Monday, April 16, 2007

Inane, ineffectual, counter-productive and insulting to the intelligence

That's what The Telegraph's Toby Harnden has to say about the boycott of Israeli goods by the British National Union of Journalists (NUJ). Why, you might ask, would journalists boycott a country's goods? Excellent question! According to Mr. Harnden, a member of the NUJ,
because of the "savage, pre-planned attack on Lebanon by Israel".

You might ask:
Israel's "savage, pre-planned attack" on Lebanon? Er, am I missing something or wasn't last summer's conflict sparked by Hezbollah firing rockets and mortars at Israeli border villages and kidnapping two Israeli soldiers (who still have not been released) and killing three other troops?

Harnden goes on:
[I]f the NUJ is going to go in for this sort of posturing, how about boycotting goods from countries that really abuse human rights? A glance down the list of NUJ motions reveals a childish fixation with trendy-Leftie causes. There's a Guantanamo motion that expresses "concern" (that'll make a difference) about "the systematic violation of human rights by the US Military".

Another "applauds the advances made by the Venezuelan people and government in redistributing the country's wealth" and condemns "disinformation" that encourages "unjustified stereotypes of the Venezuelan president as a dictator who is repressing the local media".

So the NUJ is now dictating that its members should all write that Hugo Chavez is a great chap? Clear the front pages. And if you read the anti-Israel motions, you will spot a complete absence of any sense of journalistic impartiality. The "slaughter of civilians" by Israel is condemned (no mention of suicide bombings or human rights abuses by Palestinian militias, needless to say), as is the "savage, pre-planned attack on Lebanon by Israel" and "continued attacks inside Lebanon following the defeat of its army by Hezbollah".

Well worth your time.

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