Foreign Press Assoc. slams UK journalists' boycott

The Foreign Press Association has condemned a decision by Britain's National Union of Journalists to boycott Israeli goods, saying it runs "counter to core journalistic values." The FPA, which represents nearly 500 journalists from international news organizations covering Israel and the Palestinian areas, also criticized the British union for not mentioning the plight of Alan Johnston, the British Broadcast Corp. correspondent kidnapped in the Gaza Strip more than a month ago. Earlier this week, a previously unknown militant group said it had killed Johnston, who has not been seen or heard from since his March 12 abduction. Palestinian authorities have said they can't confirm the claim. The British journalists union's decision last Friday committed the 35,000-member group to boycott Israeli products. The British government has said it disagreed with the decision, but said it valued freedom of expression and would not interfere in what it called an internal discussion. In a statement issued late Wednesday, the FPA said the resolution "runs counter to the core journalistic values which we are here to uphold and defend, namely objectivity and balance."