An email exchange with Cllr Jim Bollan of West Dunbartonshire Council

I have been given permission by a correspondent to publish this exchange of emails with Jim Bollan, the Scottish Socialist Party councillor who proposed a blanket boycott of Israeli goods in 2009.

This boycott has recently caused much debate in the Jewish pres and blogosphere.

I have already written about it here, here and here.

Let’s see where your sympathies lie.

I have been asked to withhold the name of the correspondent.

To: James.Bollan@west-dunbarton.gov.uk
Sent: Sunday, 5 June 2011, 18:46
Subject: I’m puzzled

I’m so sorry to read about your boycott against Israel. As a Scottish Israeli I find it shameful to read of book boycotts and the like form your council. As you know, Israel is the only democracy in this region and without it there would be a swathe of undemocratic countries from Africa to Asia that give women, gays and many, many others no rights at all.

Why would you not want this little country to exist, I wonder?

Please take the time to explain your point of view to me….

 

On 5 Jun 2011, at 20:56, Jim Bollan wrote:

Please read the information on the Council’s website to understand our actual position not what you perceive it to be.  The Council’s BDS policy was unanimously agreed as a result of the murder of over 1,000 innocent Palestinians in Gaza by the IDF in 2009.  No doubt you will have seen the news today that there has been another 11 extra judicial killings of Palestinians on the border with Syria.  Can you point out to me where I said “I do not want this little country to exist”?

Thanks

Jim Bollan

Leven Ward

Mob [redacted]

Home  [redacted]

james.bollan@west-dunbarton.gov.uk

 

To: Jim Bollan <jim.bollan1@btinternet.com>
Sent: Sunday, 5 June 2011, 19:57
Subject: Re: I’m puzzled

To answer your last point first: by promoting BDS you are clearly aligning yourselves with those who want to destroy Israel step by step. Boycotts are extreme action by people who actually want to eliminate an entity. Check this out.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifZLk6Ei9-U&feature=youtu.be

There’s nothing wrong with criticising Israel – I have plenty criticisms of my own….. but Israel pulled out of Gaza, leveled the settlements and in return received thousands of rockets on towns and cities in the South. I assure you that it was not the intention of Israel to harm innocent people, but, as happens in all wars, civilians were killed and sadly many were killed because Hamas was using civilians as human shields, placing missile launchers in school and homes. Tell me, how would you react to years of rockets fired on Dumbartonshire (sic)?

As far as events on today’s border - those who approached the border were clearly warned – in Arabic – but they chose to violate the border nevertheless. Shame on their leaders. Once again if thousands of demonstrators were trying to penetrate the Scottish border would you not expect the armed forces to react?

Can you tell me where your concern is for the 1,500 killed in Syria over the past few weeks? And what about those killed in Libya? Do you have concerns for human rights in Iran, in North Korea, China etc. etc. etc.? Do you not want to boycott these regimes or is it only Israel who warrants a boycott ? I am trying to understand your reasoning.

If you really cared and were interested in solving the conflict in this area you would applaud the present Israeli government which has voiced acceptance of a 2 state solution and you would be  demanding/pushing/encouraging both sides to get to the negotiating table right away rather than denigrating Israel and hailing Hamas.

 

On 5 Jun 2011, at 22:08, Jim Bollan wrote:

Boycotts are non violent unlike the IDF who murdered another 11 unarmed innocent Palestinians today on the border with Syria.  Surely a civilised Country that Israel considers itself to be should have arrested these unarmed demonstrators and put them in front of a Court to be tried?

Thanks

Jim Bollan

etc.

 

To: Jim Bollan <jim.bollan1@btinternet.com>
Sent: Monday, 6 June 2011, 17:00
Subject: Re: I’m puzzled

Concerning boycotts: BDS may be non-violent, but their aim (as I’m sure you’re aware) is to delegitimize Israel and ultimately destroy it. BDS campaigners have announced that their goal is the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state, not a change of policy. Anyway, the decision of your council to boycott Israel was made two and a half years ago and so the events of yesterday are not relevant to that decision.

You are very emotive in the terms you use to describe what happened yesterday. ‘Murder’: totally wrong; ‘innocent’: totally right. Categorical; black and white; nothing in between.

Israel has the right, like every other country in the world, to defend its borders and to keep out invaders either violent or otherwise. The Syrian government set up these demonstrations beforehand – as they did with the ‘Nakba’ day demonstrations – and stirred up its people to violate the borders. This was an action encouraged by the Syrians to detract from its own atrocities of recent weeks, and that tactic certainly seems to have worked for you, Mr Bollan.

As you will no doubt have seen on the news reports, there were thousands of protestors moving towards the Israeli border in a calculated strategy to breach that border in what was clearly a hostile act. They proceeded despite numerous warnings, both verbal and by shots fired in the air. Attempts by the IDF to disperse the crowd by non-violent means did not deter them. The youths were not innocent or unarmed. They fired sling shots, threw Molotov cocktails and hurled stones. It was a calculated, coordinated action against Israel to which huge crowds of Palestinians responded. Live fire was used only as a last resort. ‘Murder’? ‘innocent and unarmed’? Don’t be so naive.

Incidentally, note the difference of approach by the Lebanese government: they declared the border area a closed military zone and….no casualties!

You didn’t answer my previous questions. I will rephrase them for you:

Why is it only Israel out of all the countries in the world that you boycott?

Why do you you not condemn Syria for killing over 1,500 of its own people over the past few weeks? Or Iran/Saudi Arabia/N. Korea/China…..and so on?

Why do you not recognise Israel’s right to defend its borders?

And lastly: do you believe the state of Israel has a right to exist? A simple yes or no, please.

