Ron Rosenbaum

THE BRITISH JOURNALISTS' BOYCOTT OF ISRAEL: Why Aren't American Journalistic Outlets....

…responding to the astonishing decision by the British Journalists ‘ Union to boycott Israeli goods? I’m surprised there hasn’t been more coverage of this remarkable matter. Having declared unequivocally their official bias in this contentious situation, can any report on the Middle East from a British reporter be accepted as “journalism” by any American journalistic outlet?

I don’t propose a boycott in response to a boycott, just–as a kind of full-disclosure measure–here’s a modest proposal: a little footnote appended to every Mideast report of a British journalist who voted for the boycott, that notes that “the reporter of this piece voted to boycott Israeli goods and the reader may judge his reporting on Israeli affairs accordingly.” I don’t see how the reporters would object since they must be proud of their vote and not displeased to have their views showcased.

I should note that all British journalists have not endorsed this vicious folly. It was recently denounced by the editor of The Guardian, Alan Rusbridger. And I don’t think this should apply to to opinion journalists, just to those who purport to report news objectively.

Wouldn’t disclosure be the appropriate response for all concerned? Have U.S. networks which recently demonstrated sensitivity to racial and gender slurs, ignore baldly-stated prejudice such as this? By a self-declared advocacy group. Like accepting “reporting” on racial matters from Strom Thurmond? (yes, i know he’s dead). Someone should put the question to them. Or consider it put, here.

On the other hand perhaps no action is necessary at all because the obvious prejudices of so many British journalists has been so amply documented by observers such as Tom Gross, as in the case of the proven, uncorrected inflammatory falsehoods about the events in Jenin in 2002 which one still hears repeated because of the failure of British journalists to acknowledge their monumental errors in that case. (See Tom Gross’ articles on that journalistic fraud reprinted in my anthology on contemporary anti-semitism Those Who Forget the Past) The disregard of truth in favor of prejudice in the case of Jenin is unforgettable, but alas, not unrepeatable. This shameful boycott proves it.