The proposal from Labour councillor Qadar Zada urged an end to “existing and future procurement of goods and services where there is a direct benefit to the State of Israel, including through the supply chain, subject to legal compliance with all relevant procurement, contractual, legislative and regulatory requirements until such time as the State of Israel complies with international law”.
But Simon Johnson, Chief Executive of the JLC, last night confirmed it would mo longer be debated as planned on Monday He said: “We welcome the decision of Dudley Council to withdraw their proposed boycott motion. We thank the Councillors for taking account of the concerns expressed in the letter from The JLC and BOD.
The proposed motion would have been illegal, contrary to the policies of the leaders of all major political parties and contrary to the stated aims of the Palestinian Authority. We hope that such a motion will not be reintroduced in future.” In a statement to the Jewish News, the Tory group outlined that they had been vocal in opposition, with leader Cllr Patrick Hurley telling the Jewish news they would have voted against.
He added: “I believe it will now be kicked into the long grass. Needless to say if they are stupid enough to bring it back at anytime then the Conservative Group will vote against. It is less than two weeks after the Leicester City Council backed a boycott motion. Both councils are Labour controlled – and news of the latest proposal comes just hours after Ed Miliband reiterated his opposition to boycotts in an address to Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East’s annual dinner. Jewish News has learnt that the seven UKIP councillors in Dudley – the council’s third largest grouping – will oppose the motion. Councillor Paul Brothwood, whop leads the grouping, described the motion as “an affront to good community relations” that goes far beyond even what the Palestinian Authority has called for.
He said: “The local Labour party seem to be caring more about the West Bank then the West Midlands. They are being narrow and divisive. In reality this motion is unworkable, as the council would need to throw out most computers, most modern phones, a quarter of NHS generic drugs and all their latest scanners.”
Brothwood also claimed that the move was “almost certainly illegal”, suggesting it “transgresses the Council’s legal responsibility to seek best value in its procurement policies and introduces discriminatory conditions which may result in the borough receiving poorer value for money than it might otherwise receive.
Also, it is highly likely that it breaches equal opportunities legislation because it discriminates against suppliers on the grounds of nationality”.