Scottish anti-Israel forces defeated in Dundee Council

The resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict adopted by Dundee Council in Scotland was not perfect, but as the most egregiously biased anti-Israel language was excised from the final bill, and included language which firmly and unequivocally distanced themselves from West Dunbartonshire’s boycott of Israeli goods, it represents a victory nonetheless. 

Here’s the original language, proposed by council member Fraser Macpherson and his friends at Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign:

“Dundee City Council, proud of its historic links with the people of Palestine and the past support it has given to the oppressed inhabitants of the region, condemns the Government of Israel for its continuing illegal occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank and the illegal blockade of Gaza. The Council recognises that Apartheid was not acceptable in South Africa and it is not acceptable in Palestine. The Council furthermore notes the Government of Israel’s continuing disregard of successive UN Resolutions and its continuing failure to comply with the requirements of the Geneva Conventions in regard to its treatment of Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories.”

Here’s the resolution text from the official statement: 

“DUNDEE City Council has agreed to note with concern the ongoing situation in Israel/Palestine and is calling for a just and lasting two-state solution which will bring peace to the region

The council agreed to instruct the chief executive to write to Her Majesty’s Government raising the ongoing concerns of members and asking that the Government respond outlining the actions it is taking with regard to finding a peaceful solution.

At its meeting last night (MONDAY) the council passed an amendment welcoming and celebrating the diversity of cultures and faiths within its boundaries; believing that respect for human rights is fundamental to peaceful co-existence in any society; and noted with sorrow the continuing violence in Israel and in the Palestinian territories.

The city council commended the efforts made by President Obama and others to promote a just peace in the region and called on the UK Government to show leadership, as well as appealing to all sides to show restraint and to find a way of living together in peace and prosperity.

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 protestors which has led to unnecessary suffering, lasting bitterness and international condemnation.

Dundee City Council also recognised the courage of those struggling for democracy in many Arab nations, condemned violence and oppression by dictatorial governments anywhere, believing that the “Arab Spring” could be a defining event of equal importance to the fall of the Berlin Wall and called on the leaders of the Arab world to embrace democracy, not to fear it.

It should be noted that there has never been a ban on buying or lending books by Israeli authors in libraries in Dundee.  Dundee City Council does not boycott any goods or services from Israel. 

While the resolution is clearly flawed, it does clearly represent a defeat for the anti-Israel forces – particularly the SPSC – behind the original motion.  The fact that they saw the need to note that Dundee doesn’t boycott goods or services from Israel suggests a strong desire to distance themselves from West Dunbartonshire’s boycott.

Any way you parse it, Fraser Macpherson and his ideological allies at SPSC lost, and we can now focus our energies on battling Jim Bollan and his extremist anti-Israel allies at West Dunbartonshire.

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