 

On 6 Jun 2011, at 19:35, Jim Bollan wrote:

All 23 were killed on the Syrian side of the border, not one crossed the fence.  They were throwing rocks and garbage over the fence.  They were unarmed. In my book that is extra judicial killing, ie murder. Why don’t you approach your local Councillor/Representative and urge them to bring forward a BDS motion to your local Council to boycott Syria?

Thanks

Jim Bollan

etc

 

To: Jim Bollan <jim.bollan1@btinternet.com>
Sent: Monday, 6 June 2011, 18:32
Subject: Re: I’m puzzled

I find bizarre that you swallow the Syrian narrative without a question. But since you give that regime such credence, here’s what Al-Thawra, Syria, reported June 6, 2011: ‘Ahmad Amin, who was wounded in his attempt to break throughthe Syria-Israel border on Naksa Day yesterday, said that many of his friends had hoped to die as martyrs on the land of the Golan Heights. He promised to try again to cross the border, until all the occupied Arab lands are liberated.’ Um, peaceful protests? Just throwing garbage? I think not.

And….. why are you so reticent in answering my questions?

[Name redacted]

PS The emails between us have been interesting. It’s obviously we’re not going to agree but I have one piece of advice for you: don’t believe anything the Israelis say, if you so choose, but do yourself and your constituents a favour and at least question the narrative you’re being fed from the Arab side.

 

On 6 Jun 2011, at 20:37, Jim Bollan wrote:

I do, on a regular basis.  I make my own mind up on what is right and wrong, after analysis based on my beliefs and principles.

Thanks

Jim Bollan

etc

 

To: Jim Bollan <jim.bollan1@btinternet.com>
Sent: Monday, 6 June 2011, 18:44
Subject: Re: I’m puzzled

I know politicians have the gift of evasion but I’ll try once more: can you please answer the questions I asked you?

 

Jim Bollan wrote:

You may not always like the answers you get to questions but I think that is more to do with the answers you receive…are not to your liking.

Thanks

etc

 

Now, is it just me, or do you think that the councillor did not satisfactorily provide answers to the questions?

Maybe this little delicacy posted by CifWatch might throw some light on Mr Bollan and his politics:

Amjad Awad, one of the two suspects from the West Bank village of Awarta who acknowledged breaking into the Fogel family residence in Itamar, back in March, and stabbing to death the parents, Udi and Ruth, and three of their children (4-year-old Elad, 11-year-old Yoav and three-month-old baby Hadas) said the following to reporters in court, recently, per The Jerusalem Post:

“I don’t regret what I did, and would do it again,” Amjad Awad told reporters in court. “I’m proud of what I did and I’ll accept any punishment I get, even death, because I did it all for Palestine,”

Chilling doesn’t begin to describe the hate which would allow someone to lack even the most elementary sense of remorse for murdering children while they sleep.

Yet, there will always be extreme Israel haters who manage to contextualize such crimes and, if not outright justifying them, find a way to ask, as Ben White did about the rise of anti-Semitism, if such homicidal Jew hatred could at least be “understandable”.

Here’s the response by Jim Bollan, West Dunbartonshire Council member and fierce proponent of his council’s boycott of all Israeli goods, to an anti-boycott activist who forwarded him the Jerusalem Post story cited above:

Jim Bollan is truly the quintessential Israel hater – never able to summon genuine and unqualified moral outrage at the death of innocent Jewish civilians (even infants) without asserting a moral equivalence, and suggesting that there must be a good reason why such terrorists committed the horrific crimes they did.

The Hamas-loving Bollan is simply a poster child for the mendacity of the BDS movement.

There is actually zero evidence that any Syrians (there is no evidence they were Palestinains) were killed by the IDF.

See here: http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2011/06/so-where-are-amateur-videos-of-golan.html and especially here: http://honestreporting.com/syria-pays-cash-for-riot-media-takes-propaganda-for-free/

If Cllr Bollan has any evidence of Palestinian children being slaughtered by the IDF as a deliberate act of murder, then I’d like to see it.

More importantly, if someone is justified to murder a Jewish family because of the actions of its army, then surely he would understand the 7/7 attacks, the 9/11 atrocities and also would understand, as someone commented on the CifWatch article, if Jews all over Europe murdered innocent German and Polish and Russian and Lithuanian babies in their beds because of the actions of those countries’ armed forces in the 1940′s

Of course, no such actions ever happened nor would they. No one goes around Ireland murdering innocent Catholic babies because the IRA bombs blew up innocent Protestant children.

Cllr Bollan demonstrates his complete moral destitution and a chilling ideology which resonates well with those dark forces, especially in the Middle East and especially amongst Israel’s neighbours, who would destroy that country and kill all Jews. I don’t suspect this is what Cllr Bollan supports, but it’s what the forces he appears to be sympathising with are bent on achieving.

Maybe the good people of West Dunbartonshire will think carefully about who they elect next time.

  • Pastaneta

    Until this vile antisemite is on the council, I’ll boycott all Scottish products.

  • owainglyndwr1416

    IDF were asked why didn’t they use Tear gas against the protesters instead of live rounds and their reply was that it would have been a breach of international law .. Isn’t using live fire instead a breach of international law ??   By the way ,,The two Palestinians who allegedly confessed to the Fogel murders were tortured by Shin Bet .. They are innocent .. The news stories are as one might say is “Typical Zionist lies” which we have heard before like the Lavon affair or the USS Liberty crime against humanity to the Holocaust which no doubt the Zionists were behind and 911 .. People are waking up and when they do there will be Hell to pay !!  

  • http://www.raymondcook.net Ray Cook

    Yawn