Wednesday, April 25, 2007

British Journalist Union calls for boycott of Israeli goods

As a protest against the "savage, pre-planned attack on Lebanon by Israel" last year, the British 'National Union of Journalists' (NUJ) voted 66-54 in favour of boycotting Israeli goods, "similar to those boycotts in the struggles against apartheid South Africa led by trade unions," and called for the Brit Trade Union Congress to demand "sanctions be imposed on Israel by the British government and the United Nations." And although many of the 40,000 members were not in agreement:
"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",
the fact that it passed, at all, is a disgrace, considering there are countries far worthier of boycotting than Israel. And why are journalists calling for a boycott of goods in the first place? They're journalists, right? Wouldn't they be better served to call for a boycott of countries that censor their press? Like Russia, that has just demanded, of the Russian News Service, that at least 50% of all news about Russia be "positive" and that "opposition leaders could not be mentioned on the air and the United States was to be portrayed as an enemy." What about China? And most, if not all, countries in the Middle-East? In that region, Israel stands out as an oasis of democracy in a wasteland of intolerance; bereft of both personal and press freedom. Why are they singling out Israel?! The NUJ also condemned the "slaughter of civilians in Gaza" in recent years," and "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 margin." What about all the carnage that the Palestinians, Hizbullah etc. have been perpetrating on the Israeli people, for decades? Does that not count, too? And what about the fact that those terrorist groups use civilians as shields, so if there are civilian casualties it is often a direct result of those vile and cowardly tactics?!

In response to the NUJ vote, Chas Newkey-Burden writes a blistering critique of British Journalism and its blatant hatred of Israel saying:

"The BBC refuses to describe suicide bombers who blow up buses full of schoolchildren as "terrorists" and one of its correspondents told a Hamas rally that he and his colleagues were “waging the campaign shoulder-to-shoulder with the Palestinian people”

Criticized by fellow journalists for a trip to Israel, he relates how, upon his return, he

"met up with some journalists for some drinks in the West End of London. I was again abused for my trip. Their hatred of Israel was matched only by their adoration of the Palestinians. One of them gushed: “Boy, those suicide bombers have got guts. I wish more people in the world had their courage.” Another of them erupted when I told him that most people in Israel wanted a peaceful settlement to the conflict. “So why,” he asked, “did they murder their most peaceful Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu?" Well, I guess if you’re going to get your facts wrong you might as well get them spectacularly wrong – I wonder if anyone else has ever got Netanyahu confused with Yitzhak Rabin?"

It looks like Britain is going to slip, very easily, into the hands of radical Islam (and without as much as a fight), when their own 'western' journalists glorify suicide bombers as "courageous." Whether any of this has to do with the fact that BBC correspondent Alan Johnston was kidnapped 5 weeks ago, by Palestinian gunmen, is up for debate.

And, once again, the asinine comparison to Israel as an apartheid state is brought to the fore, with the call for a boycott. The following video sets the record straight in terms of what truly constitutes "Apartheid":

For more on press censorship go to Reporters Without Borders.


Lambent said...

You have such a biased point of view on this. I can assure that the NUJ are a)Far, far more intelligent than you are; b)Far, far more aware of who is at fault in the Middle East; c) Know what the definition of a terrorist is; d) Far more informed than you are.

I can also assure that the BBC are far more independent than any of the US networks that you so often use and quote from in these pages. The amount of information and topics I see covered by Fox that magically appear within a day on your site explains a lot.

And you began this post with one topic and then went on to relate it with freedom of press issues. Do you not think the NUJ ARE doing a lot about freedom of press issues? Do you suggest they sort that out before anything else? How about doing two things at once?

And thanks for quoting Chas here, one of Britain's formost football journalists! Hmmmm.

Sanctions on Israel - I back them fully and they should only be lifted when Israel learns to behave like a modern democracy, not an American funded bully of the Middle East.

Incognito said...

And you don't have a biased POV Lambent/Troika, or whatever? You sure you're not female? You have more user names, than Imelda Marcos had shoes. I can't keep up.

I assume you mean the journalists who are members of the NUJ, because a Union wouldn't be considered intelligent, per se. And I think they are just as biased because they see things through their skewed POV. There are journalists who believe the opposite. So who is right, then, Mr. Lambent?

