Scottish council reaffirms boycott policy in face of smear campaign
West Dunbartonshire council has reaffirmed its support for BDS following false allegations made about the implementation of its boycott policy.
The statement read:
Over recent days there has been some highly misleading publicity in the national and international press concerning West Dunbartonshire Council’s policy on the boycott of Israeli goods. In light of this publicity, the Council has received a number of complaints.
The facts are as follows.
· The boycott on the purchase of Israeli goods followed a unanimous decision of West Dunbartonshire Council in January 2009. The boycott was in response to the Israeli state’s policy and actions in the Occupied Territories.
· The boycott was not retrospective and applied only to purchases made from January 2009 onwards.
· The boycott has not prevented West Dunbartonshire’s library service from purchasing any book which it wished to purchase.
· Accusations that Israeli books have been removed from the shelves of the West Dunbartonshire’s libraries or have been burned are entirely false and appear to be mischievously motivated. There are books by Israeli authors on the shelves of West Dunbartonshire Council’s libraries.
· Attempts to depict this boycott as racist are also entirely inaccurate. The boycott was instigated in response to conduct by the Israeli state and applies to no specific ethnic or religious group. The Council has robust ant-racist and anti-sectarian policies and procedures.
In April, councils and local representatives from across Europe, including Jim Bollan of West Dunbartonshire Council, issued messages detailing the steps they had taken to implement BDS in their local communities. The messages were addressed to Marrickville Council in Sydney, Australia who faced pressure to withdraw its support for BDS. Marrickville council subsequently restated its support for the political demands at the heart of the BDS call but stated it would not implement BDS action.