donderdag 19 april 2007

Britse journalisten vakbond stemt voor boycot Israel

De Britse Vakbond van Journalisten (NUJ) heeft onlangs een motie aangenomen die oproept tot een boycot van Israëlische goederen, en sancties door de Britse regering. Ik heb er persoonlijk, geen kenner zijnde van Britse gewoontes en cultuele tradities, moeite mee te begrijpen dat men zich met dit soort zeer politieke en omstreden zaken inlaat in plaats van te focussen op betere rechten van journalisten. Heerst er in bepaalde kringen al twijfel aan de objectiviteit van veel Britse journalisten (zowel de BBC als de Guardian als de Independent staan niet bepaald bekend om veel aandacht voor Israël's kant van de zaak), een dergelijke uitspraak is met enige poging tot evenwichtigheid totaal overenigbaar. Extra cynisch is de oorverdovende stilte die op de zitting van de NUJ heerste ten aanzien van de Britse journalist die drie weken eerder in Gaza was ontvoerd. Kan iemand een en ander anders uitleggen dan een extreme vooringenomenheid tegen Israël??


Jerusalem Post, April 15, 2007
UK reporters union to boycott Israel

Britain's National Union of Journalists denounced Israel on
Friday for its "military adventures" in Gaza and Lebanon, called
on the government to impose sanctions and urged a boycott of
Israeli goods.

By a vote of 66 to 54, the annual delegate's meeting of Britain's
largest trade union for journalists called for "a boycott of
Israeli goods similar to those boycotts in the struggles against
apartheid South Africa led by trade unions, and [for] the [Trades
Union Congress] to demand sanctions be imposed on Israel by the
British government."

Some of the union's 40,000 members decried its "trendy lefty"
agenda. Other motions before the four-day meeting in Birmingham,
which ends Sunday, included condemnations of the US detention
center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and support for Venezuelan
strongman Hugo Chavez.

# Irish artists' call for Israel boycott mocked
# The second Lebanon war: special report

The boycott motion was the third clause of a larger anti-Israel
resolution proposed by the union's South Yorkshire branch that
condemned Israel's "savage, pre-planned attack on Lebanon" last
summer and the "slaughter of civilians in Gaza" in recent years.

Motion 38 also called for supporting the NGOs Jews for Justice,
the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign and the Council for the
Advancement of British-Arab Understanding.

After an hour of debate, a motion to sever the boycott clause
from the condemnation motion was adopted. The motion condemning
Israel's "savage" behavior toward Palestinian civilians in the
wake of "the defeat of its army" by Hizbullah passed by a wide

Following two abortive hand counts, the boycott motion passed by
66 to 54.

The Daily Telegraph's Washington correspondent, Toby Harnden,
characterized the vote as "inane, ineffectual, counterproductive
and insulting to the intelligence."

"Why should my dues be spent on anti-Israel posturing of which I
and many other members want no part?" Harnden wrote on his
Telegraph blog, condemning the motion as "tendentious and
politically-loaded propaganda that would be rightly edited out of
any news story written in a newspaper that had any pretensions of

Craig McGinty, a freelance journalist and member of the Union of
Journalists asked on his blog, "How boycotting any nation's
goods, whether it's Israel, China or Umpah Lumpah Land will help
improve the lot of both staff and freelance journalists."

Former Guardian reporter and Yahoo Europe news director Lloyd
Shepherd quipped that he now looked "forward to similar boycotts
of Saudi oil (abuse of women and human rights), Turkish desserts
(limits to freedom of speech) and, of course, the immediate
replacement of all stationery in the NUJ's offices which has been
made or assembled in China."

On the same day the National Union of Journalists condemned
Israel, the organization's international affiliate, the
International Federation of Journalists, called on the
Palestinian Authority to secure the release of BBC correspondent
Alan Johnston, who was kidnapped five weeks ago by Palestinian
gunmen in Gaza.

IFJ general-secretary Aidan White urged the "Palestinian
government to do everything in its power to make sure [Johnston]
is released immediately."

The kidnapping had done "great harm not just to journalism but to
the development of the region in general by making it impossible
for journalists to work safely and report on developments there,"
he said.

Johnston's kidnapping was not on the NUJ's agenda.


NUJ votes to boycott Israeli goods
by Stephen Brook
Friday April 13, 2007,,2056882,00.html

The National Union of Journalists has voted at its annual meeting
for a boycott of Israeli goods as part of a protest against last
year's war in Lebanon.

Today's vote was carried 66 to 54 - a result that met with gasps
and a small amount of applause from the union delegates present.

The vote came during a series of motions on international affairs
and reads: "This ADM [annual delegate meeting] calls for a
boycott of Israeli goods similar to those boycotts in the
struggles against apartheid South Africa led by trade unions and
the TUC [Trades Union Congress] to demand sanctions be imposed on
Israel by the British government and the United Nations."

The motion was originally brought by the union's South Yorkshire
branch and opposed by the Cumberland branch, which said it was
too political and was not tied closely enough to journalistic

After a show of hands twice failed to give a clear result, union
scrutineers were called in and the doors to the conference room

The vote on the motion was taken after it was split from a larger
motion that condemned the "savage, pre-planned attack on Lebanon
by Israel" last year.

This motion, known as Composite B in Order Paper 4, was carried
by a large majority and also condemned the "slaughter of
civilians by Israeli troops in Gaza and the IDF's [Israeli
Defense Forces] continued attacks inside Lebanon following the
defeat of its army by Hezbollah".

The motion called for the end of Israeli aggression in Gaza and
other occupied territories.

The union's national executive committee has been instructed to
support organisations including the Palestinian Solidarity
Campaign, Jews for Justice in Palestine and the Council for the
Advancement of Arab-British Understanding.

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