The Middle Ages return to Scotland (BDS threatens to ignite Europe’s darkest impulse)

A guest post by AKUS

Burning the Talmud – 1242 CE

And now in Scotland:

Scotland: Glasgow districts boycott Israeli books

Several districts in southwest Scotland expand boycott on Israeli products, bar stores from carrying English translations of Israeli books. ‘A place that boycotts books isn’t far from a place that burns them,’ says Ambassador Ron Prosor .


Need more be said about where this is leading?

37 replies »

  1. I guess the picture is wrong i.e. it is NOT from Scotland because as I have been told only recently by a Scot who comments at Elder of Ziyon

    While England during the Middle Ages had state persecution of the Jews, culminating in the Edict of Expulsion of 1290 (Jews may have arrived in Scotland after this date[1]) there was never a corresponding expulsion from Scotland. Indeed the eminent Jewish-Scottish scholar David Daiches states in his autobiographical Two Worlds: An Edinburgh Jewish Childhood that there are grounds for saying that Scotland is the only European country which has no history of state persecution of Jews

  2. The picture is from France. It was intended to illustrate the widespread habit in Europe of burning Jewish sacred texts. I doubt that there were Jews in Scotland at the time. Adam – to avoid nitpicking, perhaps add the words “in France” to the caption.

    • AKUS, there is anedcotal evidence that Jews fleeing persecution in England found a home in Scotland. Also, Glasgow has quite a large Jewish population some of which, I think, will have a lot to say about these bans.

    • there was a period commonly known as Scottish Enlightenment and as best I know J.K. Rowling is Scottish as is Alexander McCall Smith and I am sure there are others i.e. they would probably be good for nice big pyres.

        • I’m not sure about Rowling, but you would agree with me they’re pretty far behind their southern neighbors in the contemporary book department, what with sheep being more numerous than people up there. Ian Banks is another Scot I can think of, but he’s sh@te…

          • I neither like Ian Rankings nor Val McDermid but I still consider them to be vastly better than those Scandinavians who seem to be all the rage right now.

            (I listen to their book talks though because that Scottish accent is dear to my ears)

    • Yeah, you guys should definitely organise a boycott. What with your skills of persuasion and genius argumentation skills, I think it’s bound to be a roaring success.

  3. AKUS
    I wasn’t trying to nitpick but if there is one area in Europe where Jew hating doesn’t have a tradition I think we should think of ways to motivate them to uphold that tradition. BTW before I “met” aparatchik I had no idea that they were different.

    According to aparatchik at EoZ

    Scots tend to see themselves as oppressed underdogs and will therefore identify with similar-looking causes without necessarily taking the time to fully investigate the facts and consider the ramifications.

    so maybe inspiring them Scots to look to Israelas a role model is, given their past, a promising path to follow. And of course they should get the heat for this particular idiocy but they should maybe also be told that they have a great tradition which is worth preserving and which would do them proud.

  4. The report is wrong in two respects:

    1) Only the Council and its subsidiary bodies are boycotting Israeli books, NOT private stores in the area.

    2) Books by Israeli authors and published in England are NOT boycotted, only those books physically imported from Israel; so the same as Israeli oranges really.

    • I SO hope that they come to grief as did the barmy army of BDS on a council (can’t remember where) who found themselves having to shell out over a million pounds to replace Israeli-made, or designed, or containing Israeli-components in their office equipment. Needless to say, that didn’t go down too well with the populace whose money they spent.

  5. Silke – sorry – I wrote in haste at work. But perhaps Berchmans has affected my appreciation of Scottish attitudes towards Jews 🙂

    Good to see you commenting here again – I also follow you on Lozowick.

    • Akus
      I wish I had the time to be on this blog also but right now I frequent German blogs trying to find out how the language barrier affects the Weltbild.

      Bear with me – I won’t forget you – this blog is way too good for that.

      • Interesting re. the language barrier issue. Which sites exactly are you looking at?

        • Letters from Rungholt and Spirit of Entebbe plus a number on probation. I think both Lila and CC are great bloggers it is the comment section I am “researching”.

  6. There are two conflicting traditions in Scotland:

    1) Hard-working, anti-superstitious, pro-enlightenment, inventive
    2) Listless, envious, ignorant, resentful

    Draw your own conclusions…

  7. BTW that Ynet report only mentions West Dunbartonshire (one of the poorest AKA laziest areas of Scotland) and Dundee (boycott not implemented after all). What are the “Several districts in southwest Scotland”??

    • They aren’t Glasgow. Maybe ynet looking at Scotland is like some Americans looking at (for) Israel on a map.

  8. apparatchik, you really should talk about the “sleekit” Berchmans like that (he falls into category 2)

    FooledMeOnce, I think Robert Burns is overrated and we should certainly have a go at William McGonnagal. I’m not aware of any other modern Scottish authors, let alone literature worth reading by them but we could reciprocate in kind.

    O/T but never mind: This should send the CiF and Guardianistas into a collective conniption fit: Am just hearing, (from the BBC no less!), that Netanyahu got lots of standing ovations in his speech before congress, particularly when he said that Israel was prepared to be generous as regards land for a Palestinian state but would not return to 1967 lines.

    But as always, the usual BBC undermining sting in the tail – when the reporter said that Netanyahu, having been educated in the US knew how to play the American congress “like a violin.” Mean-spirited and ugly comment which is typical of the Guardian’s other arse cheek.

    • whether you consider J.K. Rowling great or not is not the point –
      with Voldemort she created an eminently useful and usable character including the “who should not be named”

      – not many authors succeed at doing that.

      and then there are all those interesting Scottish enlightenment guys I keep hearing about.

  9. James Macpherson – inspired the Romantic movement in Germany, apparently
    Robert Burns
    Walter Scott
    Arthur Conan Doyle
    Robert Louis Stevenson
    J. M. Barrie
    Lewis Grassic Gibbon
    Hugh MacDiarmid
    Sorley MacLean
    Edwin Muir
    Edwin Morgan
    Alasdair Gray

    Not bad for a bunch of hammer-throwers! Wha’s like us?!

  10. Yohoho

    Yes, Bibi received standing ovations for his speech – something that few Members of Congress can even aspire to!! The CiFers will go into overdrive over this.

    Perhaps not all that much off topic – it shows the difference between the appreciation for Israel where the power resides vs the medieval mindset of those in some ghastly town who try to destroy an idea by banning books.

    • Darn right AKUS – another collective fit of the conniptions because of “Jewish power” and Hissy Fit Hattie the Hen will become so hysterical that she’ll melt into a blob of goo.

      And as for

      “..Scots tend to see themselves as oppressed underdogs and will therefore identify with similar-looking causes without necessarily taking the time to fully investigate the facts and consider the ramifications…”

      aparatchik IS describing Berchmans to a T

    • Maybe was good for the current forum- a Republican house. But he’s given nothing to work with and again made Israel looks like the refusenick. Ball still in Israel’s court, and the crowd is booing.

      Instead of throwing them something concrete to put the pressure on them. I don’t see where this is going with Bibi basically saying nothing, while knowing September is crunch time.

  11. The council claims there has been no expansion of the boycott, and that no books have been banned.

    “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 some 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.

    West Dunbartonshire Councillors voted to introduce the boycott in 2009.

    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.’”

    • West Dunbartonshire Council should educate itself instead of swallowing the Arab fantasia whole.

  12. Would that ban all Hebrew-only Koren publications, e.g. Tehillim and Tehillim with Commentary by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz?
    I’m presuming the dual language one are published in the States?