Not so Bonnie Scotland.

Ah, Scotland, the land of the brave and of fried Mars Bars, Haggis, the Edinburgh Festival, Chivas Regal and passionate football teams.

It is now, also, the land that imposes anti-Jewish boycotts.

In 2009, West Dunbartonshire Council passed the following motion while Israel was defending its citizens from an onslaught of rocket attacks by Hamas from Gaza:

‘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.’

Now, for example, books that are printed in Israel will not be taken by West Dunbartonshire libraries. Does this apply to books by Israeli Christians and Muslims, nearly 20% of Israel’s population, or does it only apply to books by Israeli Jews?

Funnily enough the boycott is not restrospective, which would then have entailed the council having to remove their computers; much of the hardware and software having been produced in Israel. But such is the hypocrisy of the modern-day Israel boycotter.

It is all so reminiscent of the hypocrisy of the likes of Mustafa Barghouti who proposes a worldwide boycott of Israel despite studying at an Israeli university.

Whatever the “loss of life” in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead (estimates vary considerably and many were Hamas terrorists) Israel was doing no different than what NATO forces are currently doing in Afghanistan and Pakistan; that is killing Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorists with the inevitable and tragic loss of civilians caught in the middle.

Jim Bollan, who proposed the original motion, said this in a recent exchange of emails:

“Hamas was elected and are freedom fighters alongside the Palestinians fighting an illegal occupation of Palestine by Israel.”

Would such “freedom fighters” include those Palestinians who showed off their blood-caked hands after they had just lynched two Israeli soldiers in Ramallah in 2000, or the two Palestinians that recently hacked to death the Fogel family, including a three month old baby, while they slept, or the Palestinians that shot dead a group of Israelis last August, including a pregnant woman, near Hebron or the many Palestinians queueing up to walk into Israeli restaurants to blow them sky high while families eat pizza?

The Ramallah lynching of two Israeli soldiers.

The Ramallah lynching of two Israeli soldiers.

Hadas Fogel whose throat was slit by a Palestinian "freedom fighter".

Hadas Fogel whose throat was slit by a Palestinian "freedom fighter".

Bollan should know that many thousands of innocent Israelis have been either murdered or left disabled by Palestinians over the years, but maybe he doesn’t wish to know. Either way you would never hear of a boycott of Palestinian produce or books.

And Bollan is now complaining that he is receiving contradictory emails with some claiming Israel was defending itself after an onslaught of 6,000 Hamas rockets while another claimed it was 8,000 and another said it was 26,000.

“Who to believe?,” Bollan cheekily asks.

Well, according to B’Tselem, Israel received 8031 attacks from Gaza between 2005 and 2008. Up to the end of Operation Cast Lead 19 Israeli civilians were killed by such attacks but the intent was for thousands to be killed. It is only because Israel builds shelters for its civilians, in contrast to Hamas which prefers making Qassam rockets, that many more weren’t killed.

So, incredibly, in 2011 we are back to boycotting just the Jews, albeit Israeli ones; proof that as a society we have not progressed, we just think we have.

I will now be carrying out my own boycott of Scotland. It will be fun. I will be studying the labels on all products I buy for the word “Scotland”. I won’t visit Scotland and I will encourage all those I know not to also.

Many Americans are already boycotting Scotland after the safe release of al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie Bomber, back to Libya.

And I will be happy in the knowledge that my boycott of Scotland will probably hurt me far less than if I boycotted Israel, when comparing what Israel has already given to the world in its short 63 years to what Scotland has.

In the meantime here are some email addresses that can be used to help escalate a boycott of Scotland until this iniquitous boycott is lifted:

And for more relevant information please read here and here.

38 responses to “Not so Bonnie Scotland.

  1. Jonathan Hoffman

    Mick Napier was at the Ahava haters demo on Saturday. What a totally obnoxious piece of work.

  2. “Who to believe?,” Bollan cheekily asks.

    It’s a big joke for him, isn’t it? His dishonest posturing does nothing to bring peace closer.

  3. The problem is trying to deal with these after the event. I posted this video of a BDS debate at Bristol Council (motion passed…) last year. I wanted people to see quite how bad things are. The problem is there is no coordinated response – I had some ideas but no organisation I was in touch with was interested in an organised and concerted response before the motions are passed. It would take so much less energy and investment to lobby and educate before motions are passed.

