Category Archives: LFP Statements

Video: UAW, Time to Stand Against Israeli Apartheid

Labor and Palestine, Part II:
UAW, Time to Stand Against Israeli Apartheid

In this teach-in, we will analyze the role of American organized labor in the struggle for racial and economic justice, specifically looking at the political economy of the Israeli occupation and the ways in which it is analogous to the apartheid regime used in South Africa before 1994. We will discuss how we as members can take action to advocate for justice within our union.

Leila Farsakh is an Associate Professor at University of Massachusetts Boston. She has worked with the OECD and the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute. Her work concerns Palestinian labor flows, the Oslo Process, international migration and regional integration.

Suzanne Adely is a global labor rights activist, co-chair of the National Lawyers Guild International Committee, and co-convener of Labor for Palestine.

Co-sponsored by NYU Students for Justice in Palestine, International Socialist Organization – NYU Branch, and NYU Law Students for Justice in Palestine.

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Labor for Palestine to NYC Council Members: Don’t Tour Apartheid Israel

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Don't Tour Apartheid Israel

NYC Council Members: Don’t Tour Apartheid Israel
Labor for Palestine, February 22, 2015

We condemn the participation of fifteen NYC council members* in an all-expense-paid junket to Israel this month, sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York. As a coalition of grassroots organizations have pointed out, “this trip is the equivalent of crossing an international picket line,” thereby betraying both the labor and racial justice movements that City Council members claim to support.

Fatin Jarara of Al-Awda NY: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition explains: “On this trip they would no doubt be shielded from the checkpoints, the settlements, the separation wall, the refugee camps, the destroyed homes and schools, and all of the other elements that make up the apartheid, colonial state that continues to occupy Palestine.”

The Dream Defenders’ 2014 delegation to Palestine says: “We believe this City Council trip would be a dangerous symbolic gesture of normalizing Israeli’s apartheid state. . . . We know Israeli training forces have a long mentoring relationship with NYPD, and if you stand with oppressed people and against police brutality here at home, you must stand with oppressed people and against state violence abroad.”

Indeed, Israel’s systematic violation of human rights parallels, on even larger scale, police brutality against communities of color in this country that claims the lives of one African American every twenty-eight hours.

Thus, while police murdered Eric Garner in Staten Island and Mike Brown in Ferguson last summer, Israel massacred at least 2,200 Palestinians in Gaza (including more than 500 children), while killing many other Palestinians in the West Bank and 1948 PalestineSince 2000 alone, Israel has killed more than 8,896 Palestinians; at least 1,895 have been children.

Just as police violence in the U.S. reflects the ongoing system of racial injustice upon this country was founded, Israel’s crimes are rooted in more than a century of Zionist colonialism, ethnic cleansing and genocide, including Israel’s very establishment through the uprooting and displacement of more than 750,000 Palestinians during the 1947-1948 Nakba (Catastrophe).

For all these reasons and more, veteran South African freedom fighters report that Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is “worse than apartheid.”

That is why Palestinian trade unions and civil society echo earlier civil rights and anti-apartheid movements by calling for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) until Israel recognizes the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with international law by:

1) Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;
2) Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
3) Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

That is why BDS is championed by the Congress of South African Trade Unions and numerous other trade unionists around the world, including West Coast dockworkers who refuse to handle Israeli Zim line cargo, and UAW 2865 at the University of California.

That is why City Council members must end their complicity with all forms of racist violence and get on the right side of history, from New York City to Palestine. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Initial NYC-Based Signers (Affiliations for identification only || *Labor for Palestine Co-Convener)

Larry Adams, Former President, NPMHU L. 300; Co-founder, NYC Labor Against the War; People’s Organization for Progress

*Suzanne Adely, U.S.-MENA Global Labor Solidarity Network; Former Staff, Global Organizing Institute, UAW

Marty Goodman, Former Executive Board member, Transport Workers Union L. 100 (retired)

*Michael Letwin, Former President, Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW 2325; Co-founder, Jews for Palestinian Right of Return, NYC Labor Against the War

Chuck Mohan, President, Guyanese American Workers United

Brenda Stokely, Former President, AFSCME DC 1707; Co-founder, NYC Labor Against the War; NE Regional Co-Organizer, Million Worker March Movement

*Jaime Veve, Transport Workers Union L. 100 (retired)

——–

*Participating in the apartheid tour are City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Members Mark Treyger, Brad Lander, Antonio Reynoso, David Greenfield, Rafael Espinal, Darlene Mealy, Mark Levine, Helen Rosenthal, Corey Johnson, Ritchie Torres, Andrew Cohen, Donovan Richards, Eric Ulrich, and James Van Bramer.

Labor for Palestine Response to Simon Wiesenthal Attack on UAW 2865 (Washington Examiner)

Washington Examiner

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Labor for Palestine, an activist group that has worked with Local 2865, called the center’s charges “defamatory” in an email to the Examiner: “The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s defamatory charge of ‘anti-Semitism’ against UAW 2865 members — many of them Jewish — who overwhelmingly supported their union’s courageous BDS resolution proves just one thing: supporters of apartheid Israel have no legitimate defense against the growing worldwide movement for justice and equality in Palestine.”

Anti-Semitism rising in academia, group warns

BY SEAN HIGGINS | JANUARY 1, 2015 | 4:24 PM

In its annual year-end survey of global anti-Semitism, the Simon Wiesenthal Center warned that the global effort to “demonize and delegitimize” Israel was gaining a foothold in U.S. academia.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the center’s social action director, told theWashington Examiner that colleges and universities were now part of the “front lines” in the struggle against anti-Semitism. Israel’s critics “are trying to take a page out of the playbook used against South Africa in 1980s,” Cooper said.

As evidence, the center’s study, “2014 Top Ten Worst Global Anti-Semitic/Anti-Israel Incidents,” pointed to a union, United Auto Workers Local 2865, which represents teaching assistants at the University of California at Berkeley. In December, the local voted to back the global movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel — the first-ever US labor group to do so.

The BDS movement is sharply critical of Israel’s policy towards the Palestinians and aims to use economic means to force it to change. The Wiesenthal Center warns that its “real impact is to hurt prospects for peace and to mainstream hate against Israel and her supporters.”

“It is not having an impact on the Israeli economy, but it is poisoning the discourse,” Cooper said.

The center reported that in a November forum at UC-Berkeley, hosted by Local 2865, a pro-boycott activist told a pro-Israel student: “As long as you choose to be on that side, I’m going to continue to hate you.” Cooper noted that the calls to join the BDS movement have spread through academia, citing Columbia and New York University as prominent examples.

Cooper said the center would also push UAW’s leadership, which has not backed the BDS movement, to release a strong statement opposing the local’s decision.

A spokesman for Local 2865 could not be reached. The union’s website is down and receiving a “makeover,” according to a statement posted at its web address.

Labor for Palestine, an activist group that has worked with Local 2865, called the center’s charges “defamatory” in an email to the Examiner: “The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s defamatory charge of ‘anti-Semitism’ against UAW 2865 members — many of them Jewish — who overwhelmingly supported their union’s courageous BDS resolution proves just one thing: supporters of apartheid Israel have no legitimate defense against the growing worldwide movement for justice and equality in Palestine.”

Historic Landslide BDS Vote by Grad Student Union at University of California

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For Immediate Release: December 10, 2014

Historic Landslide BDS Vote by Grad Students’ Union at University of California

First time membership of any major union body in the US has taken a stand in support of boycott of Israel

University of California graduate student-workers have ratified UAW 2865’s resolution to join the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The historic December 4 vote, passed by a landslide 65%-35% margin, is the first time that the membership of any major union body in the United States has taken a stand against more than six decades of complicity by U.S. government, university and top labor officials in Israeli apartheid.

Labor bodies in the United States have — often without knowledge or consent of union members — invested billions of dollars in State of Israel Bonds.

UAW 2865’s resolution answers urgent calls from Palestinian trade unions and Labor for Palestine issued amid last summer’s Israeli war on Gaza — armed and funded by the United States government — that ultimately killed more than 2000 people, including more than 500 children.

It embraces BDS demands for decolonization of all historic Palestine: an end to Israeli military occupation of the 1967 territories; full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel; and the right of return for Palestinian refugees, as affirmed by UN resolution 194.

By respecting the worldwide BDS picket line, UAW 2865 joins the Congress of South African Trade Unions and labor organizations around the world, including ILWU Local 10 dockworkers who refuse to handle Israeli Zim line cargo.

It also reflects a long tradition of labor, civil rights and South African anti-apartheid boycotts, while mirroring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous condemnation of the Vietnam War, and his declaration that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

As Richard Trumka, now head of the AFL-CIO, said in 1987: “Sanctions alone cannot eradicate apartheid; that task is ultimately left to the people of South Africa themselves. But economic pressure and political isolation of the South African government can hasten the day when justice and freedom reign in that troubled land.”

UAW 2865’s BDS resolution also builds on Students for Justice in Palestine’s BDS victories at six of nine UC campuses, and is deeply connected to ongoing battles now being waged by UC students and workers against attacks on public higher education, and protests against institutional racism and state violence.

As the UAW 2865 Joint Council pointed out: “Working people everywhere have a common interest in opposing oppression and exploitation wherever they are found. Working together as a global labor movement to oppose injustice around the world strengthens us all in our individual struggles against anti-labor employers and states and in our collective efforts to build the world that working people deserve. An Injury to One Is an Injury to All.”

