Thursday, April 26, 2007

ADL Condemns British Union Of Journalists For Call To Boycott Israeli Products

New York, NY, April 16, 2007 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned a resolution passed by the British National Union of Journalists (NUJ) urging a boycott of Israeli products, calling the measure "highly politicized and blatantly biased."

The resolution, approved April 13 by a vote of 66 to 54 during the NUJ's Annual Delegate's Meeting, condemned the state of Israel for "the savage pre-planned attack on Lebanon" and the "slaughter of civilians in Gaza" and called for sanctions, including a proposed boycott of Israeli goods.

"It is shocking that a group representing journalists could approve such a highly politicized and blatantly biased statement, which is at odds with their profession's mandate to remain objective and unbiased observers," said Glen S. Lewy, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.

In a letter to Jeremy Dear, Secretary General of the NUJ, ADL said the resolution "violates the basic tenet of journalism – objectivity" and contradicts the union's own code of conduct, which calls for journalists to "eliminate distortion" and to ensure that "the information he/she disseminates is fair and accurate."

The NUJ resolution, "shockingly disregards key facts of the complex Arab-Israeli conflict, including Hezbollah's aggression against Israel in July 2006 and its seizure of Israeli soldiers from sovereign Israeli territory," added Messrs. Lewy and Foxman.

The union's action follows several recent high-profile attempts by UK-based groups to encourage boycotts against Israel, including the Association of University Teachers, which approved -- then later abandoned -- a boycott of Israeli universities. Earlier this month, Aosdana, Ireland's state-sponsored academy of creative artists, voted on a motion to "end all cooperation" with Israeli state-sponsored cultural events and institutions. The motion was defeated and condemned by the Irish government.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.