Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Gone round the bend, mate

Forgive me if I don't say more about the massacre at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute. I have a kid in grad school, and I can't bring myself to think about it.

Just a thought, though, about Professor Liviu Librescu, a Holocaust survivor and Israeli who moved to Virginia in 1986 and who was a mechanical engineering lecturer. He threw himself in front of students who were being targeted by the killer yesterday (April 16, 2007) and paid with his life. All the students, however, survived because of his heroism.

I wouldn't be surprised if, in Britain, he will be vilified as somehow responsible for the shooting. Ridiculous? Read on.

As some of you know, I am a journalist -- have been one for close to 40 years. I'm proud of my craft and most of the people who practice it. But not all.

At its annual conference a few days ago, the British National Union of Journalists voted by a narrow margin (66-54) to boycott Israeli goods because (wait for it) "savage, pre-planned attack on Lebanon by Israel" and "continued attacks inside Lebanon following the defeat of its army by Hezbollah." Never mind that Hezbollah, a recognized by the same Great Britain as a terrorist organization, started the war by lobbing rockets and missiles into Israel.

Wait, it gets better. The motion also called for a halt to Israeli aggression in Gaza. Never mind that Israel pulled out of Gaza in the summer of 2005, tearing thousands of its citizens from their homes in the hope (up to now vain) for peace.

These fat-headed weasels next will be blaming the Israelis for one of their own getting slaughtered by the Arabs in this same Gaza.

Here's what Honest Reporting had to say.

"While we condemn this ridiculous and self-defeating display of anti-Israel bias by the NUJ, we also recognize that this boycott was voted on by a very small number of people and potentially against the wishes of many ordinary NUJ members. The most effective way of overturning this motion and boycott is from within the NUJ itself. We therefore urge those members of the union who possess a conscience to take action and register their protests to the NUJ.
"If this boycott is allowed to stand, it will be impossible to treat any British journalism from Israel or the Palestinian territories seriously."

I've been to national journalism conferences in this country and sometimes the participants get a little carried away, but even at our most hung over, we would not seriously entertain libel such as this by the British union.

So, we will say thanks to Professor Librescu for his heroism. I'm sure the parents of the students he saved will bless his memory. And perhaps the British journalists who libeled a nation will find the time to read about the Israeli soldiers who gave their lives in Lebanon so that Israelis and Lebanese could live without the scourge of armed terrorists at the door.

This is being sent to the general secretary of the British National Union of Journalists. Like the one sent to Reporters Without Borders last year, I don't expect a reply, but if I get one, I will post it.

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