Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Scottish book boycott goes forward

From Ynet:
Scottish citizens might not be able to purchase English translations of Israeli masterpieces such as "A tale of love and darkness" by Amos Oz and "Someone to run with" by David Grossman, due to a boycott on Israeli books.

Two and a half years ago, shortly after Operation Cast Lead, the West Dunbartonshire Regional Council, located west of Glasgow, approved a bill that called to boycott goods produced in Israel.

According to the law, the council and all public bodies under its jurisdiction are forbidden to sell goods that originated from Israel.

Following the botched raid on the Turkish Flotilla to Gaza last May, the council expanded the boycott to include a ban on the purchase of English translations of Israeli books and the distribution of these books in public libraries throughout the council's jurisdiction.

West Dunbartonshire was joined by the large Scottish city Dundee, which decided to issue a recommendation to boycott all goods produced in Israel.

Legal advisers instructed Dundee's mayor to refrain from legally enforcing the boycott in order to avoid future lawsuits. Instead, the municipality plans to distribute posters throughout the city, calling on some 150,000 residents to refrain from buying Israeli goods, and will also apply a special mark on Israeli products, in order to make them easily identifiable. [...]
The article is not so clear. Does the category "public bodies under its jurisdiction" include private bookstores? The point of the legal advice is that private bookstores aren't included? Or the point is that banning books is going too far? Read the rest of the article for an interesting discussion of why Scotland is not banning books from Syria and Libya (assuming there is anything to ban) and other matters. The first commenter in the comment thread starts to suggest boycotting single-malt scotch and then regains his composure. Right, let's not get carried way . . .

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