Tag Archives: west dunbartonshire council

Flotilla to Scotland, anyone?

Is a pandemic of anti-Semitism about to sweep Scotland? Probably not, but things aren’t good up there (in more ways than one).

First West Dunbartonshire council votes for a full boycott of Israel and, not to be outdone, Dundee Council is due to consider the same.

Liberal Democrat group leader Fraser Macpherson is asking councillors to condemn the Israeli government for its “illegal occupation of east Jerusalem and the West Bank and illegal blockade of Gaza.” The motion was due to be discussed on Monday night, but has been postponed until mid-June.

The motion also likens the treatment of the Palestinians to that of non-whites in South Africa under apartheid.

The motion reads:

“Dundee City Council, proud of its historic links with the people of Palestine and the past support it has given to the oppressed inhabitants of the region, condemns the government of Israel for its continuing illegal occupation of east Jerusalem and the West Bank and the illegal blockade of Gaza. The council recognises that apartheid was not acceptable in South Africa and it is not acceptable in Palestine. The council furthermore notes the government of Israel’s continuing disregard of successive UN resolutions and its continuing failure to comply with the requirements of the Geneva Convention in regard to its treatment of Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories.”

Apparently, a petition with 2500 signatures calling for a boycott of Israeli goods had been submitted by Macpherson’s constituents and a request made that the Palestinian flag be flown from the City Chambers.

Referring to West Dunbartonshire he said:

“It has emerged that another council in Scotland — West Dunbartonshire — is operating such a boycott and officers will be making informal contact with that authority to find out more about it. I would be supportive of a boycott as long as it was found to be legally possible.”

Meanwhile, the Office for National Statistics has just revealed that the adult life expectancy rate in Glasgow is on a par with the Palestinian territories and Albania. When conditions are so bad at home there is no better way to divert attention than by falsely accusing Israel of apartheid.

Maybe the Palestine Solidarity Campaign could arrange a humanitarian aid flotilla for Scotland, although, hopefully, any medication won’t be out of date like that the “humanitarian aid flotilla” wanted to deliver to their Palestinian bothers and sisters in Gaza last May!

No one is naive to think that this sudden upsurge in boycott talk is limited to Scotland.

Liberal Democrat MP for Colchester Bob Russell and three Lib Dem colleagues have just returned from a trip to the West Bank at the invitation of the Council for Arab-British Understanding and Russell now wants the EU and UN “to force Israel to comply with UN resolutions”.

He said:

“I recognise what happened to the Jewish people of Europe in the Thirties and Forties was a crime against humanity. But I do not consider it fair the people of Palestine should pay the price of Europe’s sins by being forced out of their homeland by Israel.”

Judging by that last sentence Russell seems to be calling for the destruction of the Jewish state through the return of the so-called Palestinian refugees to Israel, 95% of which have never lived there.

The Liberal Democrats reneged on virtually every pre-election promise and in coalition are ineffective in this Conservative-led government. Again, what better way to divert attention and to raise one’s own profile than by callously hitting out at Israel.

You can discuss these issues with Councillor Macpherson and Bob Russell MP at:

Fraser Macpherson
2a Argyle Street, Dundee, DD4 7AL
Home Tel: 459378
Business Tel: 434985
Email: fraser.macpherson@dundeecity.gov.uk

and Bob Russell:
info@bobrussell.org.uk

The inimitable Mr McColl.

Councillor Jonathan McColl

Councillor Jonathan McColl

My main reason for blogging is to expose the hypocrisy amongst so many of our elected politicians and the so-called intellectuals in this country.

The talks I attend are so vociferously anti-Israel and, initially, I was curious to find out why.

Was it all really because the speakers at these talks felt such an injustice had been done to the Palestinians, when looking back the Palestinians have wasted so many opportunities to create a thriving country?

Then I started to notice interesting slips by some of the speakers.

One such slip was when academic Ghada Karmi spoke at SOAS and called for “the end of the Jewish state in our region”, only to be reprimanded by the Naturei Karta’s Yisroel Dovid Weiss for referring to “Jewish state”, as opposed to “Zionist state”. Karmi duly apologised and went on to say that she had nothing against Jews or Judaism.

Then there was Lord Andrew Phillips of Sudbury who said that “Many Jews may be deeply prejudiced” at a Middle East Monitor event.

On each occasion, apart from Weiss, both audiences remained unmoved. Now imagine the uproar had a member of the BNP called for the end of the Muslim state of Pakistan or had that BNP person claimed that “Many Muslims may be deeply prejudiced”. You get the gist.

Add to these slips another one, this time by Councillor Jonathan McColl, the West Dunbartonshire councillor and main proponent of a total boycott of Israel by his council (see my original piece Not so Bonnie Scotland).

On his “Israeli Goods Boycott” blog page McColl states of the boycott:

“This is not an anti-Semitic act. I don’t care whether you are Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Agnostic or any other such label you might want to give someone.”

Fair enough.

But, he continues:

“To quote a Jewish woman from Glasgow who telephoned me on this issue, ‘We are brought up in a culture of ‘poor wee us’, automatically thinking that the world is against us and perhaps we should take stock of that before we draw conclusions about other people’s motivations.'”

So Mr McColl doesn’t like using labels for people, except to label them if they are “Jewish”.

Add to this Councillor Jim Bollan’s exculpation of a self-confessed perpetrator of the massacre of five members of the Fogel family when Bollan said in a recent email exchange:

“Have you any idea what may have motivated this man to commit this crime? Could it have been because he may have seen Palestinian children slaughtered by the IDF?”

and you start to sense a heartlessness in Scottish politics, a heartlessness that was already there when the Scottish government released the Lockerbie Bomber in August 2009.

Are councillors McColl and Bollan really who the voters of West Dunbartonshire Council want to represent them? Can there really be any justification whatsoever for the slashing of baby Hadas Fogel’s throat?

The Scots are generally lovely people but some of the people they are now voting for are not.

Bollan is a member of the Scottish Socialist Party, while McColl is a member of the Scottish Nationalist Party. The Scottish Nationalists are now, sadly, the ruling government in Scotland.

Bollan and McColl are councillors for Leven ward in West Dunbartonshire Council. Maybe there’s something nasty in the Leven air.

Meanwhile, you can discuss their boycott of Israel, and other issues, with them at:

Councillor Jim Bollan – James.Bollan@west-dunbarton.gov.uk or write to 4 Endrick Way, Alexandria, G83 0UR or telephone 01389 756397 and 07803 668766 or

Councillor Jonathan McColl– jonathan.mccoll@west-dunbarton.gov.uk or write to c/o Council Offices, Garshake Road, Dumbarton or telephone 01389 737511 or 07939 002886

Alex Salmond is SNP leader and Scotland’s First Minister. Write to:
Office of the First Minister, St. Andrew’s House, Regent Road, Edinburgh, EH1 3DG or FirstMinister@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

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:

James.Bollan@west-dunbarton.gov.uk
malcolm.roughhead@visitscotland.com
letters@theherald.co.uk
letters@sundayherald.com
letters@eveningtimes.co.uk
m.gardham@dailyrecord.co.uk

And for more relevant information please read here and here.