Tel Aviv Agreement Opens Door to Return of Israeli Journalists to IFJ Membership

The International Federation

of Journalists (IFJ) and the National Federation of Israel Journalists (NFIJ)

have reached an agreement to end a split between the two groups.

An agreement on a package of

measures to improve relations, including a proposal to end a dispute over

non-payment of fees to the international, was reached in talks in Tel Aviv on

Monday evening.

"A damaging and difficult

period is behind us," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "Both sides are

committed to work together to bring Israeli journalists back into the centre of

IFJ work."

The meeting was attended by

leaders of two major journalists' unions in Europe,

including Franco Siddi, General Secretary of the Federazione Nazionale Della

Stampa Italiana, who with the support of the Deutscher Journalisten Verband

called for mediation between the two sides after the NFIJ was expelled by the

IFJ in June.

"The atmosphere was frank and

honest but always in the best spirit of unionism," said White. "We are agreed

to put the bickering of the past months behind us and start a new phase of

co-operation."

Among the proposals that will

be put before IFJ leaders for endorsement by the Federation's Executive

Committee which meets in London

later this month are:

·       

An annual meeting between IFJ and NFIJ leaders to

review and monitor relations;

·       

An invitation to Israeli journalists to join a meeting

of Mediterranean journalists'   unions to be held in Sardinia

next year;

·       

Organisation of a seminar in Israel to

discuss the IFJ's Ethical Journalism Initiative, the global campaign for

standards in media;

·       

Fresh engagement of Israeli journalists in the

industrial work of the IFJ's European section, the European Federation of

Journalists;

·       

Organisation of a preparatory meeting with the support

of the Deutscher Journalisten Verband to encourage a new dialogue between Israeli

and Palestinian affiliates of the IFJ

"We have an agreement which

if it holds will further strengthen IFJ work and which can benefit the whole

community of journalists both inside Israel and around the region," said White.

"We are all grateful to our Italian and German colleagues for their goodwill

and help. It gives real meaning to notion of union solidarity."

For more

information contact the IFJ at

  +32 2 235 2207       

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists

in 123 countries worldwide