'Israeli book ban may be imposed in Scottish libraries'

Move is part of boycott policy by council near Glasgow, 'Jewish Chronicle' reports; Israel supporters: Scottish Council is like Iran, Saudi Arabia.

May 24, 2011 12:09
1 minute read.
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A ban on books by Israeli authors could be enforced in Scottish libraries as part of a boycott policy by West Dunbartonshire Council which covers villages near Glasgow, The Jewish Chronicle reported last week.

The move may be illegal under local government legislation, the report said.

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Israel supporters quoted by the Chronicle said the policy puts the council in line with Iran and Saudi Arabia and that it was an "outrage."

To date, no books have been removed from any of the libraries as the council members say censorship is "not in the spirit" of their boycott. However, the report added that "it is understood that officials are prepared to rule on a book-by-book basis."

West Dunbartonshire approved a boycott of Israeli products in 2009, following the Gaza flotilla incident.

Arieh Kovler, the director of the Fair Play Campaign Group which opposes boycotts against Israel, was quoted by the Chronicle as saying: "Banning access to knowledge for political reasons is nothing short of censorship. West Dunbartonshire must reverse this policy or their libraries will become an international laughing stock."

A West Dunbartonshire Council spokesman said in response: "It would only be in a very limited number of circumstances that this boycott would apply."

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