to be hard to mount a counter boycott.


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