8 March 2016
Dear Sisters and Brothers in the GSOC-UAW Local 2110,
Warm greetings from occupied Palestine,
As we approach the 68th anniversary of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the 49th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Palestinians are calling for international solidarity with our struggle for freedom, justice and equality, including by endorsing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel’s regime of occupation, colonization and apartheid.
Palestinians have been facing an escalating wave of terror attacks by extremist Israeli settlers on Christian and Islamic holy places, with full protection from the most racist government in Israel’s history. The illegal and inhumane siege of Gaza continues, and Israel’s Incremental and systematic campaign of dispossession and expulsion of entire Palestinian communities has intensified, particularly in Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley and the Naqab (Negev).
Extrajudldal executions of young Palestinians resisting injustice have increased sharply and so did the Israeli policy of collective punishment. Palestinian workers are facing an exceptional level of repression and humiliation at military checkpoints and as a result or Israel’s revocation of many of their work permits.
Labor union delegations have witnessed these human rights violations during their visits to the occupied Palestinian territory, where they met Palestinian trade union leaders and the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU). These experiences have persuaded many to translate their principled solidarity with the just Palestinian struggle to effective measures similar to those adopted by the international labor movement against apartheid South Africa.
We appeal to GSOC-UAW Local 2110 to adopt BDS “in connection with companies and investments profiting from or complicit in human rights violations arising from the occupation of the Palestinian Territories by the state of Israel and to urge its affiliates and related pension and annuity funds to adopt similar strategies.”
The Palestinian-led, global BDS movement, which enjoys the support of the overwhelming majority In Palestinian society, including all trade union federations, has proven its effectiveness in holding to account Israel and the corporations and institutions that are complicit in its occupation and violations of human rights. BDS has raised the price of these violations and given our people, including our workers, hope that one day we can live in freedom and dignity.
We reiterate our call on all International labor and professional unions and associations to endorse BDS against Israel until it fully compiles with its obligations under international law. A top priority, in this respect, is to divest all pension and investment funds from banks and companies that are implicated in Israel’s human rights violations.
We also call for ending contracts with companies that profit from Israeli crimes, such as G4S, HP, Caterpillar, and all Israeli banks that finance the occupation, including the settlements and the wall, all illegal under international law.
The Palestine labor movement and professional syndicates stand against all forms of racism, discrimination, violations of human rights, and the exploitation of workers in Palestine, the United States and elsewhere. We stand with all struggles for racial, social and economic justice.
Together, we can build a better, more just world.
– General Union of Palestinian Workers (GUPW)
– General Union of Palestinian Women
– Union of Palestinian Professional Associations (Palestinian Engineers Syndicate; Palestinian Pharmacists Syndicate; Palestinian Doctors Syndicate; Palestinian Dentists Syndicate)
– General Federation of Independent Trade Unions in Palestine (GFITUP)
– The Palestinian New Federation of Trade Unions (PNFTU)