Petition Protesting Sweeney AFL-CIO Support For Israeli Invasion
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To: AFL-CIO Executive Council and Officers
The Executive Board
We, the undersigned labor unionists, deplore the fact that AFL-CIO President John Sweeney recently associated U.S. labor’s name with support for the Israeli invasion of the West Bank, which has resulted in the widespread death and destruction of the Palestinian people and property.
We are shocked that President Sweeney appeared at a Washington, D.C., press conference with Bush administration officials, and among others, Benjamin Netanyahu of the Israeli extreme right-wing.
It would be more appropriate for the highest official in U.S. labor to be meeting with peace groups in Israel and the United States. It would be a sign of great leadership to call for teach-ins in every U.S. Labor Council so that workers could learn and debate the complexities of the Mid-east crisis.
We fail to see how collaboration with U.S. foreign policy in this horrific aggression can advance the cause of world peace or improve the lives of the U.S. people or the Israeli and Palestinian people.
All the world knows that the murderous assault on the Palestinians with the most modern tanks, helicopters, and missiles is financed by our taxes. It is imperative that our labor leadership demand the demilitarization of our economy and specifically educate workers on the perils of an almost $400 billion military budget that undermines funding for our schools, housing, health care, and social security. The present situation invites the U.S. military-industrial complex to reach into every corner of the globe to protect U.S. multinational corporations as they loot the world’s resources and exploit foreign labor.
We recognize that to dissent from U.S. foreign policy would be an act of courage. It would also be an electrifying act of hope for working and poor people everywhere who have so much to lose from what appears to be permanent war.
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