Israeli Books Banned in Scotland, But Not ‘Protocols’ or ‘Mein Kampf’
A council at the centre of a row over its boycott of Israel is facing new criticism after it admitted lending a notorious antisemitic book.
West Dunbartonshire Council said it had bought a copy of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in January, after a request from library member Ron Vallance, a Scottish Friends of Israel activist.
The authority has been widely condemned by pro-Israel activists for its boycott and its apparent position of considering on a “book-by-book” basis whether or not to stock newly-released works by Israeli authors.
Stanley Grossman, of Scottish Friends of Israel, said: “Even as councillors debate whether Israeli authors should be banned, blatantly antisemitic publications such as Hitler’s Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion are freely available or purchased on request at the council’s libraries.”
West Dunbartonshire defended its lending of the book. A spokesman said: “This book, along with other infamous titles such as Mein Kampf, is available in public libraries within the UK as part of a commitment to provide open access to books that reflect freedom of speech and the broad range of viewpoints held in the public domain. There is no shortage of books in our collection that criticise titles such as The Protocols. A footnote to the catalogue record for this item advises users that the text is widely regarded as fraudulent propaganda.”