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Wiesenthal Center condemns journalist boycott

The Simon Wiesenthal Center asked a British media watchdog to sanction journalists who called for a boycott of Israeli goods. In a letter to Sir Christopher Meyer, chairman of the British Press Complaints Commission, the Wiesenthal Center’s director for international relations, Shimon Samuels, called the boycott approved April 13 by the National Union of Journalists discriminatory and a violation of European Union provisions. Samuels urged the commission “to sanction any British journalist who propagates or promotes this boycott through print or audiovisual media.” At its annual delegates’ meeting, Britain’s largest journalists’ union narrowly approved a call for “a boycott of Israeli goods similar to those boycotts in the struggles against apartheid in South Africa.” The move echoes a call last year by some British academics for a boycott of their Israeli colleagues. Some saw the boycott call as particularly one-sided given that BBC journalist Alan Johnston, who was kidnapped by Palestinians in Gaza, has been held for more than a month amid claims that he has been killed.