  4. The irony is that Israeli goods and services are used every day by this band of merry reprobates . Their computers ,lap tops and phones come courtesy of Israeli technology . Most of the UK phone networks including BT use billing systems set up by an Israeli company . No way will they extend their pathetic boycott to include such vital components of everyday life . They are mendacious hypocrites and it would be nice to think that Israel could find a way to return the favour and withdraw licenses for hi tech products used by these immoral clowns

  5. Daniel Marks

    Excellent writing. Your proposed boycott of Scottish products could not have come at a better time from my point of view as we find ouselves well stocked with Scotch whisky on which I believe I can survive two years, if I ration myself to a glass a day. Regarding the Scottish Opening (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4) I have never numberedmyself among its foremost exponents, forever prefering 3.Bc4!

    I called the family together for a Scottish book-burning ceremony, which was only spoilt by the realization that we have none. That pretty much covers everything except, of course, haggis.

    While nobody is happy giving up on our “sheep’s heart, liver and lungs, minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally simmered in the animal’s stomach for approximately three hours”, if that’s what it takes, that’s what it takes.

  6. a boycott of Palestinian produce or books
    It’s hard enough to find them, let alone boycott them.

  7. richardmillett

    Oh they produce enough, believe me. I am always getting offered Palestinian Olive Oil at the anti-Israel events and then there are the books that are so full of tripe.

    • aparatchik

      That’s the only thing I’ve ever seen – the olive oil – ridiculously priced, around double that of Italian. Must be twice as bitter.

  8. Daniel
    After 3 d4 ed4
    4 c3 dc3
    5 bc4 cb2
    6 Bb2
    Is variation of the Danish accepted . Very wild and infinitely preferable to the Scottish
    more acceptable then Scottish openings

    • Daniel Marks

      Hi Harvey,

      I play the Danish a lot myself in 5-minute games, usually achieving good results, though mainly because my opponents rarely play the correct fifth move:
      1.e4 e5
      2.d4 exd4
      3.c3 dxc3
      4.Bc4 cxb2
      5. ….d5!
      6.Bxd5 Nf6
      7.Bxf7+ Kxf7
      8.Qxd8 Bb4+
      9.Qd2 Bxd2+
      10.Nxd2 c5 and Black regains the queen attaining what is to my mind equality.

      The varaiation has been around for more than 90 years and has pretty much put the Danish out of business. I know that there has been recent theoretical discussion seeking to claim some advantage for White, but I find it hard to agree and the Danish is rarely played in serious chess. That having been said, it’s great for speed chess especially against inferior or greedy foes.

      • Daniel
        Think we better get back on topic before we turn Richards blog into a chess column
        Think we are agreed on boycotting the Scottish opening though

  9. aparatchik

    Bollan is a low life pseudo-socialist prick, don’t associate all Scots with this kind of scum.

  10. aparatchik

    *Omar* Barghouti is the tube who wants everyone to boycott the Israeli academic world – everyone, that is, except himself

  11. Sharon Klaff

    Sam, you are so right. The Jewish Community is great when it comes to celebrating, but not when a co-ordinated effort is required to combat what is taking place by stealth via government infiltration. Read the book Defying Hitler: A Memoir by Sebastian Haffner that spans the period in Germany from 1907 to 1933. It offers a unique perspective on the rise of Hitler and the growing influence of Nazism, and anticipates much of what was to unfold in the ensuing years. Read how Hitler managed to get from a democratically elected National Socialist to a genocidal murderer. This is happening here and now – we said never again and yet here it is again and again. Sebastian Haffner shows how German petty officials like those in Dunbartonshire were hooked in at a low level, so they could express their Jew hatred with impunity, starting first with banning the Jews’ books to the banning of the Jew himself first from owning shops like the current day closing of the Ahava Store in Monmouth Street London this September as the Landlord does “not wish to become involved”, to the banning of the Jew from schools and so on until he was banned from living at all. And so it goes on – plus ça change mais plus ça rèste la même!

  12. Sharon
    thanks for mentioning Sebastian Haffner’s book. The part that stuck most in my mind from that read is his remark that the left couldn’t get its act together to confront the Nazi thugs because it was more interested in keeping the fighting over their ideological differences alive.

    In addition I just read an excellent review by Timothy Snyder of some new books on German behaviour (Politik) and summarizing in it the whole incredible incomprehensible happenings in a horrifying nutshell.


