Wednesday, 15 June 2011
Boycott on Scottish Whisky
ANGRY Israeli nationals have launched a counter-boycott against Scotch Whisky companies, including Dumbarton's Chivas Brothers.
The move was arranged by a group of online bloggers in response to West Dunbartonshire Council's (WDC) decision to ban the importation of any goods manufactured or produced in the Middle-eastern state.
Chivas, which operates the Kilmalid bottling plant in Dumbarton, and the Loch Lomond Distillery are among the Whisky manufacturers from the area that have been targeted in the latest action taken to try and overturn the ban.
A spokesperson from Chivas said: "West Dunbartonshire Council does not represent the views of Chivas Brothers. We will be passing on any correspondence on this subject to West Dunbartonshire Council so they are fully aware of the potential implications of their policy."
A number of activists have also bombarded councillors in the area with offensive letters and emails accusing them of being "Nazis and anti-Semitic".
Jameel Rashid, writing on the online blog The Muqata, said: "I urge you to write to these fine distillers of whisky, and express your outrage and support of the counter-boycott.
"Pass this list on to your friends and neighbours. It is simply immoral for West Dunbartonshire Council to boycott Israel."
But a spokesman for WDC hit back at the latest move saying: "The boycott on the purchase of Israeli goods was a decision taken unanimously by West Dunbartonshire councillors in January 2009 in an attempt to highlight the Israeli state's unacceptable use of force in the Occupied Territories. The recent coverage of this decision has been utterly sensationalist, with reports of a ban on Israeli books in our libraries nothing more than a fabrication by mischievous sections of the media.
"These articles have incited complaints, many of them unsavoury, from people who don't know the facts.
"The latest of these is the threat of a counter-boycott. We appreciate the concerns of local business and recognise their importance to the economy of West Dunbartonshire. We have asked to be kept informed of any impact on sales in the coming weeks and months to determine the credibility of these threats."
He added: "The council unreservedly stands behind its decision on the boycott and the fact Stirling Council has taken the same stance, and councillors in Dundee are keen to follow suit clearly shows we do not stand alone on this issue."
Online bloggers have also published councillor's email addresses, phone numbers, and in some cases home addresses on the internet.
At last month's full council meeting councillor George Black put forward an emergency motion refuting any allegations of anti-Semitism.
The recent troubles have flared up after a national newspaper criticised WDC's boycott of Israeli products, although the boycott has been in place for more than two years.
This article appeared in Dumbarton & Vale of Leven Reporter