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Journalists’ Group Switch Meeting from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv Under Arab Journalists’ Pressure

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has decided to hold the next meeting of its bureau November 14-16 in Tel Aviv instead of in Jerusalem, as it had originally planned to do, after four Arab jounalists lodged protests, the IFJ secretary-general, Thee Bogaerts, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. The Arab joumalists are members of the Federation of Arab Jounalists, a Baghdad-based organization.

The Brussels-based IFJ, which includes groups affiliated with national unions of professional journalists from 25 countries, including Israel, had decided last January at a meeting in West Germany to hold its next bureau meeting in Jerusalem, in conformity with a proposal by the representative of the Federation of Israeli Journalists, Roman Frister, who is also a member of the IFJ’s bureau. The decision to meet in Jerusalem was approved last June at the IFJ’s world congress in Edinburgh. The only Arab-member country in the IFJ is Tunisia.

The decision for the IFJ bureau to meet in Tel Aviv rather than in Jerusalem took place after the IFJ president, Kenneth Ashton of Britain, contacted the president of the Federation of Israeli Journalists, Yona Chimsi.