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Hacks oppose boycott

by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2007-05-03



Journalists from all faiths and backgrounds are signing petitions for the National Union of Journalists to scrap a planned boycott of Israeli goods.

Last month, the Union voted to boycott Israel which sent shockwaves both within and outside the profession.

At the time, one journalist told SomethnigJewish: "This is disgusting. I don't see the NUJ boycotting products from Zimbabwe or calling for a boycott of products that are made in China as China has bad human rights," said one journalist to SomethingJewish. "I and others are seriously considering our membership."

Now, more journalists are coming forward and expressing anger at their Union.

Over at the BBC, technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones has started a blog to express his disgust. "This blog is simply aimed at managing a campaign by NUJ members at the BBC (and other broadcasters) to persuade the union to reverse a policy calling for a boycott of Israeli goods," the blog stated.

Among the high profile names that appear are political reporter Reeta Chakrabarti and media correspondent Nick Higham.

Next week, Union general secretary Jeremy Dear is due to meet with journalists to discuss the boycott.

Over at ITN, its journalists issued a statement saying: "As broadcasters and NUJ members we are dismayed at the passing of a motion at ADM calling for a boycott of Israeli goods. As members of organisations which take pride in providing impartial news coverage, we cannot associate ourselves with a move which involves taking sides in any conflict. We call on the union to hold a ballot of all members to see whether they support the view taken at ADM on an issue which could have a profound effect on the way all British journalists are viewed at home and abroad."

Among those signing their name were Channel 4 news anchor Jon Snow who added that he was "outraged" that his Union should stage such a boycott.