“Labor solidarity means speaking truth to power — from Ferguson, to New York City to Palestine,” said Michael Letwin, former president of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW 2325, and co-founder of Labor for Palestine. “And UAW 2865’s courage will inspire other unions in this country to stand up for justice.”

Contact: Michael Letwin
laborforpalestine.us@gmail.com

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Union Press Release: HISTORIC: UAW 2865, UC STUDENT-WORKER UNION, BECOMES FIRST MAJOR U.S. LABOR UNION TO SUPPORT DIVESTMENT FROM ISRAEL BY MEMBERSHIP VOTE

Labor for Palestine Support for UAW 2865 BDS Resolution

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Labor for Palestine Support for UAW 2865 BDS Resolution

“I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963.

As trade unionists and anti-apartheid activists, we salute 13,000 University of California graduate student-workers who vote this Thursday, December 4 on UAW 2865’s resolution to join the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. This historic moment is the first time that the membership of any major union body in the United States will have a chance to vote on more than six decades of complicity by their government, university and top labor officials in Israeli apartheid.

UAW 2865’s Joint Council BDS resolution was adopted on July 29 by a vote of 40-0. It answered urgent calls from Palestinian trade unions and Labor for Palestine issued amid last summer’s Israeli war on Gaza — armed and funded by the United States government — that ultimately murdered more than 2000 people, including more than 500 children.

Recognizing that this massacre reflects not only the brutal ongoing Israeli siege on Gaza, but its entire colonial-settler regime, the Joint Council embraces BDS demands for decolonization of all historic Palestine: an end to Israeli military occupation of the 1967 territories; full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel; and the right of return for Palestinian refugees, as affirmed by UN resolution 194.

Thereby respecting the worldwide BDS picket line, the Joint Council joins the Congress of South African Trade Unions and labor organizations around the world, including ILWU Local 10 dockworkers who refuse to handle Israeli Zim line cargo. As UAW 2865 BDS Caucus members explain:

“The success of Oakland’s Block the Boat makes clear the centrality of organized labor to the global movement for Palestinian freedom. This, and the upcoming UAW 2865 vote on BDS, signal a sea change in US labor’s willingness to be complicit in apartheid and ethnic cleansing. As the larger Palestine solidarity movement picks up steam, we can expect the grassroots labor mobilization for Palestine to bear greater and greater fruits, until Israeli apartheid is no more.”

UAW 2865’s BDS resolution also builds on Students for Justice in Palestine’s BDS victories at six of nine UC campuses, and is deeply connected to ongoing battles now being waged by UC students and workers against institutional racism, state violence and attacks on public higher education.

As UAW 2865 leaders point out, these struggles are inextricably linked: “Working people everywhere have a common interest in opposing oppression and exploitation wherever they are found. Working together as a global labor movement to oppose injustice around the world strengthens us all in our individual struggles against anti-labor employers and states and in our collective efforts to build the world that working people deserve. An Injury to One Is an Injury to All.”

In support of UAW 2865’s resolution, the Arab Resources Organizing Center (AROC) similarly observes: “When workers reclaim their power and take a position on the side of justice, they are honoring the legacy of worker-community solidarity, and reminding the world that workers are part and parcel of popular movements.”

As one UAW 2865 “Vote Yes” poster simply states: “Palestina & Ayotinzapa & Ferguson & Mi barrio & Tu barrio. Yes on BDS – Dec 4

During the past fifty years, the Free Speech Movement of 1964, apartheid South Africa divestment in the 1970s-1980s, and numerous other social justice campaigns at the University of California have spoken truth to power, inspired millions, and helped change the course of history.

Today, standing in this proud tradition, you will do the same.

———–

Issued by Labor for Palestine Co-Conveners:

Suzanne Adely, U.S.-MENA Global Labor Solidarity Network; Former Staff, Global Organizing Institute, UAW

Monadel Herzallah, former member, Arab American Union Members Council, San Francisco, CA

Michael Letwin, former President, Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW Local 2325

Clarence Thomas, Co-Chair, Million Worker March; Executive Board, ILWU Local 10

Jaime Veve, Transport Workers Union Local 100, NYC (retired)

NYC Solidarity With Blockade of the Israeli Zim Ship

Labor Radio Interview with Michael Letwin of Labor for Palestine (KBOO Community Radio)

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Labor for Palestine!

Program: Labor Radio
Air date: Mon, 08/11/2014 – 6:00pm – 6:30pm
Short Description: Why and how union members and workers are opposing the occupation of Palestine.

Download: application/octet-stream iconkboo_episode.2.140811.1800.2654.mp3

We interview Michael Letwin from Labor for Palestine and others about the steps union members here and around the world are taking to stop the siege of Gaza and oppose the long term occupation of Palestine.

For more information and background, visit laborforpalestine.net.

Our episode also features music (with permission) from David Rovics, who has a TON of protest songs, especially on the issue of Palestinian freedom.

Labor for Palestine: Interview With Michael Letwin

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LABOR FOR PALESTINE: INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL LETWIN

 

By Matthew Davidson

Over the past six years, Israel has waged three different wars against the Gazans, killing thousands in the process. The current war has killed nearly 2,000 civilians and made a quarter of Gaza’s 1.8 million people homeless.

Drawing inspiration from the labour-backed boycott of Apartheid South Africa, Palestinian civil society groups have renewed their call for an international campaign of Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel’s apartheid regime.

Palestinian trade unions and workers have been participants in this call for an international BDS campaign against the Israeli state until the occupation of Palestine ends. Workers across the globe have responded to this call by passing BDS motions within their unions and by taking other actions in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Rankandfile.ca recently spoke with American labour activist Michael Letwin from Labor For Palestine about what is happening in Israel and Palestine and the various labour solidarity campaigns that are being organized in response.

Michael is a lifelong social justice activist who was involved in the anti-apartheid movement around South Africa beginning in the early seventies. He became involved with Palestine solidarity activism around the same time. In 1990 Michael was elected president of his union local – United Autoworkers Local 2325; the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys. He was also one of the co-founders of New York City Labor Against the War, which was started in the days following 9/11, and from which Labor for Palestine emerged.

The following transcript has been edited for length and clarity.

The most bedrock principle of labour is that “an injury to one is an injury to all.”

R&F: Why should workers here in Canada or the US care about the situation in Palestine, especially when so many workers are facing an already overwhelming struggle to maintain hard-earned victories on things like basic working conditions or decent wages?

ML: I think it’s the same answer as to any international solidarity issue. The most bedrock principle of labour is that “an injury to one is an injury to all.” Today Palestinian workers, working people and their families, are under a tremendous, almost genocidal, attack against them. So, first, it is a matter of principle to come to the aid of workers anywhere and everywhere where they need to be supported.

Secondly, it is our own tax dollars, both in the US and in Canada, that are paying for and arming the Israeli regime to carry out these massacres. So, for example, there are $9 million a day that go from the United States to the Israeli military. That’s money that workers need to have spent on their needs in this country, not spent on killing and massacring other workers elsewhere. Those are two very good reasons, I think, why this is very important to workers, whether they are aware of it or not.

Where trade unions themselves have invested in Apartheid Israel, it is the equivalent of investing in Apartheid South Africa or the Jim Crow South. And so, there are many reasons why this is directly of interest to workers, and there are a growing number of trade unionists and rank and file activists, who are looking for a way to express that, just like they were looking for a way to express that during Apartheid South Africa.

R&F: What are the labour conditions like Palestinians living under occupation?

ML: There are three tiers of Israeli apartheid. The first, or one tier, is the 1967 occupation, which is the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. For workers in those situations, it is very much like what working people in South Africa experienced during apartheid in terms of living in restricted, segregated places and having to try to go from one place to another having to look for work under those conditions. It is also similar in some ways to the border between the United States and Mexico, which regulates immigrant labour here in a very repressive way. Workers in the West Bank, for example, have to line up for jobs in illegal Israeli settlements and work under virtually unregulated conditions there. There is very little in the way of trade unionism and they really have no rights under that system. As well, they and their families – and really their entire existence – are regulated by the apartheid which breaks up the West Bank with barriers and checkpoints, which makes life so insufferable for people there.

Workers in the West Bank…have to line up for jobs in illegal Israeli settlements and work under virtually unregulated conditions there. There is very little in the way of trade unionism and they really have no rights under that system.

And then you have Gaza, which is really just strangled – not only militarily, but economically – where people don’t really have jobs, except perhaps for the government. Only a very restricted number of people would have that work, and of course when a war is going on against them, there is nothing. Fishermen in Gaza, even when they are not being attacked militarily, are not allowed to go out beyond a mile or two by the Israeli navy to do their fishing. They are extremely restricted. Farmers who live along the Israeli-imposed border that cuts of Gaza from the rest of historic Palestine are not allowed to farm their land. So there is that whole economic impact of the 1967 occupation.

Then you have the 20% of the population within the Israeli state who are Palestinians. They typically have been subject to the worst economic and social conditions. There are over fifty laws which discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel.

Finally, you have the 70% of the Palestinian population who are refugees, who cannot return to their homes anywhere in historic Palestine, who are living in Syria, or Lebanon, or Jordan, and all around the world. Even in Gaza, 80% of the population comes from the refugees from the Nakba – the Catastrophe – in 1948 when 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes and from their country. There are so many ways by which Palestinian workers are affected by this. Palestinian workers are also affected by violence, not only during the wars, but by routine violence by the Palestinian state and by settlers, and so forth.

