UK National Union of Journalists To Support BDS?January 29, 2014 10:20 by Pesach Benson
Here’s a boycott of Israel that will make the American Studies Association look like a walk in the park.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Britain’s National Union of Journalists will discuss boycotting Israel and formally throwing its support behind the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement (BDS).
Jake Wallis Simons writes:
It is my understanding that at the NUJ’s Delegate Meeting in April, a motion will be tabled calling for the following:
1. To encourage members to boycott Israeli products and back lecturers and other professionals who refuse to cooperate with Israeli institutions.
2. To write to the BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] Movement declaring the union’s support for the campaign.
The bias of the proposed NUJ motion is clear. It explicitly states that, “just as the boycott Apartheid campaign finally helped to bring an end to racist injustice in South Africa, a similar campaign against Israel can help end bloodshed there”.
The NUJ and its 38,000 members have been down this road before. In 2007, members voted to boycott Israeli products, ostensibly to protest Israel’s war in Lebanon. Less than three months later, the union scrapped the boycott. The timing raised questions that the NUJ’s move was a pandering ploy to help free abducted BBC reporter Alan Johnston.
Bottom line, you can’t call yourself an objective journalist if you support the boycott of the country you cover. Journalism has to be outside the realm of politics.
If this motion does come to a vote, NUJ members should disclose their votes. It’s in the public’s interest to know.
And if the motion passes, the journalism of its members working in Israel will have zero credibility.