May 24, 2011
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.
He called on Britain and Scotland to pronounce the boycott illegal.