The position of white workers in apartheid South Africa and in apartheid Israel is quite similar…the Jewish working class in Israel is not, and really cannot be, an ally of the Palestinian working class…It gains enormous benefits by virtue of depriving those same benefits to the Palestinian people.

R&F: How about Israeli workers? One of the arguments that has been made against using boycotts, divestment, and sanctions as a tactic is that it would unfairly punish workers within Israel who, regardless of what they think about the occupation, are trying to make a living.

ML: Well, I think that is kind of like saying that we shouldn’t have used tactics of divestment from apartheid South Africa because it would have hurt white workers. The position of white workers in apartheid South Africa and in apartheid Israel is quite similar. It’s not a situation like in the US or Canada where there are different racial groups, but where there is still a possibility for cross-racial solidarity between the two – and in fact, we have a history of that, as well as other histories that are not so positive. There is no real history of that in apartheid South Africa, and there is no history of that in apartheid Israel, because the entire regime is based upon legalized, ongoing, and permanent apartheid. And so, the Jewish working class in Israel is not, and really cannot be, an ally of the Palestinian working class. It is totally and thoroughly committed and invested in Israel’s apartheid system. It gains enormous benefits by virtue of depriving those same benefits to the Palestinian people.

The other argument you hear, especially from liberal Zionists, is that you are only hurting the Palestinian workers by boycotting. That, too, is like an argument that was made against divesting from Apartheid South Africa; that you are only hurting black workers because they are going to lose their jobs if there is divestment, and who is that really good for? The answer of course, for both situations, is that the workers in black South Africa and workers in Palestine both unanimously have called for the boycott. It is up to them to decide what is in their best interest, and once that call has been made – which has been made for quite some time – then it is up to workers and movements abroad to support it, not to come up for reasons why it is not a good idea. Besides, it’s not like there are many other effective means of solidarity for workers and others to employ. It is extremely important to support the boycott movement; it is a matter of respect for the solidarity that has been asked for.

R&F: What is Labor for Palestine, and what does it do?

ML: Labor for Palestine has been in existence for nearly ten years. It is a network that issues numerous statements during the time of various wars against Gaza. Typically what we try and do with these statements is ask trade unionists, both in this country, in Canada, and around the world, to sign on, which is an organizing tool to encourage trade unionists to take on the issue of Palestine.

Our focus has been not just to condemn Apartheid Israel, which we do, but to support the BDS movement in particular, especially in regard to labour and trade unionism’s own relationship to the issue. In the United States – I’m not sure about in Canada – all the major trade union leaderships are deeply invested in Israel and the Israeli regime, usually through the Histadrut, which is the Israeli trade union federation [equivalent to the Canadian Labour Congress – R&F editors]. It is very much part of the Israeli apartheid system, and always has been going back to the 1920s, as part of the so-called labour Zionism movement. In the United States it is now called the Jewish Labour committee, which presents itself as a progressive trade union solidarity group, but really it is just a way to get the trade unions in the US to support Israel.

Another way the trade union movement is connected to Israel is through the ownership of billions of dollars in Israeli bonds, which are owned both by trade unions and by major union pension funds throughout this country. We ask unions to divest themselves from that, which is along the lines of both BDS but also the South African divestment movement of earlier times.

We’re also trying to connect to efforts by dockers around the world, including in Oakland, California, who have refused at various times to handle cargo for Israel. That took place most recently in the United States in 2010 in Oakland, and there are talks about doing something like that again in the context of the current massacre.

R&F: How has the labour movement in the US responded to Israeli apartheid?

ML: In the United States all the trade union leaderships are very much in support of Israeli apartheid; no matter what their stance is on other issues, that’s pretty much the case. For example, the only trade union bodies that we have signing on to our statements are a local of the United Electrical Workers in North Carolina, Local 150 of the UE, and an endorsement from UNITE in New Zealand, which is a major union there. We do however have a growing number of former local labor elected officials as well as a few current local presidents. That’s the way things are going to happen; it’s not going to come from the top. Like most things in the labor movement, if it is going to come at all it is going to come from the bottom, from rank and file organizing efforts.

One of the unions that has addressed this issue here in the United States is UAW local 2855 in California, which represents 13,000 graduate students at the University of California. They are going to hold a membership vote on a resolution which calls for BDS. That is the kind of thing which is very significant to have a local do – even one particular local – which begins to open the gates to other people thinking about doing the same thing.

Every time that the Israelis carry out the massacres like what is happening in Gaza, it further delegitimizes the Israeli regime, and that creates more support for BDS. It has begun to happen within the ranks of labour in the United States. It has already happened to an extent in Canada, where certain unions have already adopted motions in favour of BDS, but that is only just beginning to happen now in the US. This is opposed to a number of other countries, like South Africa, or the UK, or any number of other places, where many trade unions have begun to take really strong BDS positions. For example, in Britain, UNITE has repeatedly adopted various BDS motions, and that’s the largest union in the UK and Ireland, so things are much further along down there. COSATU, the South African trade union federation, has long taken really strong position, and just this week they issued a joint statement with Palestinian trade unions calling for BDS.

R&F: You’ve alluded to this a few times already, but what can trade unionists do as individuals, and what can the labour movement do as a whole?

ML: We are asking for trade unionists to sign our statement, which is really a way of networking together individuals and hopefully also labour bodies in support of BDS.

Secondly, we are asking that trade unionists propose resolutions in their own labour bodies. We have a model trade union resolution attached to our statement which calls for the same thing: support for BDS and, as an expression of that, cutting all ties with the Histadrut (the Israeli labour federation, which is totally complicit in the apartheid regime).

Most specifically of all, we are asking workers to take the example from the dock workers, both in the United States but mostly in South Africa, who in the past have refused to load Israeli cargo. That is the most immediate way to have an impact on the ability of the Israeli state to carry out the kinds of regime which it imposes on Palestinians.

In connection with all of that, we can demand that the US and other foreign governments immediately stop supplying Israel with weapons and any other form of aid.

 

More information on Labor for Palestine can be found at:http://laborforpalestine.net

Sign Labor for Palestine’s petition

http://rankandfile.ca/2014/08/07/labor-for-palestine-interview-with-michael-letwin/

Growing Support for Labor for Palestine Statement: Stop the War on Gaza: No Arms for Apartheid Israel — Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions!

Sign this statement hereTO BE LISTED, YOU MUST PROVIDE your labor affiliation/organization (including local number, if any), union position (if any), location, and email address. (THIS INFORMATION GOES IN THE “WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT” BOX.)

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Labor for Palestine
Stop the War on Gaza: No Arms for Apartheid Israel  Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions!
July 28, 2014

“We call on the UN and governments across the world to take immediate steps to implement a comprehensive and legally binding military embargo on Israel, similar to that imposed on South Africa during apartheid.” Palestinian Trade Unions and Civil Society, Stop Arming Israel, July 20, 2014

“For the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.” Beyond Vietnam, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., April 4, 1967

* * *

As workers and trade unionists, we join with Palestinian trade unions, the Congress of South African Trade UnionsUnite (UK/Ireland), and labor organizations around the world to urgently condemn Israel’s barbaric war on Gaza, which has taken thousands of lives since 2006, including many hundreds in recent weeks.

With them, we stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people against more than a century of Zionist colonialism, dispossession, ethnic cleaning, racism, apartheid and genocide — including Israel’s very establishment through the uprooting and displacement of over 750,000 Palestinians during the 1947-1948 Nakba. Indeed, eighty percent of the 1.8 million people sealed into Gaza are refugees.

With them, we support Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), which demands an end to Israeli military occupation of the 1967 territories; full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel; and the right of return for Palestinian refugees, as affirmed by UN resolution 194.

Therefore:

• We call on the US government and its allies to end all aid to Israel.

• We call on workers to emulate dockers in South Africa, India, Sweden, Norway, Turkey, the US west coast, and elsewhere, by refusing to handle military or any other cargo destined for Israel.

• We call on labor bodies to divest from Israel Bonds, and cut ties with the Histadrut, Israel’s racist labor federation. (See model resolution, below.)


