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Scots boycott row hits US Senate

    The British Embassy in Washington DC has been forced to defend the Scottish government after the row over a council's Israel boycott reached the US Senate.

    Senator Mark Kirk welcomed the embassy's move to distance the devolved parliament from West Dunbartonshire's ban on Israeli goods.

    After receiving complaints from residents in his Illinois state, Republican Mr Kirk contacted the embassy for clarification.

    In a brief statement it responded: "The Scottish government does not advocate boycotting Israeli goods."

    Senator Kirk said: "The Scottish government and Scottish National Party have a responsibility to speak out against attempts to delegitimise and castigate a fellow democracy and strong Scottish ally like Israel.

    "I welcome the decision to disavow the council's boycott of Israel and urge the First Minister to take further steps to reaffirm the Scottish-Israeli relationship."

    The JC revealed in May that the council was considering banning Israeli books from local libraries as part of their two-year-old boycott - imposed during Operation Cast Lead.

    It led to a furious response from Israel supporters in Britain and abroad.

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