    Dear Mr. McCall Smith,

    I am a great fan of your books (all of them). They are very dear to me and so it pains me terribly that Scottish libraries are involved in an exercise of banning Israeli books, while as I have read they continue to provide access to Mein Kampf and the “Protocols”.

    I have been told that until now Scotland has had a compared to other European countries a wonderful record as concerns its treatment of Jews.

    Since the boycott involves libraries I’d be very glad, if Scottish authors like you, beloved all around the world, would speak out against the happenings in West Dunbartonshire Council. It pains me to see Scotland join the mob. It is so contrary to all you seem to stand for in your books and since it includes libraries I think it would be very fitting for authors to raise their voice in protest.

    I trust that you will not fail me and try to save the Scottish reputation from suffering further from the actions of these apparently very confused people. I am aware that you very carefully stay out of politics but trust that you will defend books and libraries.

    Thank you!

    Sincerely yours,

    • Super, Silke, klingt ganz gut…

      • my next one will be to J.K. Rowling – she isn’t Scottish but I understand she lives there and at least started writing Harry Potter in Edinburgh, so she should care of what happens to her chosen home area.
        Currently I am trying to find a better e-mail address than this one:
        which doesn’t seem to provide one where readers can write to authors.

        I think it might be more effective to write to her Israeli publisher but the site is in Hebrew only. Maybe somebody can help me to find an e-mail on that one?????

        After all she invented Voldemort who for me at least provides such a first class metaphor for what is happening right now.

  14. Empress Trudy

    So…if his house is set afire and 3 or 4 family members are killed, who to believe?

  15. Judith Benattar

    More lucid thoughts from Richard Millett. Thank you Richard!

  16. JCWmoderator

    Any chance of excluding Glenlivet for a couple of weeks, while I stock up?

    More seriously – well done! And Chag Sameach!

    Avraham Reiss – Jerusalem

  17. JCWmoderator

    “think it might be more effective to write to her Israeli publisher but the site is in Hebrew only. Maybe somebody can help me to find an e-mail on that one?????”

    – if you click on the following url you will get to a page containing a form for emailing the publisher:

    On the page that will appear, the 1st three fields (top down) are:
    1. Name
    2. Phone
    3. email address
    The next, short field allows a choice – click the arrow and select the 1st option (books).

    Finally, the large box is for your comments. Write, of course, in English.

    Avraham Reiss – Jerusalem

  18. The book issue is really not the main issue – the fact they have a full boycott on Israeli goods is the issue.

    • but authors make good lobbyists, if they should care and they will refuse to get involved in politics, but they may speak out against book banning.

  19. Thank you and that page even includes a “normal” e-mail address.

    I’ll do it via both – wish me luck, somehow I think through her Israeli publisher I might get more attention 😉

  20. I have been in email contact with this Mr Bollan, who has shown himself incapable of debate other than shouting regurgitated slogans of hatred.

    It is worth noting that Oxford City Council also proposed a boycott of Israel in 2009 – I wrote several times to Oxford Cirty Council, and got zero support from the Board of Deputies or the local Jewish leadership. Why aren’t we writing to them as well?

  21. Pingback: The inimitable Mr McColl. | RichardMillett's Blog

  22. Oh Dear, were to begin. I suppose firstly an apology from all Scots who do not live in a socialist lefty la la land. “Sorry”

    We are complaining to government but each council ward makes independent statements and policies. This ban reflects not the hatred of Jewish people or Israel but the constant persistent media bias of the Pro Muslim reporters used by BBC, Guardian, Independent. The AP news wire files constant reports on Israel by reporters called Muhammad. not a likely source of balanced reporting.

    Many people see the propaganda and belief the lies. If you do not know the facts it is easy to be swayed by images of Babies covered in blood. if you do not know the guy talking to the camera is Hamas rather than a grieving father.

    I grew up with the lies and only after researching middle east history did I realise the foolish notions I had developed from false media reports.

    As for West DUMBartonshire council, they are idiots, no more educated than average committee Commies. Big on rhetoric small on results. Dunbarton is a shithole.

    Please do not turn this into a Scotland versus Israel because that’s what the socialists want

  23. And I will be happy in the knowledge that my boycott of Scotland will probably hurt me far less than if I boycotted Israel, when comparing what Israel has already given to the world in its short 63 years to what Scotland has.