INITIAL SIGNERS (List in formation)

Labor Bodies

NC Public Service Workers Union-UE Local 150

Unite Union NZ

Individuals (Affiliation shown for identification only // *Labor for Palestine co-conveners)

*Suzanne Adely, U.S.-MENA Global Labor Solidarity Network; Former Staff, Global Organizing Institute, UAW

*Monadel Herzallah, former member, Arab American Union Members Council, San Francisco, CA

*Michael Letwin, former President, Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW L. 2325; co-founder, Jews for Palestinian Right of Return, NYC Labor Against the War; US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel

Prof. Rabab Abdulhadi, California Faculty Association SFSU

Judith Ackerman, 1199SEIU, AFT, UFT, AFTRA, SAG, New York NY

Larry Adams, former President, NPMHU L. 300; co-founder, NYC Labor Against the War; People’s Organization for Progress

Joseph Agonito, former President, L. 1845-NYSUT, AFT

Bina Ahmad, ALAA/UAW L. 2325, NYC Legal Aid Society

Sameerah Ahmad, Executive Director, Cincinnati Interfaith Workers Center; former member, GEO/UAW L. 2322

Faiz Ahmed, Chairperson/président Canadian Union of Public Employees L. 3903

Tanya Akel, IBT L. 2010, AFT L. 1521

Noha Arafa, ALAA/UAW L. 2325, NYC Legal Aid Society

Anthony Arnove, National Writers Union/UAW L. 1981, Brooklyn NY

B. Ross Ashley, SEIU L. 204 (retired), Toronto ON

John Bail, National Director, Pacific Region Canadian Union of Postal Workers

Harry Baker, Former Executive Board member, SEIU L. 1021, N. CA
Sarah Barker, Organiser, New Zealand Nurses Organisation

Julia Barnett, Steward, CUPS, L. 79

Thomas F. Barton, L. 768, DC 37, AFSCME

Bill Bateman, Laborers L. 271; Coordinator, RI Unemployed Council, RI Campaign for Work & Wages

Richard Berg, Past President, IBT L. 743

Michael Billeaux, Co-President, Teaching Assistants’ Association/AFT L. 3220, Madison WI

Walter Birdwell, Retired Steward, National Association of Letter Carriers, Branch 283

Richard Blake, IBT L. 512, Jacksonville FL

Dana Blanchard, Berkeley Federation of Teachers, AFT L. 1078

Dave Bleakney, National Union Representative, CUPW, Ottowa ON

Rebecca Bor, Chicago Teachers Union, AFT L. 1

Alexandra Bradbury, co-editor, Labor Notes

Larry Bradshaw, VP SEIU L. 1021, San Francisco

Gloria Brandman, UFT/NYC-MORE Caucus

Deena Brazy, Steward/VP, AFSCME L. 60, Madison WI

Tibby Brooks, National Writers Union/UAW L. 1981

Gabriel Camacho, UNITE HERE L. 66L Cambridge MA

Chris Carlsson, Co-Director, Shaping San Francisco; SEIU L. 1021; adjunct faculty, San Francisco Art Institute

Nora Carroll, ALAA/UAW L. 2325, NYC Legal Aid Society

David Chavez, UAW L. 2865, UC Riverside

Edward Childs, Chief Steward, Unite-Here L. 26

Jan Clausen, Goddard College faculty; UAW L. 2322 Liaison to U.S. Labor Against the War, NYC Chapter

Mary Clinton, Organizer, CWA District 1

L. Antonia Codling, Alt. VP & Former Rep., Attorneys of Color of Legal Aid, ALAA/UAW L. 2325, NYC Legal Aid Society

Len Cooper, Victorian Secretary, Communication Workers Union, Australia

Krista L. Cortes, Unit Chair, UAW L. 2865, UC Berkeley

Heather Cottin, Professional Staff Congress, NYC

Mike Cushman, Membership Secretary, London School of Economics, University and College Union branch (UCU)

Denise D’Anne, SEIU L. 1021

Joe Davies, Organizer, Southern Local Government Officers Union, Christchurch NZ

Warren Davis, Exec. VP (Retired), AFGE L. 2006, Philadelphia

Richard Deaton, Ph.D., LL.B., Asst. Director of Research, Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)(retired)

Francisco Martin del Campo, Head Steward, UAW L. 2685, UC Berkeley Unit

Jacob Denz, GSOC/UAW L. 2110; NYU; Brooklyn, NY

Roger Dittmann, PhD, Former Secretary, United Professors of California

Monique Dols, UFT, NYC

Greg Dropkin, Unison; Liverpool Friends of Palestine, UK

Tim Dubnau, Organizing Coordinator, CWA District One

Arla S. Ertz, SEIU L. 1021 San Francisco

Shelley Ettinger, AFT L. 3882, NYC

Mark Evard, National Director, Canadian Union of Postal Workers, Ottawa ON

Mikos Fabersunne, Professional Engineers in California Government (retired)

Jessica Feldman, UAW L. 2110, NYC

Chris Ferlazzo, Portland Jobs with Justice

Prof. Mary E. Finn, Ph. D., United University Professionals, State University of New York at Buffalo

Prof. Patrick J. Finn, Ph. D., United University Professionals, State University of New York at Buffalo

Gord Fischer, National Director, CUPW Prairie Region, Winnipeg MB

Jon Flanders, Past President, IAM 1145

Prof. Manzar Foroohar, former Chapter President, California Faculty Association-Cal Poly

Sheena Foster, Global Labour University Alumni

Andre Francois, Recording Secretary, USW L. 8751

Carol Gay, President, NJ State Industrial Union Council

Maxine Gay, Retail Finance & Commerce Secretary, FIRST Union New Zealand

Carl Gentile, National Representative, American Federation of Government Employees

Christine Geovanis National Writers Union/UAW L. 1981

Alborz Ghandehari, Recording Secretary, San Diego Unit, UAW L. 2865 (UC Student-Worker Union)

Hadi Gharabaghi, GSOC-UAW L. 2110; Cinema Studies, NYU

Steve Gillis, VP USW L. 8751 (Boston School Bus Drivers’ Union)

Mike Gimbel, Chairperson, Labor/Community Unity Committee, L. 375, AFSCME

Greg Giorgio, Delegate, Upstate NY Regional Branch, Industrial Workers of the World

Nathan Goldbaum, Member Communications Coordinator, Chicago Teachers Union, AFT L. 1

Marty Goodman, former Executive Board member, Transport Workers Union L. 100

Erik Green, UAW L. 2865, Financial Secretary, Santa Cruz CA

Ira Grupper, Delegate (retired), Greater Louisville (KY) Central Labor Council, BCTGM L. 16T

Maria Guillen, SEIU L. 1021

Gabriel Haaland, CWA L. 9404

Jesse Hagopian, Seattle Education Association/NEA

Denise Hammond, Unifor 591 G

David Heap, University of Western Ontario Faculty Association

Jenny Heinz, 1199SEIU

Stanley Heller, 40-year AFT member, West Haven, CT, now AFT 933 (retired)

Lucy Herschel, Delegate, 1199SEIU, NYC

Fred Hirsch, VP, Plumbers and Fitters L. 393, San Jose CA

Michael Hirsch, National Writers Union/UAW L. 1981
Bridgett Holloman, 1199SEIU, Legal Aid Society, Brooklyn NY

Alexandra Holmstrom-Smith, Chair, UCLA Unit, UAW L. 2865 (UC Student-Worker Union)

Jim Holstun, UUP Buffalo Center Chapter, NYSUT, AFT

Evert Hoogers, National Union Rep., CUPW (retired)

Cherrene Horazuk, President, AFSCME L. 3800

Jonathan House, President (1979-1981), Executive Director (1982-1989), Committee of Interns and Residents, SEIU

Sean Howard, Shop Steward, IBT L. 559, Hartford CT

Janet Hudgins, CUPE (retired)

Ren-yo Hwang, S. VP, UAW 2865, Los Angeles

Joe Iosbaker, Executive Board, SEIU L. 73

Malathi Iyenga, San Diego Unit Chair, UAW L. 2865

Joe Jamison, TWU L. 100 (retired)

James Jordan, National Co-Coordinator, Alliance for Global Justice

Michael P. Kaehler, President, APWU L. 647, Saint Cloud MN Area

Marianne Kaletzky, Head Steward, UAW L. 2865 Berkeley CA

Dan Kaplan, Executive Secretary, AFT L. 1493, San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers

Jim Kaplan, former member, Somerville Teachers Association, MA

Wendy Kaufmyn, Executive Board, AFT L. 2121 (faculty union of City College of San Francisco)

Brian Kelly, UCU Belfast (formerly Carpenters L. 33 Boston and IUMSWA L. 25 East Boston)

Sue Kelly, OPEIU L. 334 (retired)

Russell Kilday-Hicks, VP, California State Employees Association

Ed Kinchley, San Francisco Committee on Political Education; Co-chair, SEIU L. 1021, San Francisco

John Kirkland, Carpenters L. 1462, Bucks County PA

Steve Kirschbaum, Grievance Committee Chair, USW L. 8751

David Klein, California Faculty Association

Jeff Klein, Retired President, NAGE/SEIU L. R1-168

Cindy Klumb, OPEIU L. 153

Richard Koritz, Former President, NALC Branch 630, Greensboro NC

Dennis Kortheuer, California Faculty Association

Bud Korotzer, Shop Steward, AFSCME District Council 37, L. 371 (retired)

Daniella Korotzer, Former VP & Health & Safety Rep., ALAA/UAW L. 2325, NYC Legal Aid Society

Francine Korotzer, Shop Steward, AFSCME District Council 37, L. 2054 (retired)

Dennis Kosuth, Shop Steward, Convention Delegate, National Nurses Organizing Committee, National Nurses United

Rebecca Kurti, 1199SEIU

Elizabeth Lalasz, Steward & Bargaining Team Rep., National Convention Delegate, District 13, National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses Unites (NNOC/NNU)

Zoe Lawlor, Unite Teacher, University of Limerick, Ireland

Howard Lenow, American Jews For A Just Peace, trade union lawyer

Kristin Lew, 1199SEIU

Stephen Lewis, SEIU L. 509

Joe Lombardo, CSEA L. 999, Troy Area Labor Council

Marsha Love, UALE, Chicago

Michael Lyon, AFT L. 2121 (retiree)

John McColgan, SENA 9158, United Steelworkers of America

Maureen McDermott, UFT, NYC

Henry Maar, Trustee, UAW L. 2865

Amir M. Maasoumi, former member, Federation des travailleurs du Quebec (FTQ)

Shafeah M’Balia, National Assn. of Letter Carriers, Greenville, NC Branch 1729; Black Workers For Justice

