***No Business As Usual: May Day for Palestine! (Labor for Palestine National Network)

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No Business As Usual: May Day for Palestine!
Issued by the Labor for Palestine National Network, April 6, 2024

Organizational endorsements welcome here.

On March 23, 2024, “in the midst of pain and blood, in the displacement camps, amidst the rubble, and the ruins of our homes, workshops, factories, stores, and institutions destroyed by the ‘Israeli’ occupation, using U.S.-made weapons,” the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions-Gaza (PGFTU-Gaza) sent U.S. workers, unions, and other labor organizations an urgent May Day appeal.

The PGFTU-Gaza’s appeal salutes “some exceptional examples of unions, clearly demonstrated in leading protests denouncing the Zionist war of genocide being waged on the Gaza Strip.”

However, it also decries the “shocking silence and neglect by the international labor movement,” citing those who have “retreated to verbal positions without taking measures on the ground or pressuring the decision-makers to stop this war of extermination, limiting union activities to conferences and statements and not delving deeply into the need to guarantee humanitarian aid, or influencing international public opinion to expose the truth about Zionist crimes and the practices of the allied countries that continue to support Israel.”

The appeal specifically highlights the need “to ban the occupation’s trade unions [the Histdarut] internationally, as they are partners in the war of genocide. In particular, we call on American unions to boycott these unions to protest their complicity in this genocidal war.”

In response to the PGFTU-Gaza May Day appeal, and the Urgent Call from Palestinian Trade Unions: End all Complicity, Stop Arming Israel (October 16, 2023), the Labor for Palestine National Network reaffirms that labor must go beyond words and escalate pressure to stop the genocide in Gaza by:

  1. Demanding an immediate end to the siege on Gaza and to all U.S. military aid for Israel;
  2. Following the example of Block the Boat, ILWU West Coast dockers, and workers around the world who refuse to build or transport weapons destined for Israel; and
  3. Respecting the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) picket line by severing ties with Israel’s racist labor federation, the Histadrut and its US mouthpiece, the Jewish Labor Committee, and by divesting from Israel Bonds and industries connected with Zionist settler colonialism and occupation.

We further call on the working class and labor bodies across the U.S. to build on the May Day call from Bay Area Labor for Palestine, by taking one or more of the following actions on May 1, 2024:

  • Withhold labor and rally with a labor contingent for Palestine or amplify demands to stop this genocide within your local May Day action
  • Hold a teach-in or moment of silence
  • Post a group photo, with flags, signs, keffiyehs, buttons, and other symbols of Palestinian solidarity
  • Leaflet and demonstrate at a weapons plant, military facility, or other complicit institution
  • Storm social media with:
  • #MayDay4Palestine
  • #StopArmingIsrael
  • #BDS
  • #DumpIsraelBonds
  • #DroptheHistadrut
  • #FromtheRivertotheSeaPalestineWillBeFree
  • Devise other creative actions

Why is Palestine a Labor Issue?

