NUJ rejects boycott of Israel

April 14, 2014 at 10:46 am (israel, media, Middle East, palestine, posted by JD, unions, workers)


 From the NUJ website, 13 April 2014

The National Union of Journalism voted against a motion to support a boycott of all Israeli goods and support the Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

Delegates at Eastbourne were told by Michelle Stanistreet that journalists working in the Middle East, Palestine and occupied territories would be put in jeopardy if the motion was passed. She stressed that the boycott motion would be decided by the NUJ conference and not by outside bodies, but it was a decision which must reflect the interests and safety of our own members.

She pointed out that the NUJ’s colleagues in Palestine had not asked the union to introduce a boycott.

Simon Vaughan, representing BBC London said that his branch and the group representing Mothers and Fathers of Chapel of all BBC branches had been mandated to oppose the motion because they believe it will make the lives of their colleagues covering events in that part of the world very difficult.

Alan Gibson, of London Magazine branch, who proposed the motion, said he wanted to join Stephen Hawkins [sic -JD] and Noam Chomsky, as well as other unions and MPs who supported the BDS movement.  He said the union needed to show that it was standing up against the biggest bully in the world, the Israeli state.

Conference did pass a motion condemning the Israeli authorities for preventing the movement of Palestine journalists between the West Bank and East Jerusalem and the refusal to accredit journalists with press cards, so they can do their job.

The motion committed the union to renew the campaign led by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) to convince the Israeli authorities to recognise its press cards in the occupied territories of Palestine. The NUJ agreed that it would continue to work with its sister union in Palestine.

Jim Boumelha, president of the IFJ, and Paul Holleran, NUJ Scottish organiser, are due to go Palestine as part of this campaign.

Jim Boumelha said:

“For the past 25 years, we have campaigned in solidarity with Palestine and their journalists who face day after day of humiliation from the Israeli authorities, even if they have the right papers. They face constant harassment and arrest and that is why the union must continue to campaign for the recognition of the press card.”



  1. NUJ rejects boycott of Israel | OzHouse said,

    […] Apr 14 2014 by admin […]

  2. dagmar said,

    “Stephen Hawkins”? Stephen Hawking, surely. Quality “journalism” at the NUJ HQ there. If you don’t have subbing the person doing the typing needs to at least vaguely know what/who he/she is writing about.

    • Jim Denham said,

      Ah! I didn’t notice that. Obviously, the NUJ website could do with a proof-reader. Have slightly amended the main post accordingly.

      Perhaps more significant is the extraordinary claim, attributed to the mover of the resolution, that Israel is “the biggest bully in the world.” I notice that today’s ‘Morning Star’ report tones it down to “one of the biggest bullies in the world”…’

  3. Lamia said,

    “Trade unionists in antisemitic obsession shock….”

  4. richardarmbach said,

    Israel will collapse under the weight of its internal contradictions a la apartheid South Africa and the Soviet Union. BDS is a mere helping hand.

    • Jim Denham said,

      …you hope.

    • Babs said,

      It’s not a very good comparison. South Africa and the USSR both had very unpopular regimes with the vast majority of the people against it. The economy of the USSR was very inefficient, South Africa was under pressure economically due to the divestment movement and the elites of both countries decided to throw in the towel. None of the above apply to Israel, in fact it’s the complete opposite.

      • richardarmbach2 said,

        I didnt say the internal contradictions were the same.

      • Babs said,

        So what will make Israel collapse like Apartheid South Africa and the USSR did?

  5. richardarmbach said,

    My hopes and fears are hardly relevant. To put it at its very simplest, Zionism had its chance and blew it.

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