Cindy McCallum Miller, President, Castlegar Local Canadian Union of Postal Workers, BC

Edward Miller, Strategic Adviser, FIRST Union, Auckland NZ

Gail Miller, UFT, NYC

Nathaniel Miller, Industrial Workers of the World

Susan Olivia Morris, Alternate VP, ALAA/UAW L. 2325, NYC Legal Aid Society

Irene Morrison, Recording Secretary, UAW 2865, UC Riverside

Hlokoza Motau, National Union of Metalworkers’ Union (Numsa), Johannesburg, South Africa

Kenneth Myers, United Federation of Teachers, NYC

Ken Nash, AFSCME L. 1930, DC 37

Lisa North, AFT L. 2, Brooklyn NY

Raquel Pacheco, UAW L. 2865, San Diego CA

Meredith Palmer, Head Steward, UAW L. 2865, UC Berkeley

Jackson Pitts, Head Steward, UAW L. 2865, UC Riverside

Maria Pizarro, AFSCME L. 2081

Marion Pollack, retiree, Vancouver BC

Jay Poppa, VP, Bridgeport Education Association, Bridgeport, CT

Dr. Anna Potempska, PhD, PEF (retired), NY

Andre’ Powell, AFSCME Delegate, Baltimore Central Labor Council

Peter Rachleff, Labor Educator; UALE

Natasha Raheja, Bargaining Committee, GSOC-UAW L. 2110, NYC

Melissa Rakestraw, Executive Board and Shop Steward, National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Branch 825, Oakbrook IL

Croft Randle, Retired Local Officer and Provincial Representative, Telecommunications Workers Union, BC Canada

Ben Ratliffe, Steward, AFSCME L. 60, WI

Dominic Renda, Chief Shop Steward, CWA L. 1105

Eric Robson, Steward and Trustee, AFSCME L. 171, Madison WI

Marco Antonio Rosales, Unit Chair, UAW L. 2865, UC Davis

Mimi Rosenberg, ALAA/UAW L. 2325, NYC Legal Aid Society
Keith Rosenthal, AFSCME L. 3650, Somerville MA

Prof. Emerita Marguerite G. Rosenthal, Massachusetts State College Association/Mass. Education Assn./NEA

Andrew Ross, AAUP, NYU

Janice Rothstein, AFSCME L. 3299, San Francisco

Christina Rousseau, CUPE 3903, Toronto ON

David Russitano, Executive Board, United Educators of San Francisco, AFT/CFT L. 61

Gillian Russom, Board of Directors, United Teachers Los Angeles, AFT L. 1021

Carl Sack, AFT L. 3220, UW-Madison Teaching Assistants’ Association

Keith Sadler, UAW L. 2, Toledo OH

Lauren Schaeffer, Head Steward, UAW L. 2865, Los Angeles CA

Charity Schmidt, Former Co-President, University of Wisconsin-Madison Teaching Assistants’ Association (TAA)

Robert M. Schwartz, National Writers Union/UAW L. 1981, Boston MA

Helen Scott, United Academics AAUP/AFT L. 4996, Burlington VT

Mary Scully, IUE-CWA L. 201 (retired)

Snehal Shingavi, Texas State Employees Union/CWA L. 6186, Austin TX

Tyler Shipley, CUPE L. 3903; Toronto ON

Ahmad Shirazi, Former Board Member, IATSE L. 700, NYC

Sid Shniad, Former Research Director, Telecommunications Workers Union, Vancouver BC

Jerry Silberman, Senior Staff Rep., Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals

Lorrie Beth Slonsky, SEIU L. 1021; Paramedic (retired)

Larry Smallwood, former Telecommunications Workers Union of Canada; Volunteer President L. 7; human rights officer; union activist for equity rights

Nancy Snyder, Recording Secretary Emeritus, SEIU L. 1021

David Sole, Past President, UAW L. 2334, Detroit

Peter Spitzform, AFT/AAUP, University of Vermont

Brenda Stokely, former President, AFSCME DC 1707; co-founder, NYC Labor Against the War; Co-Chair, Million Worker March Movement

Alan Stolzer, Bakers L. 3 (retired)

Susan Stout, Unifor 2002, Canada (retired)

Dante Strobino, UE L. 150, North Carolina Public Service Workers Union, Durham

Brian J. Sullivan, LSSA/UAW L. 2320, NYC

Rick Sullivan, BC Retired Teachers’ Association, Parksville BC

Lee Sustar, NWU/UAW L. 1981; Chicago IL

Alice Sturm Sutter, NYSNA (retired), NYC

Team Solidarity – the Voice of United School Bus Workers

Steve Terry, ALAA/UAW L. 2325, NYC Legal Aid Society

Clarence Thomas, Co-Chair, Million Worker March; Executive Board, ILWU L. 10

Elizabeth Thornton, Head Steward, UCLA Unit, UAW L. 2865 (UC Student-Workers Union)

Joanne Tien, Head Steward, UAW L. 2865, Oakland CA.

Azalia Torres, Former Executive Board Member, ALAA/UAW L. 2325, NYC Legal Aid Society

Mike Treen, National Director, Unite Union NZ

Corey Uhl, IBT L. 79, Tampa FL

Jaime Veve, Transport Workers Union L. 100, NYC (retired)

Nantina Vgontzas, GSOC/UAW L. 2110, NYU

Sabina Virgo, Founding and Past President, AFSCME L. 2620

Kay L. Walker, SEIU L. 1021, San Francisco (retired)

Peter Waterman, Researcher/writer on labour internationalisms; ABVA-KABO, The Hague, Netherlands

Dave Welsh, Delegate, San Francisco Labor Council
Nancy Welch, Delegate, UVM United Academics AFT/AAUP

Bruce Wolf, Social Justice Committee, OPEIU L. 2

Sherry Wolf, CWA L. 1032

Cynthia Wright, CUPE 3903

Garrett Wright, National Organization of Legal Services Workers, UAW L. 2320, NYC

Eddie Yood, CWA L. 1180 Liaison to US Labor Against the War

Carol F. Yost, Organization of Staff Analysts, NYC (retired)

Steve Zeltzer, CWA L. 39521; Pacific Media Workers; KPFA WorkWeek Radio

 

Additional Signers (As of August 4, 2014)