  1. An injury to one is an injury to all. The Israeli settler-colonial regime is part of the same U.S.-backed system of racist state violence that brutalizes Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and working class people around the world. With Israel’s knee on their neck, Palestinians can’t breathe, and we unconditionally stand with them, just as they have stood with our struggles for Black and Brown Lives, Standing Rock, migrant rights, and beyond.
  1. Our tax dollars fund Israel. Israel’s crimes are committed with more than $3.8 billion a year (or $10+ million per day) in bipartisan US military aid, tax dollars that should be spent instead on badly-needed jobs, food, housing, healthcare, education, and transportation for poor and working people at home.
  1. Our workplaces arm Israel. Many of our unionized factories, logistics, academia, tech, and other workplaces—without our consent—produce weapons, transportation, research, technology, and other materials for the genocidal Israeli regime.
  1. Our unions fund Israel. Our unions are already involved—on the wrong side. In the 1920s-1930s, top labor officials donated millions to the Histadrut, the Zionist labor federation that spearheaded anti-Palestinian dispossession, apartheid, and ethnic cleansing, including the Nakba (Catastrophe) that established the Israeli state in 1948. For more than 70 years, they have used our union dues and pension funds to buy billions of dollars worth of Israel Bonds. Today, despite horrendous Palestinian casualties, most labor officials remain silent—or worse.
  1. Global working class solidarity is the only way to win. More than ever, in this era of globalization, workers and oppressed people everywhere are up a common enemy. We can’t win if we are atomized by union, or even country. We need international, classwide unity. That means every worker must take on the task of building solidarity with Palestine—today an epicenter of class struggle.
  1. Workers can stop Israeli genocide. More than 50 years ago, Arab and Black auto workers led a wildcat strike and other actions to protest UAW complicity with Israel. Today, we can follow their example in respecting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) picket line by protesting, bringing union resolutions, and—above all—by mobilizing our collective power at the workplace, as shown by dockers in South Africa, India, Sweden, Norway, Turkey, Italy, Belgium, and the ILWU on the West Coast of the United States, which has respected Block the Boat’s community-labor picket line by refusing to handle Israeli cargo.

Union Labor Donated

Stand With Palestinian Workers: Cease the Genocide Now—Stop Arming Israel!

PLEASE SIGN AND FORWARD WIDELY!
To endorse the following statement please click here.
Full list of signers here.

Contact: info@laborforpalestine.net
Website: laborforpalestine.net

Stand With Palestinian Workers:
Cease the Genocide NowStop Arming Israel!
Labor for Palestine, October 24, 2023

“We need you to take immediate action—wherever you are in the world—to prevent the arming of the Israeli state and the companies involved in the infrastructure of the blockade.” An Urgent Call from Palestinian Trade Unions: End all Complicity, Stop Arming Israel (October 16, 2023)

The undersigned U.S. workers, trade unionists, and anti-apartheid activists join labor around the world in condemning the Israeli siege on Gaza and sharply escalating settler colonial violence in the West Bank that has killed or maimed thousands of Palestinians—many of them children—and stand with Palestinians’ “right to exist, resist, return, and self-determination.”

The latest Israeli attacks reflect more than a century of ongoing Zionist settler-colonialism, dispossession, ethnic cleansing, racism, genocide, and apartheid—including Israel’s establishment through the uprooting and displacement of over 750,000 Palestinians during the 1947-1948 Nakba. Indeed, eighty percent of the 2.3 million people in Gaza are refugees from other parts of historic Palestine.

Israel’s crimes are only possible because of more than $3.8 billion a year (or $10+ million per day) in bipartisan US military aid that gives Israel the guns, bullets, tanks, ships, jet fighters, missiles, helicopters, white phosphorus and other weapons to kill and maim the Palestinian people. This is the same system of racist state violence that, through shared surveillance technology and police exchange programs, brutalizes BIPOC and working class people in the United States and around the world.

In response, we demand an immediate end to the genocide, and embrace the recent Urgent Call from Palestinian Trade Unions: End all Complicity, Stop Arming Israel:

  1. To refuse to build weapons destined for Israel. 
  2. To refuse to transport weapons to Israel. 
  3. To pass motions in their trade union to this effect. 
  4. To take action against complicit companies involved in implementing Israel’s brutal and illegal siege, especially if they have contracts with your institution. 
  5. Pressure governments to stop all military trade with Israel, and in the case of the U.S., funding to it.

We further reaffirm the call on labor bodies to respect previous Palestinian trade union appeals for solidarity by adopting this statement, and/or the model resolution below to divest from Israel Bonds, sever all ties with the Israel’s racist labor federation, the Histadrut, and its US mouthpiece, the Jewish Labor Committee, and respect the Palestinian picket line for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS), which calls not only for an end to the 1967 Israeli occupation, but an end to Israeli occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall, full equality for Arab-Palestinians inside 1948 Palestine (“Israel”), and implementation of the right of Palestinian refugees to return.. 

