You don’t have to be “Israel supporters” (paragraph 3, report) to deplore this move. Good time to remember Areopagitica, “unless wariness be used, as good almost kill a man as kill a good book: who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God’s image; but he who destroys a good book, kills reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were, in the eye”.
Is there some sort of “ScotsNats” thinking subliminally at work here (or is that too convoluted)? Scotland “occupied” by the Sassenach, and the rest of it. Ditto perhaps the Republic of Ireland? (“A nation once again” and all that …)
I doubt that they’re going to be deleting their anti-virus software either, despite the fact that pretty much all effective commercially-available anti-virus software is not only programmed by Israelis, but is based on modified versions of software originally designed to guard Israeli military and intelligence networks. The original software, once it becomes obsolete for its original use, is still perfectly effective for civilian usage, and is sold off to private companies. This means that, effectively, when you buy anti-virus software, you are giving a very small amount of money to the IDF, the Shin Bet, or possibly even Mossad.
Yes, you had better get it off your computer right now, and welcome in all that wholesome anti-Zionist malware of resistance with open arms.
Speaking seriously, though, this is extremely worrying. A step such as this, aside from its historical parallels, also sets a very dangerous precedent – a blanket ban on the literature of an entire country (if this is what this will actually be), even on a scale as small as a few local libraries, is an unprecedented measure in the UK. Even if the racist implications of such a policy are to be ignored (as they undoubtedly will be by its supporters), this is still an attack on a very fundamental freedom.
Do the Race Relations Acts apply in Scotland, does anyone know, and would they override a local authority’s “freedom” to discriminate? They certainly would in the case of employment, the allocation of housing, and so forth.
There is also the question, of course, of “best practice” and open tendering. Bet that nice Cllr McColl didn’t think of that.
Has anyone written to the Council to challenge them under EU law, as from reading around it seems it is illegal to boycott any product from a country, unless there is a UN Embargo on that country. There is currently, and has never been a UN Embargo on products from the State of Israel. Therefore, by stating that the Libraries are specifically refusing to purchase products (books) made in Israel and making the effort to single this out, they are directly imposing a boycott on such products, breaking EU Law and can be challenged in Court because of this. As the blog demonstrates the motion stated in 2009 –
“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.”
Has anyone challenged the Council on this or what’s the position of this?