Susan E. Davis, National Contract Advisor, National Writers Union/UAW L. 1981, NYC
Saladin Muhammad, Co-Coordinator, Southern Workers Assembly; Black Workers For Justice; International Rep., UE (retired)
Paul Bigman, Executive Board, Martin Luther King Jr. County Labor Council (Seattle, WA); Organizer, AFM L. 76-493
Rami Elamine, CWA-TNG L. 32035
Ajamu Dillahunt, Former President, Raleigh Area Local APWU; Black Workers for Justice
Lyn Meza, Former VP, IUE-CWA L. 201, Lynn MA
Noor Ahmad, ALAA/UAW L. 2325, NYC Legal Aid Society
Christine Williams, Former Executive Board member, TWU L. 100; Million Worker March Movement
Aileen Sander, SAG-AFTRA
Robert Caldwell, TSEU/ CWA L. 6186
Josephine Perry, SAG-AFTRA
Win Heimer, Secretary, AFT L. 4200R
Jonathon Bakan, CUPE 3903, York University, Toronto ON
Royce Adams, Former VP, ILA L. 1291, Philadelpha
Felix Bunke, IWW (Madison GMB), IU 620
Joshua Morey, Northwest United Educators-Rice Lake/WEAC/NEA; Blue Hills Solidarity Network
Deni Asnis, UESF/AFT L. 61
Anna E. Waltman, M.A.,GEO-UAW L. 2322, Amherst MA
Jamie Partridge, NALC Branch 82; Delegate, NW Oregon Labor Council
Joe Piette, NALC Branch 157, Philadelphia; Organizer, Community-Labor United for Postal Jobs & Services
Logan Sellathurai, Former CUPE Ontario International Solidarity Committee Member; Former Executive Board Member, CUPE L. 1
Brian Tierney, OPEIU L. 2; IBT
Chelsea Harris, Delegate, IWW, Portland OR
Madelaine Davidson Lees, NUJ Book Branch, UK
Jay Gilman, Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons International Association, L. 124,
Linda Sneed, Los Rios College Federation of Teachers/AFT L. 2279, CFT
Elizabeth McDonnell, LIUNA L. 483
Porfirio Quintano, Steward & Executive Board Member, NUHW
Burnis E. Tuck, AFGE L. 3172 (retired); IWW
Nancy Wright, Hillsborough Classroom Teacher’s Association/FEA/NEA, Tampa FL
Linda Ray, SEIU L. 1021; Delegate, San Francisco Labor Council; Co-Chair, Peace and Solidarity Committee
Kaushalya Bannerji, CUPE L. 3903
Ann Fawcett Ambia, Former attorney, DC 37 Municipal Employees Legal Services, AFSCME
Perry Bellow-Handelman, Site Rep., Oakland Education Association
Alicia Deiana Arnold, Oakland Education Association/CTA/NEA
Rebecca Burns, Unit Chair, Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild, L. 32035, CWA
Michael Shane, Oakland Education Association
Gregory A. Butler, Shop Steward, Carpenters L. 157
Buzz Davis Stoughton, Executive Board, AFT-W Retiree Council
Tim Goulet, IBT L. 810
Adam Sanchez, Portland Association of Teachers, OR
Marian Feinberg, 1199SEIU; NWU/UAW L. 1981
Sean Collins, Organizer, SEIU L. 200; Trustee, Troy (NY) Area Labor Council
Alex Read, AFGE, Toledo OH
Francesca Rosa, SEIU L. 1021; Delegate, San Francisco Labor Council
Philip Smith, UFCW L. 540, Portland OR
Kim Scipes, Chair, Chicago Chapter, NWU/UAW L. 1981
Sharon Maldonado, CTA/CFT (retired), Berkeley CA
Ben Speight, Organizing Director,  Teamsters L. 728,  Atlanta GA
David McNally, Steward, York University Faculty Association, Toronto ON
Charles Post, PSC-CUNY/AFT L. 2334
Kaushalya Bannerji, CUPE L. 3903, Toronto ON
Tyler Mitchell, Intern, UFCW International, Washington DC
Larry Goldbetter, President, National Writers Union/UAW L. 1981
Bill Burgess, L. 5, Federation of Post-Secondary Educators, Vancouver BC
Linda Gomaa, MENA Regional Organizer, International Union League for Brand Responsibility; Former Member, IFPTE L. 70
Christine Karatnytsky, Former Executive Board Member, AFSCME L. 1930, New York Public Library Guild; founding member NYC Labor Against the War
Michael Haire, 1199SEIU EAST
Joe Catron, Gaza Palestinian Territory; Al-Awda NY; International Solidarity Movement; NWU/UAW L. 1981
Duane Wright Davis, Officer, UAW L. 2865
Stephen Aberle, Union of BC Performers, Vancouver BC Canada
Malcolm Povey, University and College Union, University of Leeds UK
Nadje Al-Ali, Chair, SOAS UCU, London UK
Richard Blum, ALAA/UAW L. 2325, NYC Legal Aid Society
Angaza Laughinghouse, President, NC Public Service Workers Union-UE L. 150
Ruth Jennison, Massachusetts Society of Professors/MTA/NEA
Matthew Camp, OPEIU; WOCC Organizer, Indianapolis IN
Sarah Hornstein, Steward, Canadian Union of Public Employees, L. 3903, Toronto ON
Mar Velez, Northern Vice President, UAW L. 2865,  Berkeley CA
Cynthia Franklin, UHPA, Honolulu
Sona Shah, Texas State Employees Union/CWA L. 6186
Lawrence Turk, Former member, SEIU L. 1021
Maria T. Moreno, Chicago Teachers Union/AFT L. 1
Carla Curio, OPEIU L.8, Seattle
Deepa Kumar, Secretary, Rutgers AAUP-AFT, New Brunswick NJ
Jamie Balancia, Co-Steward, CWA L. 1032, Highland Park NJ
Lisa Edwards, ALAA/UAW L. 2325, NYC Legal Aid Society
Wendy Thompson, UAW L. 22, Detroit, MI, USA
Steve Leigh, Steward, SEIU L. 925, Seattle WA
Rachel Messer, 1199SEIU, NYC Legal Aid Society
Aaron S. Amaral, DC 37, AFSCME
Chuck Mohan, President, Guyanese American Workers United; PSC-CUNY
Brian Pickett, GEO-UAW L. 2322
Sam Weinstein, IJAN-Labor; Former President, Utility Workers L. 132, Retired Assistant to National President, UWUA
IJAN-Labor
Kimberly Goldbaum
, Chicago Teachers Union/AFT L. 1
Larry Hendel, SEIU
Isham Christie, Organizer, WGA East
Sherna Berger Gluck, Former VP, CFA/SEIU L. 1983
Joe Cariello, Steward, Trustee & Executive Board Member, UAW L. 2322
Leslie Cunningham, Texas State Employees Union/CWA L. 6186; Delegate, Austin Central Labor Council
Michelle Flores, Campaign Researcher, NYNJ Regional Joint Board, Workers United
Dianne Feeley, UAW L. 22
Linda Tucker, East Baton Rouge Federation of Teachers/AFT
Howard Pflanzer, PSC-CUNY


Labor for Palestine Model Resolution
Stop the War on Gaza: No Arms for Apartheid Israel  Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions!

Whereas, Israel is committing yet another series of massacres in Gaza, many victims of which include workers, children, entire families the elderly, and the disabled; and

Whereas, Palestinian workers and their families continue to be killed and maimed by naval vessels, jet fighters, Apache helicopters, white phosphorous and other weapons supplied by the US and its allies; and

Whereas, during 2009-2018, the US government is set to provide military aid to Israel worth $30 billion; and

Whereas, Israel claims of “self-defense” are a thinly disguised pretext for more than a century of Zionist colonialism, dispossession, ethnic cleaning, racism, and genocide against the Palestinian people — including Israel’s very establishment through the uprooting and displacement of over 750,000 Palestinians during the 1947-1948 Nakba. Indeed, eighty percent of the 1.8 million people sealed into Gaza are refugees; and

Whereas, veteran South African freedom fighters have observed that Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is “worse than apartheid”; and

Whereas, on July 12, 2014, Gaza civil society issued an urgent appeal for solidarity, calling for an arms embargo and full Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against apartheid Israel, which demands an end to Israeli military occupation of the 1967 territories; full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel; and the right of return for Palestinian refugees, as affirmed by UN resolution 194; and

Whereas, on July 10, 2014, the Congress of South African Trade Unions denounced the latest Israeli massacres in Gaza, and called “on the international trade union movement, various civil society organisations, international religious bodies and even business to speak out against savagery and barbarism against fellow human beings”; and

Whereas, on July 11, 2014, Unite, the biggest union in the UK and Ireland, stated that it “unreservedly condemns the continuing Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people and calls for the military strikes and the military build up to be halted immediately,” and reiterated its support for BDS; and

Whereas, the campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against apartheid Israel has been endorsed by numerous labor bodies around the world, including the trade union congresses of South Africa, Egypt, Brazil, Ireland, Scotland and the UK, and labor bodies in Australia, France, Canada, Norway, Catalunya, Italy, Spain and Turkey; and

Whereas, top U.S. labor officials nonetheless continues to invest billions of from union members’ pension funds in State of Israel Bonds, a pillar of apartheid that enjoys tax-exempt status from the U.S. government; and

Whereas, in opposing the Vietnam War, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. declared: “For the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent”; and

Whereas, Nelson Mandela declared: “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians”;

Therefore:

• We endorse Labor for Palestine’s statement Trade Unionists Say: Stop the War on Gaza: No Arms for Apartheid Israel — Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions!

• We call on the US government and its allies to end all aid to Israel.

• We call on workers to emulate dockers in South Africa, India, Sweden, Norway, Turkey, the US west coast, and elsewhere, by refusing to handle military or any other cargo destined for Israel.

• We call on labor bodies to divest from Israel Bonds, and cut ties with the Histadrut, Israel’s racist labor federation.

 


LaborforPalestine.net
LaborforPalestine.us@gmail.com

Labor for Palestine Stop the War on Gaza: No Arms for Apartheid Israel — Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions!

lfp-size

[Please sign this statement here. To be listed, please provide your trade union affiliation/organization (including local number, if any), union position (if any), location and email address. THAT INFORMATION SHOULD BE LISTED IN THE BOX LABELED, “WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT TO ME.”]

Labor for Palestine
Stop the War on Gaza: No Arms for Apartheid Israel  Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions!
July 28, 2014

“We call on the UN and governments across the world to take immediate steps to implement a comprehensive and legally binding military embargo on Israel, similar to that imposed on South Africa during apartheid.” Palestinian Trade Unions and Civil Society, Stop Arming Israel, July 20, 2014

“For the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.” Beyond Vietnam, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., April 4, 1967

* * *

As workers and trade unionists, we join with Palestinian trade unions, the Congress of South African Trade UnionsUnite (UK/Ireland), and labor organizations around the world to urgently condemn Israel’s barbaric war on Gaza, which has taken thousands of lives since 2006, including many hundreds in recent weeks.

With them, we stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people against more than a century of Zionist colonialism, dispossession, ethnic cleaning, racism, apartheid and genocide — including Israel’s very establishment through the uprooting and displacement of over 750,000 Palestinians during the 1947-1948 Nakba. Indeed, eighty percent of the 1.8 million people sealed into Gaza are refugees.

With them, we support Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), which demands an end to Israeli military occupation of the 1967 territories; full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel; and the right of return for Palestinian refugees, as affirmed by UN resolution 194.

Therefore:

• We call on the US government and its allies to end all aid to Israel.

• We call on workers to emulate dockers in South Africa, India, Sweden, Norway, Turkey, the US west coast, and elsewhere, by refusing to handle military or any other cargo destined for Israel.

• We call on labor bodies to divest from Israel Bonds, and cut ties with the Histadrut, Israel’s racist labor federation. (See model resolution, below.)