Initial Signers on behalf of Labor for Palestine
(organizational affiliations listed for identification only)
Suzanne Adely, Labor for Palestine, US Palestinian Community Network, Arab Workers Resource Center; Food Chain Workers Alliance (staff); President, National Lawyers Guild
Monadel Herzallah, Arab American Union Members Council
Ruth Jennison, Department Rep., Massachusetts Society of Professors, MTA, NEA; Co-Chair, Labor Standing Committee River Valley DSA; Delegate to Western Mass Area Labor Federation
Lara Kiswani, Executive Director, Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC); Block the Boat
Michael Letwin, Former President, Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW Local 2325; Jews for Palestinian Right of Return
Corinna Mullin, PSC-CUNY International Committee; CUNY for Palestine
Clarence Thomas, Co-Chair, Million Worker March; Executive Board, ILWU Local 10 (retired)


Rising Unequivocal U.S. Labor Solidarity With Palestine
Oct. 27, 2023: APWU Pres. Stands Up for Palestine v. AFL-CIO EB: “Mark Dimondstein, the president of the postal union, argued that Israel and the Palestinian territories should be combined into a single state. He called for the A.F.L.-C.I.O. to demand a cease-fire.”

Oct. 27, 2023: UAW BDS Sign-On Letter: “We, rank-and-file members of the UAW and allied community members/organizations, stand unequivocally in solidarity with Palestinians and their resistance against the occupying Zionist state.”

Oct.25, 2023: Natl. Domestic Alliance Workers Staff Union Solidarity With Palestine: “The National Domestic Alliance Workers Staff Union and allied non-union staff stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for freedom and against apartheid.”

Oct. 23, 2023: Petition: NOLSW Must Demand a Ceasefire & an End to the  Occupation of Palestine: “We need as many signatures from NOLSW members as well as unit endorsements as we can get before this upcoming Monday to demonstrate that the NOLSW rank-and-file stands firmly in solidarity with the Palestinian people and will by while Israel continues to commit genocide in Gaza. Free Palestine.”

Oct. 20, 2023: The Bronx Defenders Union-UAW Local 2325 Support of Palestinians: “We do not consent to Israel’s genocidal rhetoric and actions against the Palestinian people and we do not consent to U.S. political support for this genocide.”

Oct. 20, 2023: Starbucks Workers United stands with Palestine: “We condemn the occupation, displacement, state violence, apartheid, and threats of genocide Palestinians face.”

Oct. 19, 2023: Make the Road Union UAW Local 2320 staff: We Stand With Palestine: “Ceasefire now. End US tax dollars used to fund apartheid. Stop the genocide.”

Oct. 16: 2023: U.K. Trade unionists must stand with Palestine: “We urge all trade unions to stand with the Palestinian people in Gaza and beyond.”

Oct. 10, 2023: Amazon and Google Workers with No Tech For Apartheid: “We stand in full solidarity with the Palestinian people as they resist 75 years of occupation and in their fight for life and liberation.”

Oct. 9, 2023: GSOC-UAW 2110 A response to Linda G. Mills’ statement on Israel: “GSOC stands in solidarity with Palestinians fighting to free themselves from Israeli occupation.”

July 22, 2022: UAW 2325 (Association of Legal Aid Attorneys) Votes to Divest From Israel Bonds: “ALAA 2325 supports taking action, both as individual members and as a chapter collectively, in support of Palestinian liberation from Israeli apartheid.”

May 15, 2021: Labor for Palestine: U.S. Labor Must Stand With Palestine!: “An injury to one is an injury to all: From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will Be Free!”

Background and Context 

Bottom-Up Labor Solidarity for Palestine Is Growing: “While still at the margins, this unprecedented and rapidly-expanding worker-based Palestine solidarity has the potential to finally break Zionism’s century-long stranglehold on U.S. labor, and to organize workers’ unparalleled power—in their labor bodies and at the workplace—to help topple apartheid Israel.”

