For Immediate Release
The Palestinian BDS National Committee* Salutes the Canadian Union of Postal Workers on their Historic Decision to Boycott the Israeli Apartheid Regime
18 April 2008
The BDS National Committee (BNC), comprising over 200 Palestinian civil society organizations and including all major Palestinian workers’ unions, salutes the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) for their decision to support the international campaign for Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against the Israeli apartheid regime. This decision, the first of its kind at the national level of a union in North America, constitutes a major step forward in the global struggle for freedom and justice. It further exemplifies the cause of workers’ solidarity against oppression and racism, particularly at a time when Israel is intensifying, with impunity, its acts of genocide against close to 1.5 million Palestinians in occupied Gaza.
Delegates to the annual convention of the CUPW, representing over 50,000 postal workers, voted overwhelmingly in support of resolution 338/339. This resolution also states that the union will work “with Palestinian solidarity and human rights organizations to develop an educational campaign about the apartheid nature of the Israeli state and the political and economic support of Canada for these practices.”
Israel’s apartheid and colonial policies and practices have resulted in the near collapse of the Palestinian economy, resulting in massive loss of work and livelihood. These policies have had a particularly acute effect on Palestinianpostal workers. The apartheid regime has ensured that there is no Palestinian controlled access to other countries; as a result, all incoming and outgoing Palestinian mail has to pass through the Israeli postal service which routinely delays delivery, often for several months. In the course of fulfilling their duty, Palestinian postal workers have to travel through Israeli checkpoints at which Israeli soldiers regularly delay their passage, often detaining them for hours under the sun or rain, or denying them passage altogether. By virtue of working under conditions of a brutal military occupation, Palestinian postal workers regularly risk imprisonment, injury, and death while at work.
This resolution comes at a time when Israel prepares to celebrate the sixtieth year since its establishment, a celebration in which many of the most powerful governments of the world will participate. For sixty years, thePalestinian people have endured and resisted the ongoing displacement of the majority of Palestinians, as well as the land confiscation, military violence, institutionalized racism, and political repression of those who managed to remain in their homeland. CUPW’s resolution is a statement to the world that when the states of the world stand behind oppression and apartheid, it is up to the people of the world to oppose it.
We call on the workers of CUPW to ensure that their union implements this historic resolution. We also call on all people of the world to follow CUPW’s example, and work within their societies and institutions to support the isolation of the Israeli apartheid regime until the apartheid system is dismantled, and the Palestinian refugees return to their homes and lands from which they were expelled. Only thus can a just peace based on international law and fundamental human rights be built and maintained.
* The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) is a wide coalition of major unions, networks and organizations representing Palestinian civil society.
For more information please contact:
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel: firstname.lastname@example.org
Badil Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights: email@example.com
Stop the Wall Coalition: firstname.lastname@example.org