Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Another City Council campaign to Boycott Israeli Goods, following the massacre of Gaza.

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"Call for council to boycott Israel"

20 April 2009

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Coun Michael Lavalette wants Preston Council to boycott Israeli goods

Councilor Michael Lavalette wants Preston Council to boycott Israeli goods.


Preston should boycott any goods which come from Israel, a city councillor has said.

Socialist councillor Michael Lavalette, who represents the town centre on Preston Council, has called for the council to ban all Israeli goods in protest over the conflict in Gaza.

He is set to submit a notice of motion asking the council to back the call this week.

He also wants to ensure no council resources are invested in Israel.

And he says civic chiefs should write to supermarkets across the city and councils across the country urging them to join the protest.

But council group leaders said the motion was in danger of "stirring up racial hatred."

It comes after an extraordinary council meeting over the Gaza conflict in January which was supported by Coun Lavalette but criticised as being a waste of time and money.

Tory and council leader Ken Hudson said: "I'm not sure this is something that is really for Preston.

"I'm not sure that we are going to invest in Israel and I'm not sure how many goods come into local supermarkets from Israel.

"I am, as I said at the special council meeting on Gaza, very keen that there is a peaceful world out there, but I'm not sure just exactly what we are doing by stirring up racial hatred."

Danny Gallagher, leader of the Lib Dem group on the council, said: "I can't see what he is going to gain from it, that's my personal view. What good is it going to do?"

Joy Wolfe, of the Manchester Zionist Central Council, said: "I think it is highly inappropriate for our councils to do anything of this nature.

"The very people he would want to help – the Palestinian people – will be the ones who suffer as a result of boycotting goods because they help to produce them."

Coun Lavalette said: "We have not started this campaign, we are joining it. There is a growing international campaign to boycott Israeli goods, and a number of councils have taken it up."

He said the council could boycott products such as olive oil, dates and Jaffa oranges.

The notice of motion has yet to attract a seconder. It will be debated at Thursday's Town Hall meeting.