My letter to West Dunbartonshire Bed and Breakfast Proprietors, on their council’s boycott of Israeli goods

Here’s a copy of the email I sent to each Bed & Breakfast Proprietor in the council of West Dunbartonshire, regarding their council’s boycott, appealing to them to contact their council members to register their disapproval.

As you may know, in 2009 West Dunbartonshire Council passed a resolution which banned the council from purchasing any and all Israeli goods – a one-sided resolution which singles out Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, for condemnation, and which many believe may violate EU non-discrimination laws.

Since the controversy surrounding the motion, Councillor James Bollan, a fierce proponent of the ban, has gone on record defending Hamas (designated a terrorist group by the EU and US) – referring to them as “freedom fighters” –  and even refused to condemn explicitly anti-Semitic articles of the Hamas charter.

The international media, including The Daily Mail and The Jerusalem Post, have been covering and commenting on the implications of this discriminatory boycott, and have noted the stirrings of a counter-boycott movement aimed at scotch distillers located in West Dunbartonshire Council.

As a Bed & Breakfast Proprietor, and a professional in the Scottish hospitality industry, you no doubt continually strive to show the warmth, decency, and graciousness typically associated with West Dunbartonshire, and Scotland, to your guests.  So, I respectfully ask that you take into account the negative effects such a discriminatory ban may have on the reputation of your community, and further ask that you consider contacting West Dunbartonshire council members to register your objection.

Please understand that the Jewish people have a long and harrowing history with boycotts and, further, have learned that what begins as seemingly solitary discriminatory measures can often snowball into more powerful destructive movements.


Adam Levick

Here’s a list of B&B Proprietors I contacted:

Susan Fleming

Scotscraig House

18 Park Road


PA2 6W

Alastair & Elsie Hunter

Easter Glentore Farm





Jim Weir & Michael McHugh 

The Millers House

Formakin Estate



Cameron House on Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond,


G83 8QZ

Margaret Kay

Braeburn Cottage

West Auchencarroch Farm by Balloch

Loch Lomond

G83 9LU

Shiloh B&B

201 East Clyde Street 


G84 7AJ

Trinity Bed & Breakfast 

5 Lusset Glen

Old Kilpatrick

G60 5DD

Positano B&B

79 Glasgow Road, 

Dumbarton G82 1RE, 

West Dunbartonshire

Tir-Na-N’og Guest House

Helenor Brown

Ardvorlich House


Loch Lomond

G83 7DT

Scotland, UK

Millhall B&B                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Old Luss Road                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Balloch G83 8QP

Cathie McIlmun

Time Out

24 Balloch Road, Balloch



ScotlandG83 8LE

24 replies »

    • It is a business that relies on tourism – and therefore it is a business that is vulnerable to a response in response to their councils bigotry. That email gives them a cost for their silence on this matter.

  1. Adam, perhaps it might be an idea to address the Council itself, and ask if it might be possible for a few dellegates to attend a meeting with Officers and Councillors, and explain the facts behind the Israel/Palestinian conflict.

    Judging by the wording of the agenda item itself and the speed with which it reached the table after Cast Lead, I am inclined to believe that the councillors are not up to speed with the history and present-day issues.

    A resolution could be reached if they would at least agree to hear the other side of the story. I would also say that it would demonstrate that the proper democratic process is being served by Dunbarton council.

    • A resolution could be reached if they would at least agree to hear the other side of the story.

      I doubt these people are the listening type.

    • They surely aren’t. They were probably got at by SPSC in the same way as it was pushing Dundee to boycott. Dundee, however, was a sight more sensible.

      If Bollan’s mulish attitude is at all representative of the council, then I wonder how willing they would be to hear the other side of the story. Bollan seems to be to be very concerned simply about being seen to be right. He’s the sort who is easily pushed onto the defensive rather than capable of reasoning things through and trying to find the middle ground and any criticism at all of his views would put him on the defensive.

  2. Well done Adam, great initiative. A very good idea to appeal to their decency AND to their business sense, both elements of which will likely be missing from some Dunbarton councillors.

  3. No debate.
    These individuals are beyond that . It’s time to organize a boycott of scottish products . Whisky is a good start and the distilleries need to know why . It may be purely symbolic in terms of bottom line to these companies but if the us market was approached , together with the us Christian Zionist movement it would begin to stack up .I intend to do some research into that market and contact some churches . I believe it could turn viral and if nothing else we can put Scottish business on notice that boycott is a two way street

    • Strange list of addresses – at least half of them are not in West Dumbartonshire at all; some are quite a few miles away elsewhere in the West of Scotland – Renfrewshire or on the opposite side of Glasgow entirely.

      In any case this approach (and the publication of these addresses online so as to encourage the harrassment of those resident at these addreses) strikes me as being similar bullying – with a hint of blackmail with regard to “counter-boycott” to that implemented by the fanatical and vile pro-Palestinian campaigners.

