Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign: Media Release
Wednesday 15th December 2010
STIRLING COUNCIL TO BOYCOTT "APARTHEID" ISRAEL
Stirling Council became the latest local authority to support a campaign to boycott "Apartheid" Israel on Monday, after condemning Israel's "open aggression and disregard for International Law." The motion by Labour Councillors Colin Finlay and John Hendry states, "Apartheid was not acceptable in South Africa and it is not acceptable in Palestine", and instructs procurement officers to "ensure future agreements and contracts boycott all Israeli goods".
Only the two Tory members of the 22 member SNP-led Council opposed the motion.
Councillor Finlay, who helps run the Stirling branch of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC), said he was delighted at the decision: "More and more Scottish councils are distancing themselves from Israel and its racist apartheid policies. Palestinians deserve our support, so I am delighted that Stirling is playing its part in the international boycott campaign. This is a significant step in the right direction."
Speaking from Palestine, SPSC Scottish Secretary, Sofiah Macleod said that Palestinians were "buoyed up" by this and other similar acts of solidarity. Just last week, Edinburgh Council rejected an attempt by Veolia to take over a range of public services in the city, after hearing evidence from Macleod of the French firm's involvement in Israel's illegal settlements. City leaders had also received legal advice that contacting Veolia could expose the local authority to "legal action for failing to take on board their obligation to recognise and comply with their duties and responsibilities under the Geneva Conventions and international law."
Notes for editors:
1. The Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign started in autumn 2000 in response to the Palestinian second uprising against Israeli occupation (Intifada). The SPSC has branches and groups of supporters in several Scottish towns, cities, and universities, as well as individual members across Scotland and elsewhere.
For further information, contact:
SPSC Chair, Mick Napier: 0131 620 0052; 07958002591
2. Motion to Stirling Council, Monday 13th December 2010, Item 20(b) on the Agenda:
Blockade of Gaza
"Stirling Council condemns the Government of Israel for its continuing illegal occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza. Council notes the heroic resilience of the people in these areas in the face of Israeli Defence Force's open aggression and disregard for International Law. Stirling Council recognises that Apartheid was not acceptable in South Africa and it is not acceptable in Palestine. This Council therefore resolves to reassess its current procurement arrangements and ensure future agreements and contracts boycott all Israeli goods. Council also agrees to write to all Scottish Local Authorities, Westminster and Holyrood Governments calling on them to implement an immediate boycott of all Israeli goods."
Signed by Councillor Colin Finlay and Councillor John Hendry
The motion was passed subject to the following being added: "within the legal framework set by the Geneva Convention and the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2006"
3. The vote was as follows:
Labour - Margaret Brisley, Colin Finlay, John Hendry, Corrie McChord, Paul Owens, Andrew Simpson, Violet Weir
Lib Dem - Ian Brown, David Goss, Graham Reed
SNP - Scott Farmer, Alasdair MacPherson, Jim Thomson
Conservative - Neil Benny, Alistair Berrill
Conservative - Callum Campbell, Tony Ffinch
Labour - Colin O'Brien
SNP - Graham Houston, Graham Lambie, Steven Paterson, Fergus Wood
Minutes will be available to download soon: http://minutes.stirling.gov.uk/search/tpcsrch.htm
4. Edinburgh Council removed Veolia from its shortlist to take over environmental services contracts, after previously being considered the leading contender for the bid.
See SPSC media release: http://www.scottishpsc.org.uk/Press-Releases/palestine-campaigners-claim-boycott-success-as-council-rejects-controversial-bidder.html
See also: Edinburgh Evening News report, 10 December 2010:
"A shortlist of seven firms suitable for taking over public services including rubbish collections, street cleaning and janitorial services has been drawn up by city council chiefs."
"Among the companies to miss out was the French multinational Veolia, which had been in the running for the environmental services contract. A campaign against that appointment was organised by the Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, because of concerns about it working on a tram line between Israel and its settlements in Palestine."
5. Top law firm, Hickman & Rose, advised Edinburgh Council leaders that contacting Veolia would expose the local authority to "legal action for failing to take on board their obligation to recognise and comply with their duties and responsibilities under the Geneva Conventions and international law."
Their 9th Nov 2010 submission can be accessed here:
A 16th Nov 2010 SPSC media release on this issue can be found here:
6a. West Dunbartonshire Council unanimously re-affirmed its position on a boycott of all Israeli goods, 30 June 2010: Motion by Councillor Jim Bollan – Boycott of Israeli Goods:
6b. Dublin City Council passed a resolution on human rights grounds calling on the City Manager not to sign or renew any contracts with French multinational Veolia on 12th June 2010:
6c. Swansea City Council did likewise on 17th June 2010. See Item 40 of these council minutes: