British Journalists March for Palestine

Did you like the film Groundhog Day? Well, even if you didn't you will know what I mean by a "Groundhog Day" sequence of events.

Two years ago I wrote in my diary about my anguish and hurt over the behavior of my fellow journalists at an NUJ (National Union of Journalists) magazine branch meeting. You may ask, "What is a good conservative lass doing hanging out with a trade union crowd?" Okay, I admit: I am a union member in Britain because I do think we workers need protection. In fact, that is why I think the NUJ exists, but every time I go to a meeting the obsession is not jobs or wages but -- you guessed it -- evil Israel!

I have not been feeling well from time to time and had to miss my branch meeting -- known as a "chapel" (apologies to all you Christian Zionists out there) -- on May 11 but received this email the following morning regarding events in Bloomsbury and then in Trafalgar Square on Saturday, May 16:

Last night's monthly meeting of the NUJ London Magazine Branch passed motions committing the branch to send delegations on two demonstrations. ...

Branch members will be meeting beside the branch banner outside the University of London Union in Malet Street, WC1, at 11:30 a.m. to join the first:

Remember Gaza -- End the siege now!; Free Palestine -- end Israeli occupation. ...

End the arms trade! ... The demonstration is called by: Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition, British Muslim Initiative, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and Palestinian Forum in Britain.

Groundhog Day!

Why?

In 2007 I sat down and wrote about the abject hatred displayed towards me at an NUJ meeting; I should explain and chronicle the British boycott saga for an American PJM readership.

This is not a sudden phenomenon. Professor Steven Rose, with his wife Hilary, in response to Israeli military actions in the terrorist-occupied territories, advocated the initiation of a boycott of Israeli academics in a widely disseminated letter to the Guardian newspaper on April 6, 2002. This caused a national stir and soon the boycott gained momentum and widespread support in British academia and beyond. Throughout the past seven years since the Rose letter they have become "regulars" in the British media. In 2009 boycotting Israel is a national passion.

In the summer of 2007 a group of some 150 British doctors and consultants signed a letter published on various Muslim websites condemning Israeli policies towards the Palestinians and demanding an end to cooperation with Israeli medical associations. In addition, the Royal Institute of British Architects and associated groups are discussing rekindling their previous attempt to boycott relationships with Israel. (The idea that Jewish architects in Israel are somehow complicit in immoral activity is bizarre.)