Labor for Palestine: Challenging US Labor Zionism (American Quarterly): “Zionism has long been the default position in US labor. However, there has been another, hidden tradition of postwar labor anti-Zionism that began with Detroit in 1969–73 and has slowly re-emerged after September 11, 2011, from the antiwar, Palestine solidarity, and racial justice movements.”

Labor Zionism and the Histadrut: The Histadrut has used its image as a “progressive” institution to spearhead — and whitewash — racism, apartheid, dispossession and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians since the 1920s. In this, it has been the cornerstone of Labor Zionism, which began in the early 1900s.”

The Jewish Labor Committee and Apartheid Israel: “The Jewish Labor Committee (JLC) presents itself as a model of progressive, socially conscious trade unionism. But as a U.S. mouthpiece for the Histadrut, this false image has been a smokescreen to disguise and promote Apartheid Israel, “AFL-CIA” support of U.S. war and empire, and racism in the labor movement.”

Labor for Palestine Model Resolution: [X union/labor body] 

Stand With Palestinian Workers: 

Cease the Genocide Now, End All Complicity, Stop Arming Israel!

WHEREAS, October 7, 2023 saw the people of Gaza collectively reject the culmination of 16 years of a brutal land, air and sea siege devastating the entirety of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents; and

WHEREAS, the 16-year blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip has devastated the economy, leading to the closure of many companies, factories, and farms, resulting in a high level of unemployment, and reducing the government’s ability to provide basic services to the Palestinian population in Gaza; and

WHEREAS, the siege has deprived Palestinians in Gaza of their basic rights to health care, education, work, and freedom of movement, with 81.5 percent of individuals in Gaza living below the poverty line and 64 percent are food insecure; and

WHEREAS, the latest Israeli attacks reflect more than a century of ongoing Zionist settler-colonialism, dispossession, ethnic cleansing, racism, genocide, and apartheid—including Israel’s establishment through the uprooting and displacement of over 750,000 Palestinians during the 1947-1948 Nakba. Indeed, eighty percent of the 2.3 million people in Gaza are refugees from other parts of historic Palestine; and

WHEREAS, the section of the Gaza border that was bulldozed through on October 7th was the site of the Great March of Return, a 2018-2019 peaceful protest which Israel responded to with deadly force, killing 214 Palestinians, including 46 children, and injuring 28,939 a reminder that all forms of Palestinian resistanceeven peaceful onesare criminalized and crushed by Israel; and

WHEREAS, as in the last 16 days alone at least [update as needed] 4,741 Palestinians have been killed and 15,898 wounded, with over a million of the densely populated enclave’s people displaced; and

WHEREAS, there have been [update as needed] 51 attacks on healthcare facilities in Gaza with these attacks resulting in at least 15 health workers killed, 27 health workers injured, damage to 25 hospitals and other healthcare facilities and three hospitals in northern Gaza evacuated; and

WHEREAS, upon announcing his intention to reduce parts of Gaza to “rubble,” Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu ordered leaflets dropped from the sky telling Palestinians in the Gaza strip, of which 50 percent of the population are children, to “leave now,” knowing full well that there is absolutely nowhere they can go; a public declaration of intent to commit the international crime of forced population transfer; and

WHEREAS, Israel has consolidated all these tactics of extermination in the current attack on Gaza, including the prohibited use of white phosphorus weapons in densely populated urban areas. In addition, Israel is arming settlers with an additional 10,000 assault rifles, which has already further galvanized attacks on Palestinian communities in the West Bank; and

WHEREAS, Israel justified its decision to suspend all entry of food, water and fuel into Gaza by claiming that it was fighting “human animals”; As we have seen with past examples of US led wars on Iraq and Afghanistan , such dehumanizing language is used to manufacture consent for genocidal violence; and