Initial Signers (List in formation)

Labor Bodies

NC Public Service Workers Union-UE Local 150

Unite Union NZ

Individuals (Affiliation shown for identification only // *Labor for Palestine co-conveners)

*Suzanne Adely, U.S.-MENA Global Labor Solidarity Network; Former Staff, Global Organizing Institute, UAW

*Monadel Herzallah, former member, Arab American Union Members Council, San Francisco, CA

*Michael Letwin, former President, Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW L. 2325; co-founder, Jews for Palestinian Right of Return, NYC Labor Against the War; US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel

Prof. Rabab Abdulhadi, California Faculty Association SFSU

Judith Ackerman, 1199SEIU, AFT, UFT, AFTRA, SAG, New York NY

Larry Adams, former President, NPMHU L. 300; co-founder, NYC Labor Against the War; People’s Organization for Progress

Joseph Agonito, former President, L. 1845-NYSUT, AFT

Bina Ahmad, ALAA/UAW L. 2325, NYC Legal Aid Society

Sameerah Ahmad, Executive Director, Cincinnati Interfaith Workers Center; former member, GEO/UAW L. 2322

Faiz Ahmed, Chairperson/président Canadian Union of Public Employees L. 3903

Tanya Akel, IBT L. 2010, AFT L. 1521

Noha Arafa, ALAA/UAW L. 2325, NYC Legal Aid Society

Anthony Arnove, National Writers Union/UAW L. 1981, Brooklyn NY

B. Ross Ashley, SEIU L. 204 (retired), Toronto ON

John Bail, National Director, Pacific Region Canadian Union of Postal Workers

Harry Baker, Former Executive Board member, SEIU L. 1021, N. CA
Sarah Barker, Organiser, New Zealand Nurses Organisation

Julia Barnett, Steward, CUPS, L. 79

Thomas F. Barton, L. 768, DC 37, AFSCME

Bill Bateman, Laborers L. 271; Coordinator, RI Unemployed Council, RI Campaign for Work & Wages

Richard Berg, Past President, IBT L. 743

Michael Billeaux, Co-President, Teaching Assistants’ Association/AFT L. 3220, Madison WI

Walter Birdwell, Retired Steward, National Association of Letter Carriers, Branch 283

Richard Blake, IBT L. 512, Jacksonville FL

Dana Blanchard, Berkeley Federation of Teachers, AFT L. 1078

Dave Bleakney, National Union Representative, CUPW, Ottowa ON

Rebecca Bor, Chicago Teachers Union, AFT L. 1

Alexandra Bradbury, co-editor, Labor Notes

Larry Bradshaw, VP SEIU L. 1021, San Francisco

Gloria Brandman, UFT/NYC-MORE Caucus

Deena Brazy, Steward/VP, AFSCME L. 60, Madison WI

Tibby Brooks, National Writers Union/UAW L. 1981

Gabriel Camacho, UNITE HERE L. 66L Cambridge MA

Chris Carlsson, Co-Director, Shaping San Francisco; SEIU L. 1021; adjunct faculty, San Francisco Art Institute

Nora Carroll, ALAA/UAW L. 2325, NYC Legal Aid Society

David Chavez, UAW L. 2865, UC Riverside

Edward Childs, Chief Steward, Unite-Here L. 26

Jan Clausen, Goddard College faculty; UAW L. 2322 Liaison to U.S. Labor Against the War, NYC Chapter

Mary Clinton, Organizer, CWA District 1

L. Antonia Codling, Alt. VP & Former Rep., Attorneys of Color of Legal Aid, ALAA/UAW L. 2325, NYC Legal Aid Society

Len Cooper, Victorian Secretary, Communication Workers Union, Australia

Krista L. Cortes, Unit Chair, UAW L. 2865, UC Berkeley

Heather Cottin, Professional Staff Congress, NYC

Mike Cushman, Membership Secretary, London School of Economics, University and College Union branch (UCU)

Denise D’Anne, SEIU L. 1021

Joe Davies, Organizer, Southern Local Government Officers Union, Christchurch NZ

Warren Davis, Exec. VP (Retired), AFGE L. 2006, Philadelphia

Richard Deaton, Ph.D., LL.B., Asst. Director of Research, Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)(retired)

Francisco Martin del Campo, Head Steward, UAW L. 2685, UC Berkeley Unit

Jacob Denz, GSOC/UAW L. 2110; NYU; Brooklyn, NY

Roger Dittmann, PhD, Former Secretary, United Professors of California

Monique Dols, UFT, NYC

Greg Dropkin, Unison; Liverpool Friends of Palestine, UK

Tim Dubnau, Organizing Coordinator, CWA District One

Arla S. Ertz, SEIU L. 1021 San Francisco

Shelley Ettinger, AFT L. 3882, NYC

Mark Evard, National Director, Canadian Union of Postal Workers, Ottawa ON

Mikos Fabersunne, Professional Engineers in California Government (retired)

Jessica Feldman, UAW L. 2110, NYC

Chris Ferlazzo, Portland Jobs with Justice

Prof. Mary E. Finn, Ph. D., United University Professionals, State University of New York at Buffalo

Prof. Patrick J. Finn, Ph. D., United University Professionals, State University of New York at Buffalo

Gord Fischer, National Director, CUPW Prairie Region, Winnipeg MB

Jon Flanders, Past President, IAM 1145

Prof. Manzar Foroohar, former Chapter President, California Faculty Association-Cal Poly

Sheena Foster, Global Labour University Alumni

Andre Francois, Recording Secretary, USW L. 8751

Carol Gay, President, NJ State Industrial Union Council

Maxine Gay, Retail Finance & Commerce Secretary, FIRST Union New Zealand

Carl Gentile, National Representative, American Federation of Government Employees

Christine Geovanis National Writers Union/UAW L. 1981

Alborz Ghandehari, Recording Secretary, San Diego Unit, UAW L. 2865 (UC Student-Worker Union)

Hadi Gharabaghi, GSOC-UAW L. 2110; Cinema Studies, NYU

Steve Gillis, VP USW L. 8751 (Boston School Bus Drivers’ Union)

Mike Gimbel, Chairperson, Labor/Community Unity Committee, L. 375, AFSCME

Greg Giorgio, Delegate, Upstate NY Regional Branch, Industrial Workers of the World

Nathan Goldbaum, Member Communications Coordinator, Chicago Teachers Union, AFT L. 1

Marty Goodman, former Executive Board member, Transport Workers Union L. 100

Erik Green, UAW L. 2865, Financial Secretary, Santa Cruz CA

Ira Grupper, Delegate (retired), Greater Louisville (KY) Central Labor Council, BCTGM L. 16T

Maria Guillen, SEIU L. 1021

Gabriel Haaland, CWA L. 9404

Jesse Hagopian, Seattle Education Association/NEA

Denise Hammond, Unifor 591 G

David Heap, University of Western Ontario Faculty Association

Jenny Heinz, 1199SEIU

Stanley Heller, 40-year AFT member, West Haven, CT, now AFT 933 (retired)

Lucy Herschel, Delegate, 1199SEIU, NYC

Fred Hirsch, VP, Plumbers and Fitters L. 393, San Jose CA

Michael Hirsch, National Writers Union/UAW L. 1981
Bridgett Holloman, 1199SEIU, Legal Aid Society, Brooklyn NY

Alexandra Holmstrom-Smith, Chair, UCLA Unit, UAW L. 2865 (UC Student-Worker Union)

Jim Holstun, UUP Buffalo Center Chapter, NYSUT, AFT

Evert Hoogers, National Union Rep., CUPW (retired)

Cherrene Horazuk, President, AFSCME L. 3800

Jonathan House, President (1979-1981), Executive Director (1982-1989), Committee of Interns and Residents, SEIU

Sean Howard, Shop Steward, IBT L. 559, Hartford CT

Janet Hudgins, CUPE (retired)

Ren-yo Hwang, S. VP, UAW 2865, Los Angeles

Joe Iosbaker, Executive Board, SEIU L. 73

Malathi Iyenga, San Diego Unit Chair, UAW L. 2865

Joe Jamison, TWU L. 100 (retired)

James Jordan, National Co-Coordinator, Alliance for Global Justice

Michael P. Kaehler, President, APWU L. 647, Saint Cloud MN Area

Marianne Kaletzky, Head Steward, UAW L. 2865 Berkeley CA

Dan Kaplan, Executive Secretary, AFT L. 1493, San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers

Jim Kaplan, former member, Somerville Teachers Association, MA

Wendy Kaufmyn, Executive Board, AFT L. 2121 (faculty union of City College of San Francisco)

Brian Kelly, UCU Belfast (formerly Carpenters L. 33 Boston and IUMSWA L. 25 East Boston)

Sue Kelly, OPEIU L. 334 (retired)

Russell Kilday-Hicks, VP, California State Employees Association

Ed Kinchley, San Francisco Committee on Political Education; Co-chair, SEIU L. 1021, San Francisco

John Kirkland, Carpenters L. 1462, Bucks County PA

Steve Kirschbaum, Grievance Committee Chair, USW L. 8751

David Klein, California Faculty Association

Jeff Klein, Retired President, NAGE/SEIU L. R1-168

Cindy Klumb, OPEIU L. 153

Richard Koritz, Former President, NALC Branch 630, Greensboro NC

Dennis Kortheuer, California Faculty Association

Bud Korotzer, Shop Steward, AFSCME District Council 37, L. 371 (retired)

Daniella Korotzer, Former VP & Health & Safety Rep., ALAA/UAW L. 2325, NYC Legal Aid Society

Francine Korotzer, Shop Steward, AFSCME District Council 37, L. 2054 (retired)

Dennis Kosuth, Shop Steward, Convention Delegate, National Nurses Organizing Committee, National Nurses United

Rebecca Kurti, 1199SEIU

Elizabeth Lalasz, Steward & Bargaining Team Rep., National Convention Delegate, District 13, National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses Unites (NNOC/NNU)