AS for the BBC, they are decidely left and totally biased. Always have been. Just like CNN. 2 peas in a pod. And actually, I have used as many Brit articles from Brit news sources as I have any other news source, if you care to check it out. I also happen to use other European sources as well.. Check it out.

My POINT, was that being a union of *Journalists*, they should stick to Press issues.

As for Chas... he may be Britain's foremost football journalists, but he not exclusively a sports reporter....and, as you so cleverly put it... How about doing 2 things at once?. According to Wikipedia: *He is a regular studio guest on television and radio discussing a range of topics including football, celebrity culture and The Middle East.*

So do you think that all non-democratic-bully countries should be sanctioned? That would mean half the world, buddy.
Cheers, and thanks for keeping your post p.g. rated.

Biby Cletus said...

Nice post, its a really cool blog that you have here, keep up the good work, will be back.

Warm Regards

Biby Cletus - Blog

Incognito said...

thank you Biby.. You have an interesting site, as well.

Lambent said...

Erm...he wrote his Wiki entry, as all journo's do. He really is known for his footbal stuff, not politics. Especially Arsenal, whom I happen to support.

And as far as slagging off Briain's journalism goes, it would take a fool to try and find any country in the world that has anywhere in comparison to the quality of journalism on Fleet Street.

We've been in the game since before the civilised world knew your country ever existed. you must remember that your country is still a teenager in the big scheme of things. We've forgotten things that you haven't even learnt yet. You are the first country to ever go from ignorance to affluence without passing through civilisation on the way.

Panhandle Poet said...

It seems the majority of the world is laying down for radical jihadist Islam. Is it fear? Or, is it the constant barrage of liberal pandering gibberish from the lightly cloaked, socialist soaked, mainstream media -- of which I agree, the BBC is one of the worst. Fred Thompson has an interesting commentary on how the world's educational systems are re-writing history because of the jihadists. It can be viewed at

Blazing Cat Fur said...

Lambent if you would conduct a simple Google search on Self-Admitted BBC bias and actually took the time to read something relevant for a change I might give consideration to your opinions. Otherwise you are just another drink-sodden ex-pat, bigotted, envious, & embittered, longing for the false glory of your colonial past.

Bert Bananas said...

"You are the first country to ever go from ignorance to affluence without passing through civilisation on the way."

The hubris behind this declaration is stunning. And I'm sure Lambent is suitably stunned at being who she is; stunned but not stunning.

As with any thing in print, just because it's in print doesn't make it true.

Any outsider examining a two-party situation in which he holds no visible stake doesn't necessarily have to take a side. Those who do make a choice often feel the need to support, to one degree or another, that choice. But we're all outsiders. Unless one of you is an Israeli or a Palestinian what you "think" isn't all that relevant or important.

Interestingly, I am aware that there are Israelis who want to end the violence by 'giving away the farm.' Are there any Palestinians who voice the opinion to 'leave Israel alone'? (And if there were, what do you think would happen to him?)

Incognito said...

LAMBENT: I'm not denigrating British journalism as a whole, but the BBC (like CNN) is decidedly biased... and if you google "BBC Bias" 84,000 entries confirm that opinion.

And it's kind of interesting that you mention this country moved from ignorance to affluence (not sure about the connection b/w the 2 you are trying to make, but...) CONSIDERING it was the Brits who populated this country to begin with. Are you then saying the Brits who came here were ignorant?
And this country is one of the most civilized in the world. I think we have done pretty well, considering we are still in our "teens".

PANHANDLE: I think it is probably a little of both. Thanks for the link.. I will check it out!

BCF: Oops.. I just googled BBC Bias.. will check out self-admitted. As well.

BERTB: Well, said. Lambent, by the way, is a male, ex-pat Brit living in Hong Kong.

Anonymous said...

This is appalling for any press organization to take this kind of an activist thats some unbiased reporting for you, Lambent! Can we US snot-nosed teens borrow the keys to the lorry? Mayhaps we'll find some civilization whilst your press is too busy writing policy instead of reporting it.

Not that our press is any better!