      Not good, in other words. This will pass

      • I disagree, David. There’s no hint of bullying in the text of Adam’s email, and the B&Bs’ email addresses will already be available online, for business reasons, and several evidently have their websites. That said, you are right about the targeting. It’s possible that the list was generated on the basis of an internet search, with Dunbarton-related keywords influencing the result, but a little research into the postcodes would have pointed to the problem. Incorrect targeting provokes the reaction “what has that got to do with me?”. Sure, the B&Bs are interested in West Dunbarton business. But there they are interested in selling bedspace, not in buying ideas. There is also that unfortunate phrase “The international media” which plays to well-known prejudices. And even if such a message isn’t picked-up by the recipients, there’s always a chance that someone in Scotland these days will take against the examples used – Jerusalem Post (sounds Israeli, they’ve got an axe to grind) and the Daily Mail (which every day unrepentantly commits the cardinal sin of being both English and Conservative). It was a good and worthwhile idea. I hope it will have a positive effect within West Dunbartonshire. But…

  4. “I doubt these people are the listening type.”

    They’re local politicians, pretzelberg, it’s what they’re SUPPOSED to do!
    Like I said, they aren’t manning the Boroughs of Damascus or Tripoli. This is a democracy for heavens sake!

    In asking these councillors to listen to the other side of the story, there is at least an opportunity for them to prove that they’re in the job for the right reasons. If they can’t do that, then they should stand down at the next election. Or sooner.

    Forget Israel for a moment – look at the pride and ego evident in these Dunbartonshire councillors. They don’t know the other side of the story – worse, they haven’t even asked to hear it! What matters is not the issue, but the fact that they’ve been challenged. They’ve received negative media attention and this has, unfortunately, widened to include the Scots as a whole. And STILL these councillors don’t stop to think that there is a way forward. They should be saying “Let’s invite the opposing view to make their case, after which we’ll review the situation”.

    In my view, and I’m sure that of their electorate, they’re showing contempt for the democratic process. They can act like democrats and professionals and change that. If they can’t think this through for themselves, then let’s make the offer for them.

    If they refuse to at least hear the other side, presented by a suitably professional group, then the message to the electorate couldn’t be clearer. If they are able to behave with contempt on this issue, they’re certainly capable of doing it on any other local issue.

  5. I am boycotting Scotland and Scottish goods. I cancelled a planned holiday. The haters of West Dunbartonshire need to learn that boycotts can cut both ways. We don’t need to support people who hate us.

    • Where money is involved ANYONE could be the listening type……..

      Good start,Hit them at the hip pocket……

  6. What response did you get if any? If it was me I would say WTF are you doing contacting me from another country and telling me what I should or shouldn’t do.

  7. I have cancelled my holiday and will be boycotting all Scottish goods. I am not Jewish, but feel that supporting a terrorist organisation over a democratic one is disgusting. I suggest more people pass comments and show there backing. This can then beforwarded to the council & local newspapers, businesses, etc to show the damage to the area the council are bringing with this racist policy.

  8. I’m sure Scotland neither wants nor needs the supports of fanatics and bullies who would boycott the whole country because they disagree with *one* policy (and a rather trivial one at that) of one, small, local, council.

    Be off with you, fanatics and bullies. Don’t darken Scotland’s doormat with your obnoxious and unwelcome presence!

  9. Also, if you *sincerely*, rather than over-unctiously, believe that “warmth, decency, and graciousness” are “typically associated with West Dunbartonshire” that’s a pretty good clue that you’ve never been there, so your boycott is all about you feeling good (while being obnoxious), not something of any real impact or import.

    A typical welcome in the towns of West Dunbartonshire does vary, sure. In Dumbarton itself it’d probably be a heroin addict shooting up against the wall as you walked down from one of the two main railway stations. In Alexandria (interesting name) you’d be more likely to get a glass bottle, freshly smashed in two, in your face. Depending on where you went in Balloch, you might get a little more civility.

  10. Will you let us know any replies you receive so we can decide which B&Bs to support/avoid in August.

  11. Mostly H, can’t work out if that was sarcasm or obtuse hypocrisy with the “what the fuck are you doing contacting me from another country telling what I should or shouldn’t do”. That’s exactly what the British believe is their entitlement when it comes to the rest of the world, and is exactly what Dumbarton and Dundee Council have done regarding Israel. Just another blatant double-standard when it comes to the Jews and a glaring exposure into the mind of a sanctimonious bigot like yourself who can dish it out but is self-righteously indignant when you get the slightest whiff of it back.

  12. opus III
    ” …I’m sure Scotland neither wants nor needs the supports of fanatics and bullies….”.
    That sums up the SPSC very nicely thanks.

    As to Jews and our friends boycotting the fools that voted to boycott books from Israel, two sides can play that game pal, but it might cost your mates a damn sight more than it will us. I was in synagogue this morning and both Chivas and Ballantine are on the list of banned substances, not just here in the UK, but in synagogues right across the US and Canada.

    So fuck you very much.

    • @cityca.

      What on earth makes you think I support the SPSC? They are vile fanatics and bullies. But so are those doing the “counterboycott”; indeed they are worse because at least the SPSC have some kind of perversion of good intentions to start with.
      The SPSC are absoltuely not on my side, they are not my mates.
      Those who call for boycotts of Scotch whisky on such trivial grounds as you do are also not my mates, though.

      Now stop being obnoxious. Learn some humility and decency

      • @ opus III
        No, those counteracting the efforts of the SPCS are legitimately and reasonably hitting back at people who are singling out the only Jewish nation for boycott.

        It is neither trivial nor bullying nor fanatical to hit back at those who are trying to do you down. As to humility and decency, your condemnation is poorly placed and if you don’t like the debate here, what are you doing here?