Zoe Lawlor, Unite Teacher, University of Limerick, Ireland

Howard Lenow, American Jews For A Just Peace, trade union lawyer

Kristin Lew, 1199SEIU

Stephen Lewis, SEIU L. 509

Joe Lombardo, CSEA L. 999, Troy Area Labor Council

Marsha Love, UALE, Chicago

Michael Lyon, AFT L. 2121 (retiree)

John McColgan, SENA 9158, United Steelworkers of America

Maureen McDermott, UFT, NYC

Henry Maar, Trustee, UAW L. 2865

Amir M. Maasoumi, former member, Federation des travailleurs du Quebec (FTQ)

Shafeah M’Balia, National Assn. of Letter Carriers, Greenville, NC Branch 1729; Black Workers For Justice

Cindy McCallum Miller, President, Castlegar Local Canadian Union of Postal Workers, BC

Edward Miller, Strategic Adviser, FIRST Union, Auckland NZ

Gail Miller, UFT, NYC

Nathaniel Miller, Industrial Workers of the World

Susan Olivia Morris, Alternate VP, ALAA/UAW L. 2325, NYC Legal Aid Society

Irene Morrison, Recording Secretary, UAW 2865, UC Riverside

Hlokoza Motau, National Union of Metalworkers’ Union (Numsa), Johannesburg, South Africa

Kenneth Myers, United Federation of Teachers, NYC

Ken Nash, AFSCME L. 1930, DC 37

Lisa North, AFT L. 2, Brooklyn NY

Raquel Pacheco, UAW L. 2865, San Diego CA

Meredith Palmer, Head Steward, UAW L. 2865, UC Berkeley

Jackson Pitts, Head Steward, UAW L. 2865, UC Riverside

Maria Pizarro, AFSCME L. 2081

Marion Pollack, retiree, Vancouver BC

Jay Poppa, VP, Bridgeport Education Association, Bridgeport, CT

Dr. Anna Potempska, PhD, PEF (retired), NY

Andre’ Powell, AFSCME Delegate, Baltimore Central Labor Council

Peter Rachleff, Labor Educator; UALE

Natasha Raheja, Bargaining Committee, GSOC-UAW L. 2110, NYC

Melissa Rakestraw, Executive Board and Shop Steward, National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Branch 825, Oakbrook IL

Croft Randle, Retired Local Officer and Provincial Representative, Telecommunications Workers Union, BC Canada

Ben Ratliffe, Steward, AFSCME L. 60, WI

Dominic Renda, Chief Shop Steward, CWA L. 1105

Eric Robson, Steward and Trustee, AFSCME L. 171, Madison WI

Marco Antonio Rosales, Unit Chair, UAW L. 2865, UC Davis

Mimi Rosenberg, ALAA/UAW L. 2325, NYC Legal Aid Society
Keith Rosenthal, AFSCME L. 3650, Somerville MA

Prof. Emerita Marguerite G. Rosenthal, Massachusetts State College Association/Mass. Education Assn./NEA

Andrew Ross, AAUP, NYU

Janice Rothstein, AFSCME L. 3299, San Francisco

Christina Rousseau, CUPE 3903, Toronto ON

David Russitano, Executive Board, United Educators of San Francisco, AFT/CFT L. 61

Gillian Russom, Board of Directors, United Teachers Los Angeles, AFT L. 1021

Carl Sack, AFT L. 3220, UW-Madison Teaching Assistants’ Association

Keith Sadler, UAW L. 2, Toledo OH

Lauren Schaeffer, Head Steward, UAW L. 2865, Los Angeles CA

Charity Schmidt, Former Co-President, University of Wisconsin-Madison Teaching Assistants’ Association (TAA)

Robert M. Schwartz, National Writers Union/UAW L. 1981, Boston MA

Helen Scott, United Academics AAUP/AFT L. 4996, Burlington VT

Mary Scully, IUE-CWA L. 201 (retired)

Snehal Shingavi, Texas State Employees Union/CWA L. 6186, Austin TX

Tyler Shipley, CUPE L. 3903; Toronto ON

Ahmad Shirazi, Former Board Member, IATSE L. 700, NYC

Sid Shniad, Former Research Director, Telecommunications Workers Union, Vancouver BC

Jerry Silberman, Senior Staff Rep., Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals

Lorrie Beth Slonsky, SEIU L. 1021; Paramedic (retired)

Larry Smallwood, former Telecommunications Workers Union of Canada; Volunteer President L. 7; human rights officer; union activist for equity rights

Nancy Snyder, Recording Secretary Emeritus, SEIU L. 1021

David Sole, Past President, UAW L. 2334, Detroit

Peter Spitzform, AFT/AAUP, University of Vermont

Brenda Stokely, former President, AFSCME DC 1707; co-founder, NYC Labor Against the War; Co-Chair, Million Worker March Movement

Alan Stolzer, Bakers L. 3 (retired)

Susan Stout, Unifor 2002, Canada (retired)

Dante Strobino, UE L. 150, North Carolina Public Service Workers Union, Durham

Brian J. Sullivan, LSSA/UAW L. 2320, NYC

Rick Sullivan, BC Retired Teachers’ Association, Parksville BC

Lee Sustar, NWU/UAW L. 1981; Chicago IL

Alice Sturm Sutter, NYSNA (retired), NYC

Team Solidarity – the Voice of United School Bus Workers

Steve Terry, ALAA/UAW L. 2325, NYC Legal Aid Society

Clarence Thomas, Co-Chair, Million Worker March; Executive Board, ILWU L. 10

Elizabeth Thornton, Head Steward, UCLA Unit, UAW L. 2865 (UC Student-Workers Union)

Joanne Tien, Head Steward, UAW L. 2865, Oakland CA.

Azalia Torres, Former Executive Board Member, ALAA/UAW L. 2325, NYC Legal Aid Society

Mike Treen, National Director, Unite Union NZ

Corey Uhl, IBT L. 79, Tampa FL

Jaime Veve, Transport Workers Union L. 100, NYC (retired)

Nantina Vgontzas, GSOC/UAW L. 2110, NYU

Sabina Virgo, Founding and Past President, AFSCME L. 2620

Kay L. Walker, SEIU L. 1021, San Francisco (retired)

Peter Waterman, Researcher/writer on labour internationalisms; ABVA-KABO, The Hague, Netherlands

Dave Welsh, Delegate, San Francisco Labor Council

Nancy Welch, Delegate, UVM United Academics AFT/AAUP

Bruce Wolf, Social Justice Committee, OPEIU L. 2

Sherry Wolf, CWA L. 1032

Cynthia Wright, CUPE 3903

Garrett Wright, National Organization of Legal Services Workers, UAW L. 2320, NYC

Eddie Yood, CWA L. 1180 Liaison to US Labor Against the War

Carol F. Yost, Organization of Staff Analysts, NYC (retired)

Steve Zeltzer, CWA L. 39521; Pacific Media Workers; KPFA WorkWeek Radio


Labor for Palestine Model Resolution
Stop the War on Gaza: No Arms for Apartheid Israel  Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions!

Whereas, Israel is committing yet another series of massacres in Gaza, many victims of which include workers, children, entire families the elderly, and the disabled; and

Whereas, Palestinian workers and their families continue to be killed and maimed by naval vessels, jet fighters, Apache helicopters, white phosphorous and other weapons supplied by the US and its allies; and

Whereas, during 2009-2018, the US government is set to provide military aid to Israel worth $30 billion; and

Whereas, Israel claims of “self-defense” are a thinly disguised pretext for more than a century of Zionist colonialism, dispossession, ethnic cleaning, racism, and genocide against the Palestinian people — including Israel’s very establishment through the uprooting and displacement of over 750,000 Palestinians during the 1947-1948 Nakba. Indeed, eighty percent of the 1.8 million people sealed into Gaza are refugees; and

Whereas, veteran South African freedom fighters have observed that Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is “worse than apartheid”; and

Whereas, on July 12, 2014, Gaza civil society issued an urgent appeal for solidarity, calling for an arms embargo and full Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against apartheid Israel, which demands an end to Israeli military occupation of the 1967 territories; full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel; and the right of return for Palestinian refugees, as affirmed by UN resolution 194; and

Whereas, on July 10, 2014, the Congress of South African Trade Unions denounced the latest Israeli massacres in Gaza, and called “on the international trade union movement, various civil society organisations, international religious bodies and even business to speak out against savagery and barbarism against fellow human beings”; and

Whereas, on July 11, 2014, Unite, the biggest union in the UK and Ireland, stated that it “unreservedly condemns the continuing Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people and calls for the military strikes and the military build up to be halted immediately,” and reiterated its support for BDS; and

Whereas, the campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against apartheid Israel has been endorsed by numerous labor bodies around the world, including the trade union congresses of South Africa, Egypt, Brazil, Ireland, Scotland and the UK, and labor bodies in Australia, France, Canada, Norway, Catalunya, Italy, Spain and Turkey; and

Whereas, top U.S. labor officials nonetheless continues to invest billions of from union members’ pension funds in State of Israel Bonds, a pillar of apartheid that enjoys tax-exempt status from the U.S. government; and

Whereas, in opposing the Vietnam War, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. declared: “For the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent”; and

Whereas, Nelson Mandela declared: “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians”;

Therefore:

• We call on the US government and its allies to end all aid to Israel.

• We call on workers to emulate dockers in South Africa, India, Sweden, Norway, Turkey, the US west coast, and elsewhere, by refusing to handle military or any other cargo destined for Israel.

• We call on labor bodies to divest from Israel Bonds, and cut ties with the Histadrut, Israel’s racist labor federation.