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Monday, April 23, 2007

NUJ Boycott Explanation: Boycott Israel because Palestinians Kidnap Reporter

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2007/04/nuj-boycott-explaination-boycott-israel.html

Below is the entire text of a reply sent by the UK National Union of Journalists regarding their recent vote to boycott Israeli goods. The people who prepared this statement do not, apparently, grasp the full illogic of this paragraph:

The call for the boycott in part related it to the kidnap of Alan Johnston. The Palestinian journalists union has given huge support to the campaign for his release - holding demonstrations and strikes against the Palestinian authority to demand more action from them. We work closely with the Palestinian union through the International Federation of Journalists and the boycott call was a gesture of support for the Palestinian people - notably those suffering in the siege of Gaza, the community Alan Johnston has been so keen to help through his reporting.


Previously I had pointed out the perversity of punishing Israel because Palestinian terrorists kidnapped a British reporter. It seems that is exactly what these people want to do!! The equivalent approximately, would be if a British union in World War II had published a resolution condemning Poland for the Blitzkreig.

The following text should be awarded a prize for disingenuous pleading:

The boycott call has nothing to do with reporting. The NUJ is not telling members how to report Israel - beyond its permanent injunctions to members to report independently and fairly on all matters, and not to produce racist or discriminatory copy.

How could a union call to boycott the goods sold by a country, and condemning that country NOT affect the attitude of reporters and content of their reporters? The union took a totally unjustified stand condemning Israel. Every member of the union, and much of the general public has been exposed to the condemnatory text. Every NUJ reporter in Israel is enjoined to think before buying Israeli products. That means that the intent of the union is that every time a reporter buys a meal, pays for a hotel room, buys batteries, film or other supply, he or she is supposed to remember that Israel is an evil regime, apparently responsible in some way for the kidnapping of a BBC reporter! Few people could possibly be so stupid as to believe that this would not affect attitudes of reporters. The NUJ is either composed of cretins or they are insulting our intelligence.

NUJ also wrote:

we criticise those, including the Palestinian and Israeli authorities, when they act against journalists' freedom to report.

One would think that kidnapping a reporter would somewhat limit his "freedom to report."

NUJ further insults our intelligence with this statement:

It was pointed out in the debate that the year-long boycott of the Palestinian authority by the UK, the US and the European Union, not to mention the government of Israel, has led to a surge in the numbers of people who are unemployed, sick and dying because of the cessation of aid payments and revenue to the Palestinian authorities. This is a boycott of a democratically elected government.
The NUJ would presumably have boycotted Britain for blockading Nazi Germany, since that government was "democratically elected" as well. There can be no democratic elections in a society that is dominated by armed groups. A democracy cannot elect a party to power that is committed to genocide. The Hamas Charter advocates Genocide. Genocide is not "democratic." The wording of the above exposes the bias of the NUJ members who composed it, and indicates the sort of reporting that they consider "fair" and "unbiased," as does this:

"the general damage being done by the continued occupation. "
There is no Israeli occupation in Gaza. There are no Israeli troops in Gaza.

Hat tip - Maurice

Ami Isseroff



Text of message:

The NUJ's Centenary Annual Conference last week debated more than 200 motions on topics ranging from opposition to plans to neuter the UK Freedom of Information Act, to launching a Stand Up for Journalism campaign against low pay and job cuts throughout the media industry. The conference condemned press freedom violations in China, Russia, Pakistan and Zimbabwe, and a special session was held on the kidnapping of Alan Johnston in Gaza and the safety of journalists. Among the motions passed in the international debate was one calling among other things for the NUJ to support a "boycott of Israeli goods… led by trade unions and the TUC" in response to the situation in Palestine and last year's conflict in Lebanon.

The call for the boycott in part related it to the kidnap of Alan Johnston. The Palestinian journalists union has given huge support to the campaign for his release - holding demonstrations and strikes against the Palestinian authority to demand more action from them. We work closely with the Palestinian union through the International Federation of Journalists and the boycott call was a gesture of support for the Palestinian people - notably those suffering in the siege of Gaza, the community Alan Johnston has been so keen to help through his reporting.

The boycott call has nothing to do with reporting. The NUJ is not telling members how to report Israel - beyond its permanent injunctions to members to report independently and fairly on all matters, and not to produce racist or discriminatory copy. The union has not and never would adopt a line on how any issue should be reported. We stand for free reporting and free speech – and we criticise those, including the Palestinian and Israeli authorities, when they act against journalists' freedom to report.

It was pointed out in the debate that the year-long boycott of the Palestinian authority by the UK, the US and the European Union, not to mention the government of Israel, has led to a surge in the numbers of people who are unemployed, sick and dying because of the cessation of aid payments and revenue to the Palestinian authorities. This is a boycott of a democratically elected government.

The decision made by elected representatives at our conference was a decision of NUJ members as trade unionists and as citizens to try to help put pressure on the Israeli government to reverse its block of these payments, its refusal to recognise Palestinian journalists carrying the international press card and the general damage being done by the continued occupation.

This is not, as some critics have indicated, an institutional boycott. The NUJ will continue to seek to work with all its sister unions in the region, be they Israelis or Palestinians. In fact the NUJ has sought at every opportunity to find ways of making journalists on both sides of the divide work together to advance common issues that concern journalists And it will continue to act within the framework of the International Federation of Journalists for the unity of all journalists in the region.

Members who disagree with the decision can attend their branch, pass motions and seek to change the decision. The NUJ is a democratic union and it is the delegates at our conference each year – elected representatives of all the union's branches – who make the decisions.


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