WHEREAS, a majority of media, politicians and employers have demonstrated an inconsistent valuation of human life, with calculated omissions effectively endorsing Israel’s ongoing perpetration of ethnic cleansing, war crimes, and genocide against the 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza; and

WHEREAS, the tired trope of “religious conflict” has been used often to mask the reality of settler colonial violence and dispossession, essentializing and racializing both Jewish and Muslim communities and those critical of Israeli settler colonial violence have been falsely accused of anti-semitism; and

WHEREAS, the Union of Professors and Employees at Birzeit University in the West Bank, calls on all trade unions around the globe to reject the “criminalization of resistance… where all blood that is shed is blamed on the oppressed and all crimes of settler colonial invasion and dispossession are ignored entirely”; and

WHEREAS, all over the world and including our [city/workplace], workers of all faiths and backgrounds are united in their opposition to apartheid, occupation, genocide and settler colonialism; and

WHEREAS, the Palestinian struggle against settler colonialism as a structure of power designed to accumulate wealth through dispossession and maintain racial hierarchy links it organically to the struggles of Indigenous, Black and Puerto Rican peoples, as well as other oppressed peoples in the United States; and 

WHEREAS, the institutions of organized violence that oppress working class, Black and Brown communities in the US train and share tactics of repression with Israeli institutions of organized violence, for example through the deadly exchange program; and

WHEREAS, since World War II, Israel has been the largest overall recipient of U.S. foreign aid, with over $150 billion since 1946 and U.S. President Joe Biden has just announced another $14.3 billion in aid for Israel as part of a broader “defense” spending package that is a boon for the military-industrial-complex and is being claimed as a job promotion program for US workers who are allegedly “building the arsenal of democracy”; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. began moving warships and aircraft to the region “to be ready to provide Israel with whatever it needed to respond,” including sending two U.S. aircraft carriers as well as special operations forces to “assist Israel’s military in planning and intelligence”; and

WHEREAS, Palestinian trade unions call for workers around the globe to stand in solidarity to “end all forms of complicity with Israel’s crimes” and to “pass motions in their trade union to this effect”; therefore be it

RESOLVED, that our [union or other labor body] condemns Israel’s ongoing genocide against the Palestinian people and calls for an immediate end to the bombings and destruction in Gaza as well as an end to all US military and economic aid to the settler colonial state of Israel; and

RESOLVED, that we endorse the October 16, 2023 Palestinian trade union call:

  1. To refuse to build weapons destined for Israel. 
  2. To refuse to transport weapons to Israel. 
  3. To pass motions in their trade union to this effect. 
  4. To take action against complicit companies involved in implementing Israel’s brutal and illegal siege, especially if they have contracts with your institution. 
  5. Pressure governments to stop all military trade with Israel, and in the case of the U.S., funding to it.

RESOLVED, that our employer(s) publicly declare and divest from all financial ties with “the State of Israel and all Israeli and international companies that sustain Israeli apartheid”; and

RESOLVED, that our union pledge to respect previous Palestinian trade union appeals for solidarity by divesting from Israel Bonds, severing all ties with the Israel’s racist labor federation, the Histadrut, and its US mouthpiece, the Jewish Labor Committee, and respecting the Palestinian picket line for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS); and 

RESOLVED, that our employer defend its workers [and students] who are routinely doxxed and attacked when voicing support for Palestine, including those who take part in the BDS campaign, and/or who otherwise oppose Israeli settler colonialism.

Kopmala Out of Philly! (Purple Up 4 Palestine)

Original online here.

UPDATE: Genocide Joe decided he couldn’t handle a room full of laborers 😔 not even a guest appearance despite the 200 MILLION DOLLARS @seiu_org is funding his genocidal campaign with! Instead he is send his right hand woman, Kopmala Harris! Join us Tuesday morning to show these genocidaires that imperialism had no place in labor spaces, and that we will do everything to fight them out! #purpleup4palestine #labor4palestine