Anti-Israel councillor boycotts local resident

A Scottish councillor told a resident he would not discuss an anti-Israel policy with her because she was an “acolyte and apologist” for a “rogue state”.

Archie Drummond, who sits on Clackmannanshire Council, in central Scotland, was responding to Danielle Bett, who wrote to him about the council’s stance comparing Israel with apartheid South Africa.

Ms Bett, who holds joint Israeli and British citizenship, is a former Ramat Gan resident who now lives in the town of Alva in Clackmannanshire.

Mr Drummond proposed a motion earlier this year to “resist all economic and political support” for Israel following lobbying from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. It was implemented across the authority after 11 councillors backed the plan.

When Ms Bett contacted Mr Drummond to raise her concerns as a local taxpayer, he refused to speak to her directly and responded only through staff at the authority.

He sent her a message which read: “Until the state of Israel engages fully with world opinion and complies with numerous United Nations resolutions that it presently ignores, I will not be engaging with the acolytes, apologists and fellow travellers of that rogue state.”

Ms Bett said: “I was not intending to start an argument with Mr Drummond. I had some serious questions I wanted him to respond to.”

She now plans to raise the matter at a meeting with local MP Gordon Banks.

Mr Drummond did not respond to a JC request for a comment on his correspondence with Ms Bett.

A council spokeswoman told Ms Bett that the authority was “not implementing a boycott of Israel. It has, though, agreed to resist, insofar as legislative considerations permit, any action that provides political or economic support to the state of Israel”.

Last updated: 8:45am, September 4 2013