Keep the pressure on West Dunbartonshire Council: Fight Racist Boycott of Israel

Fight the Racist Boycott of Israel by West Dunbartonshire Council


In 2009, the West Dumbartonshire Council passed a motion boycotting Israel. The motion reads in relevant part:

“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.”

Publicity of the boycott recently came to light after the Daily Express reported that Scottish National Party led West Dunbartonshire Council ordered that its libraries ban any new volumes by Israeli authors, printed or published in the Jewish state. In a failed attempt to deflect criticism, West Dunbartonshire Council claimed the ban didn’t apply to all Israeli books just those printed in Israel and transported to the UK while maintaining that a boycott of Israeli products is in effect.

As media attention to this grew, activists began complaining to the council members over the boycott and a number of the council members responded exposing the bigotry underlying the boycott. In a series of emails, as reported by Ynet, CiF Watch exposed that Councillor Jim Bollan, the proposer of the motion, wrote that he viewed Hamas as “freedom fighters”. With pressure mounting, Councillor Jonathan McColl has been at the forefront of defending the boycott and even posted a rambling videoblog which was a display of rank ignorance and victim playing unbecoming of a political figure.

Since then, the Jewish Chronicle has reported that West Dunbartonshire Council library recently purchased a copy of the antisemitic forgery, Protocols of the Elder of Zion, a decision that the council defended in the interest of freedom of speech.

With West Dunbartonshire having the dubious honor of being the top unemployment blackspot in the UK, the motivation behind singling out Israel, and only Israel, for boycott out of all nations of the world is clear. In Australia similar moves to boycott Israel by a local Sydney council ended up in failure after mass publicity of the planned boycott.

Together with your help, we can reverse the motion and send a message to other Scottish councils that are considering the same that such moves are immoral and racist.

Speak up and tell the council that the boycott is immoral and racist. Don’t leave this to somebody else to do.

Ways in which your voice can be heard include:

CiF Watch has been leading a twitter campaign to fight the boycott. You can help this campaign by tweeting West Dunbartonshire Council and Councillor Jonathan McColl, both of whom are on twitter. Their twitter names are @wdcouncil and @CllrJMcColl.

If your 140 character tweet permits, include Gemma Doyle, Labour member of parliament for West Dunbartonshire, and Visit Scotland, the Scottish Tourist Board, on your tweets. Their twitter names are @gemmawdmp and @visitscotland.

Here are some sample tweets:

– West Dunbartonshire has the highest unemployment rates in the UK, yet @wdcouncil sees fit to boycott Israel. @CllrJMcColl

– Jim Bollan thinks Hamas are freedom fighters Email him at if you disagree @wdcouncil

– Why has ONLY Israel been singled out of the 192 nations for a boycott by @wdcouncil @CllrJMcColl @gemmawdmp #fdoublestandards

– The West Dunbartonshire Council should retract its racist boycott of Israel! Retweet this if you agree @wdcouncil @CllrJMcColl

Don’t forget to also retweet tweets to the West Dunbartonshire Council and Councillor McColl by tweeters with whom you agree.

2Post comments on Councillor Jonathan McColl’s blog
As chief defender of the boycott, Councillor McColl has uploaded a videoblog. You can post comments on his blog by clicking here, Please note that anti-Israel activists have been posting comments in support of the boycott.

3Email the councillors, Scottish National Party MSPs, the Scottish Tourist Board and the Press
For a sample email, please view an email by an unlikely supporter, a Muslim Zionist, who has been moved to speak out.

– Emails of the councillors are as follows:;;;

– Emails of the Scottish National Party MSPs are as follows:;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

– Email Visit Scotland, the Scottish Tourist Board, and tell them that you are not visiting Scotland for as long as the boycott is in effect.

The email of the Chief Executive, Malcolm Roughhead, is as follows:

Emails of the Press include:

Sunday Herald:
Magnus Gardham, political editor, Daily Record: Glasgow Local News:Grace Franklin franklinfeatures@gmail.comRutherglen Reformer: John Rowbotham News: Kilsyth Chronicle:

The Glaswegian:

Scotland on Sunday:

Sunday Post :

The Scotsman:

4.Support the Official Scottish Whiskey Counter-Boycott
Details here.

5.Share this email with your friends
Click on the “Forward to a Friend” link below.

14 replies »

  1. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!
    If you are going to boycott Scotch Whisky, at least learn to spell the name right.

    • I’m replying here, because the set up doesn’t allow me below.

