Journalists say no to boycott

By Charlotte Oliver, April 14, 2014

A motion calling on the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) to boycott Israeli goods has been overwhelmingly defeated at the union’s biannual conference.

The proposal, which was put forward by the London Magazine branch, was rejected after NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet told delegates that it would put the lives of journalists working in the Middle East in danger.

Dermot Kehoe, CEO of Israel advocacy group Bicom, welcomed the move. He said the union understood that boycotts were inconsistent with journalistic ethics and “counter-productive to the search for peaceful coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians”.

A spokesperson for Fair Play — the Board of Deputies’ and Jewish Leadership Council’s joint anti-boycott campaign — said: “Seven years ago, the NUJ voted to boycott Israel, provoking a major backlash from serious journalists. Today, the union has renounced this path and has chosen another, better way that is true to the journalistic values of neutrality and fairness”.

The National Union of Students decided to defer a debate on a boycott motion at its national conference.

Last updated: 4:27pm, April 17 2014