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Wed 18 Apr 2007 08:00 PM

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Britain's NUJ boycotts Israel

The journalists' union has voted to shun Israeli goods after last year's 'savage' attack on Lebanon.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) called for a boycott on Israeli goods in its annual conference last week in protest against Israel's attack on Lebanon.

Britain's largest trade union for journalists called for Britain and the UN to impose sanctions on Israel. The union denounced Israel for what it called its 'savage, pre-planned attack' on Lebanon and the 'slaughter of civilians' in Gaza.

However Jeremy Dear, general secretary for the NUJ, put out a statement on the union's website explaining that the boycott was just one of the many motions passed in the debate and that the union was acting in support of journalist rights in places like Palestine and Israel.

"The conference condemned press freedom violations in China, Russia, Pakistan and Zimbabwe, and a special session was held on the kidnapping of Alan Johnston in Gaza and the safety of journalists. Among the motions passed in the international debate was one calling among other things for the NUJ to support a 'boycott of Israeli goods... led by trade unions and the TUC' in response to the situation in Palestine and last year's conflict in Lebanon," said Mr Dear.

"The boycott call has nothing to do with reporting. The NUJ is not telling members how to report Israel. We stand for free reporting and free speech."

The NUJ said that members who disagreed with the motion could attend the organisation's branch and seek to change the decision.

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