    Ok then. You can boycott all these Scottish contributions:
    Adhesive Postage Stamps
    Scot James Chalmers

    James Simpson

    Joseph Lister

    Artificial Diamonds
    no name

    Reaping Machine
    Patrick Bell

    Bank of England

    Latent Heat
    Joseph Black (1728-1799)

    Brownian movement
    Robert Brown

    David Dunbar Buick – (died 1929)

    Cloud Chamber
    Charles Thomson Rees Wilson(1869 -1959)

    Chemical Bonds
    Thomas Graham (1805 – 1869)

    Penicillin (1928)
    Sir Alexander Fleming

    The Decimal Point
    John Napier

    Documentary Films

    Adam Smith

    Encyclopedia Britannica

    Engineering Sciences

    Fax Machines (early 19th Century)
    A Blacksmith from Dumfries

    First Cloned Mammal ‘Dolly’ The Sheep
    (Edinburgh 1997)

    Flailing Machines (1784)
    Andrew Meikle

    Geosciences (1785)
    James Hutton

    Golf (15th Century)

    Ivanhoe, Waverley, etc…
    Sir Walter Scott

    Hypodermic Syringes

    Kelvin Scale
    William Thompson

    Percussion Powder (1809)
    Alexander Forsyth

    Logarithms (1615)
    John Napier

    Maxwell’s Equations
    James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879)

    Dundee Businessman

    Mackintosh Raincoats
    Scottish Highlands

    Macadamized Roads
    John Loudon McAdam

    Microwave Ovens (1940’s)

    Colloid Chemistry
    Thomas Graham (1805 – 1869)

    Breech-Loading Rifle
    Partrick Ferguson (1744-1780)

    Tubular Steel
    Sir William Fairbairn (1789-1874)

    George Cleghorn (1716-1794)

    Pneumatic Tyres (1888)
    John Boyd Dunlop

    Hollow Pipe Drainage
    Sir Henry Dalrymple (1700-1753)

    Peter Pan
    J.M. Barrie

    Sir Robert Watson-Watt

    Paleobiology (1815)
    William Nicol

    Polarization (1828)
    William Nicol

    Cure for Scurvy
    anon Edinburgh Man

    Scottish Tradition on All Hallow’s Eve

    Refrigerators (1876)
    James Harrison

    Discovery of the Planet Neptune (1846)
    John Adams

    Sir James Swinburne

    Iron Bridges
    Thomas Telford

    Adam Ferguson (1723-1816)

    Steam Engine
    James Watt

    Telephones (1876)
    Alexaner Graham Bell

    Thermos Flasks
    Sir James Dewar

    The Telegraph
    The Scots Magazine (1753)

    (1922) – John Logie Baird

    Stereotype (1727)
    William Ged

    Sulphuric Acid
    John Roebuck

    Steam-Hammer (1839)
    James Nasmyth

    Cure for Insomnia (1998)
    Dr.Christine Carmichael

    James Young

    Sherlock Holmes
    Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

    Wind in The Willows
    Kenneth Grahame

    Treasure Island
    Robert Louis Stevenson

    Jekyll and Hyde
    Robert Louis Stevenson

    Auld Lang Syne
    Robert Burns

    King Arthur
    Evidence of Scottish Links

    Harry Potter
    J.K. Rowling

    Dandy, Beano, Children’s Comics etc..

    Oor Wullie & the Broons


    US Navy
    John Paul Jones

    Chilean Navy
    Lord Thomas Cochrane

    • aparatchik

      F**k me Alastair, I’m as proud a Scot as the next man but c’mon – that list is a bit desperate, is it not? What have we produced in the past 63 years apart from a lot of oil that was here before us anyway?

  24. Alastair,

    I was of compiling my list. Difficult from my phone which I typed my last post. Scotland & Israel are both small countries who have given so much to the world and our dispora never forget their roots and we are equally quick to respond to attacks on our people.

    I think I am going to claim we invented USA. The majority of signatories were Scots. The declaration of independence was based on earlier Scottish texts, primarily the Declaration of Arbroath.

    Check your military history, city names, town names Huge number of Scots.

    You are welcome. You are also considered friends. Do not judge us by WD Council and we will not judge you on Rev Al Sharpe (spelling?)

  25. There is a wider problem in Scotland – the political landscape is overwhelmingly hostile to Israel and Jews in general. Of course I appreciate it is not universal – but it is the prevailing atmosphere of the place.