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Sunday, April 15, 2007

NUJ boycotts Israel

The National Union of Journalists has voted at its annual delegates meeting to boycott Israeli goods. The motion was in response to last summer's events and aimed to “condemn the savage, pre-planned attack on Lebanon” last summer and the “slaughter of civilians in Gaza.”

No mention was made of the Palestinian Government's policy of supporting and organising suicide bombing against Israeli civilians. They also seemed to get their facts wrong about the war; was it not Hizbollah that launched an attack across the border, on Israeli territory, which resulted in the deaths of several soldiers and the capture of two? No mention was made of their whereabouts; are they still alive? The Red Cross nor any government has been able to verify if they are still alive as they have not been allowed access.

I do not want to make this blog political. But harking back to my old English teacher, Rory Delargy, "everything is political." Alan Johnston, government minister, recently asking for YouTube to police content, for example, shows communications and politics are inextricably linked.

Anyway, the actions of the NUJ seem very one sided. We should be looking to apply equally or not at all if the NUJ are going to solve all the world's ills. I suggest the following to start with:

  • Sudan for murdering 400,000 in Darfur since February 2003
  • Iran for oppressive treatment and torture of dissident views as well as threatening genocide
  • China for massive human rights abuses and illegal occupation and suppression of Tibet
  • North Korea for suppression of human rights and experimentation on those viewed as politically unreliable
  • Saudi for human rights abuses and torture
  • Zimbabwe for too many things to list
  • Australia for treatment of the Aborigines
  • USA for Iraq
Much of the world has cases to answer. The NUJ surely has the interests of its members to answer as Craig McGinty points out in his blog.

I think Telegraph journalist Toby Harnden puts things into perspective and has experience in the middle east. Maybe the NUJ should have read this before delegates acted on a proposal that many members probably do not want.

I am getting back to communications, as politics free as possible, tomorrow.


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