Thursday, 9 June 2011

The West Dumbartonshire Question

On the 1st of the month I posted about the storm concerning West Dumbartonshire Libraries not banning Israeli books. It is a manufactured storm. The situation has got more laughable with the front page of the Jewish Chronicle running a front cover saying "Israeli books banned... but look what I found" with one Scottish Friend of Israel member posing with copies of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Mein Kampf. The implication being that those nasty anti-Semites at the library won't let their readers near the latest Amos Oz, but there's plenty ugly stuff out on their shelves. Apart from no Israeli writers have been banned, and most significant Israeli writers are still on their shelves, these books were not "found", they were specifically ordered by that Scottish Friend of Israel and the library had to buy the books in. His pose reminds me of the Daily Mail - "Ban this disgusting filth - see pages 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9". Staff at West Dumbartonshire Libraries might be well advised to sit down with a cup of coffee and a Kafka novel to try to understand this. And Mr Vallance, if you want to read Israeli novelists, why not just borrow them from your library and stop wasting public money by ordering Nazi books?
Of course, before Mr Vallance "found" the offending books, West Dumbartonshire Libraries did not stock them. They do now. Well done that man.

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