Scottish municipality votes down pro-Palestinian motion


A Scottish municipality voted down a motion comparing Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to apartheid.

The Dundee City Council at its regular monthly meeting Tuesday did, however, note with concern the “ongoing situation in Israel/Palestine” and called for “a just and lasting two-state solution which will bring peace to the region.”

Liberal Democrat Councilman Fraser Macpherson had submitted a motion condemning the Israeli government for “its continuing illegal occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank and the illegal blockade of Gaza.” Macpherson told The Courier newspaper that he had planned to include a call for a boycott of Israeli goods and services but left out that section after receiving legal advice.

The City Council commended efforts made by President Obama and others to promote peace in the region and called on the UK government to show leadership, according to a statement.

“It was accepted that Israelis have the right to live in peace, but the council deeply regrets the disproportionate response of the Israeli military against aid convoys and Palestinian protesters which has led to unnecessary suffering, lasting bitterness and international condemnation,” the statement said.

The council also asserted that “there has never been a ban on buying or lending books by Israeli authors in libraries in Dundee.”

The vote comes less than a month after the West Dunbartonshire Council, consisting of towns and villages west of Glasgow, ordered new books by Israeli authors to be banned from the council’s libraries.

The ban in West Dunbartonshire followed a decision made 2 1/2 years ago following the Gaza war to boycott goods produced in Israel. According to that law, the council and all its public bodies are forbidden to sell goods that originated from Israel.

Scottish municipality bans Israeli books


A Scottish municipality has banned from its libraries books by Israeli authors and that were printed or published in Israel.

The West Dunbartonshire Council, consisting of towns and villages west of Glasgow, ordered new books by Israeli authors to be banned from the council’s libraries, according to reports.

The ban reportedly was ordered after last year’s raid by Israeli commandoes on a ship attempting to break Israel’s blockade on Gaza that led to the death of nine Turkish nationals. The ban followed a decision made 2 1/2 years ago following the Gaza war to boycott goods produced in Israel. According to that law, the council and all its public bodies are forbidden to sell goods that originated from Israel.

A West Dunbartonshire Council spokesman told the UK Express over the weekend that the boycott is not retrospective and that no books have been removed from libraries.

The council told the Express that 10 other councils had agreed to join the boycott.

The Scottish city Dundee also issued a recommendation to boycott goods produced in Israel, but it was set aside after city legal advisers said it was likely illegal under European Union law. The city instead will distribute posters throughout the city asking its residents not to buy Israeli goods and place a special sticker on products that are made in Israel.

“A place that boycotts books is not far from a place that burns them,” Israel’s ambassador to the U.K., Ron Prosor, told Ynet Tuesday.

European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor called the banning of Israeli books and the marking of Israeli products in Scotland “eerily reminiscent of darker times and perhaps there is a level of hatred that connects them.”

“While those behind the boycott will claim that this is not anti-Semitic, targeting the only Jewish state, a democracy, while ignoring serial human-rights abusing nations tells us that this is indeed anti-Semitic in intent and in effect,” Kantor said in a statement released Tuesday. “This demonstrates how far ‘respectable anti-Semitism’ has come. Clearly it has become acceptable to boycott and discriminate against Jews, as long as there is a thin veneer of anti-Zionism which purportedly covers the hateful act.”

He called on Britain and Scotland to pronounce the boycott illegal.

Scottish burial society employee makes landmark bias claim


In a landmark case, a Jewish burial society employee in Scotland says he was fired for becoming involved with the Masorti movement.

It marked the first case of a Jewish individual claiming discrimination against a Jewish employer in Scotland, according to the Herald Scotland newspaper.

Warren Bader, 49, said in a preliminary discrimination hearing that he was dismissed by the Glasgow Hebrew Burial Society after he helped set up Masorti Scotland in a Jewish community that is largely Orthodox.

The case now moves to a full employment tribunal, the paper reported.

Bader said he was fired within weeks of helping to set up the Masorti organization, and after the creation of the organization was criticized by the rabbi of Glasgow’s largest Orthodox congregation.

About half of the country’s 9,000 Jews live in Glasgow, according to the Herald.

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