Just some quick thoughts on how much progress our campaign for a ballot on the boycott has made. Our petition to the National Executive has now been signed by more than 300 BBC members.
BBC London branch has passed a motion calling for a ballot - and other motions calling for the policy to be dropped have been passed by chapels or branches in Manchester, Belfast, the Observer, and ITN. The Broadcasting Industrial Council has also described the boycott as "problematic".
The policy committee of the National Executive will discuss the issue in June - but the full National Executive will not consider our motion until July. Plenty of union officials are suggesting that nothing can be done, that ADM is the supreme policy-making body, and that we will just have to wait until next year's conference to try to reverse the policy. We need to get more branches to pass motions before July to convince the executive that they can't get away with just sitting on their hands.
Here is some news from the Times Higher Education Supplement illustrating the damage done to our reputation for impartiality:
"Steven Weinberg, who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1979, was planning to visit Imperial College London in July to speak in honour of Pakistani physicist Abdus Salam and to give a talk at a conference on particle physics.
But in a letter, reproduced in today's Times Higher, to his host at Imperial, Michael Duff, Professor Weinberg said he already had mixed feelings about visiting the UK because he perceived a "widespread anti-Israel and anti-Semitic current" running through British opinion.
He decided to cancel the engagement after the National Union of Journalists voted to boycott Israeli products at its annual meeting in April. "
On another matter, I have rejected a number of comments to this blog - not because I wanted to censor them but because they were anonymous and so not clearly from NUJ members. This is meant to be a forum for union members - whatever their views on the issue.