      WDC bought the Protocols at the request of a Scottish Friend of Israel. You should mention that fact, CIF.

      • I have no idea whether that’s hearsay or you’re required to announce any political affiliations you may have when ordering a book in West Dunbartonshire, quite possibly you are given the regime. But what is the point? I am not suggesting that Mein Kampf or The Protocols of the Elders of Zion should not be in libraries, but their fairly recent purchase makes an odd statement about the moral compass of a library service and its political masters so eager to proclaim a moral compass, (especially in the area of racism) by banning books.

  2. Forgive me for saying some of this again:

    In West Dunbartonshire council’s ‘Stock Management and Development Policy’ is the following: ‘The council will adopt Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals policy on Intellectual Freedom, Access to Information and Censorship’. The CILIP document is appended: ‘It is the role of a library… funded from the public purse to provide… access to all publicly available information… Access should not be restricted on any grounds except that of the law. If publicly available material has not incurred legal penalties then it should not be excluded on moral, political, religious, racial or gender grounds. The legal basis of any restriction on access should always be stated’. So what is the legal basis? West Dunbartonshire’s ban on Israeli books is a political decision based entirely on its opinion of Israeli government policies, etc. It claims to be driven by moral objections to those policies. Since the council exhibits no political or moral objections to the policies of any other government the singularity of the ban surely has a racial, even religious component too; whatever appalling acts may be perpetrated anywhere else, censorship only in the case of a Jewish Israel. In passing a quick search of the West Dunbartonshire libraries catalogue shows two books they have no problems with: Clydebank Library purchased ‘Mein Kampf’ in 2006; also in 2006 Duntocher Library purchased ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’. The Protocols is currently ‘on hold for someone’. A councillor?

    • .
      The Counci (Library Service) should not be criticised for lending books which we dislike.Ttheir problem is not what they do lend,rather, its the what and the why of what they wont lend.The Protocols was requested by a Scottish friend if Israel, a sting to highlight the nonsence and stupidity of the boycott
      The boycott of Israeli products is (sadly) of little interest to most people however most people react strongly to book boycotts, a censorship of knowledge .
      We all know of people who have benefited immensley from education and the opportunities it affords..That is why the focus on one aspect of West Dunbartonshires boycott has rebounded on the council.
      The pursuit and respect for knowledge is universal .West Dunbarton have got themselves in to a PR disaster and have brought Scotland to international attention for all the wrong reasons .I would guess the new government in Holyrood are aware of the West Dunbarton situation thanks to international and UK media outcry

      • So, you’re opposed to a boycott of Israel, but threaten one of Scotland?

        Shame on you hypocrites.

        • David Karr, I support any and all boycotts of scotland after the shameful “compassionate” release of the “dead within 3 months” convicted bomber of Pan Am 103.

          In case you are not aware, approaching 2 years after his release and heroes weilcome home to libya, the convicted bomber is still alive.

          So much for scotlands medical expertise.

          So much for scottish “justice”.

      • ‘The Protocols was requested by a Scottish friend if Israel, a sting to highlight the nonsence and stupidity of the boycott’

        If it was a ‘sting’ it was immoral and dishonest.

        • The immorality and dishonesty of this Friend of Israel (clearly a well known face around West Dunbartonshire) shows how right Scotland is to abhor the deviousness of the Israelil lobby – to get that order in to the library to illustrate the stupidity (what stupidity?) of the boycott five years in advance – is there no stopping them!

          • I suppose that Jimbo and letzengage would scream and shout immorality at undercover (sting) police action to root out paedophiles .Some people can’t see the wood for the trees.
            What evidence does letzengage have to say ”clearly a well known face around West Dunbartonshire’?There is nothing devious, as letzengage suggests, about obtaining a book from a library.They know who you are and where you live.
            I am sure that West Dunbarton are squirming in embarrassment because of the negative publicity their boycott of Israeli products has brought .The book and library boycott has resonated world wide because books and library services are seen as a token, a sign of civilization.
            It is the misguided actiion of one local authority council which has found itself to be considered abhorrent. Not I’m sure the actions of a concerned friend of Israel .

  3. i am proudly boycotting Scotland. There has been no outcry from within Scotland about this demonisation of the Jews (indeed, other councils are supportive of the Jew hatred).

    Let them enjoy their bigotry.

  4. Jimbo, it merely highlights the disgusting double standard. Boycotting books by Israelis, simply because of their nationality, is bigotry. Yet the same library gets antisemitic literature without question.

    Who exactly is dishonest and immoral?