Monthly Archives: June 2008

UK’s largest union, UNISON, passes boycott resolution! (CAIA)

Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid | June 22, 2008

UK’s largest union, UNISON, passes boycott resolution!

UNISON – 2008 National Delegate Conference – Composite : AgendaID D – Palestine : Conference welcomes the fact that UNISON has adopted comprehensive policy on Palestine at successive national delegate conferences in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Conference notes that 2007 marked the fortieth anniversary of the illegal Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. 2008 marks the sixtieth anniversary of the “Nakba” which led to nearly 900,000 Palestinians refugees fleeing their homes. Many of them and their descendants still live in refugee camps and all are unable to return to their homes.Conference condemns the current siege of Gaza which threatens a humanitarian catastrophe through the denial of food, water, power and medical supplies by the Israeli government in breach of international law which outlaws collective punishment of a civilian population

However, Conference is aware that there is a still a low-level of awareness about the fate of the Palestinian people amongst trade union members and the wider public. Conference is also aware that this is among factors that allow both the British government and the European Union to pursue a foreign policy that whilst formally supporting the creation of an independent, viable Palestinian state effectively tolerates the continuing Israeli occupation.

Conference notes that the Trades Union Congress in 2006 adopted a clear position in support of self-determination for the Palestinian people. Conference recognises the importance of the work in the trade unions to win support for the Palestinian people, to campaign for recognition of their rights and to bring pressure to bear on the British Government to end its complicity in denying the rights of the Palestinian people.

Conference notes that 18 national trade unions affiliate to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) representing over 80% of the organised trade union movement and recognises the potential that this represents for building a mass campaign of solidarity.

Conference recognises the importance of developing the work in the trade union movement at national, regional and local level and encourages all members and branches to affiliate to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and to seek to take initiatives that will strengthen this work in 2008.

Conference welcomes the work carried out by PSC’s Trade Union Advisory Committee and in particular the production of the Education Pack, which can be a valuable resource for work in regions and branches, Trades Union Council and with PSC.

Conference welcomes the organisation of the PSC led Trade Union Delegation of representatives of PCS, UNISON, UCU, UNITE (TGWU section) and TSSA, which visited the West Bank in January 2008. Branches and regions are encouraged to make the maximum use of this opportunity to organise meetings with delegates reporting back.

Conference supports the calling of a trade union conference in the coming year and urges the National Executive Council to work closely with PSC on this initiative and give it maximum publicity and support.

Conference therefore instructs the National Executive Council to:

1) continue to promote awareness about Palestine amongst UNISON’s members, branches and regions by:

a) acting in solidarity with the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions, including;
b) projects to support the Palestinian trade union movement in the Occupied Territories;
c) working with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and other organisations and encourage regions and branches to affiliate to PSC and invite speakers to address branches;
d) examining the investments of their members’ pension funds with a view to calling for disinvestment from companies such as Caterpillar, involved in the occupation;
e) using UNISON publications and other campaign materials
f) Act on some of the recommendations from the PSC trade union delegation to Palestine such as:
i) actions focused on the occupation;
ii) organising fact-finding solidarity delegations to the occupied Palestinian Territories;
iii) conveying solidarity messages to those inside Israel organising against the occupation, the Wall, the
checkpoints and the blockade.

2) work with the TUC and its affiliated trade unions to effectively implement the 2006 Congress resolution, especially through the TUC/Foreign Office and the TUC/Department for International Development forums;

3) raise the issue of Palestine with UNISON’s sister unions abroad and especially the global and European trade union federations to which UNISON is affiliated;

4) work with anti-occupation forces in Israel, such as Gush Shalom and Machson Watch;

5) make links with and give support to PGFTU endorsed worker’s advice centres across the region;

6) continue to work with both PGFTU and the Israeli Histradut to promote civil society dialogue and the peace process;

7) campaign to bring about a concrete change in the policies of the British government and the European Union. A first goal should be:

a) an end to the arms trade between Israel and Britain and EU Member States leading to a mandatory United Nations Arms Embargo;
b) suspension of the European Union/Israel Association Agreement until Israel is in full compliance of its human rights clauses;
c) a ban on imports of all goods, and especially agricultural produce, from the illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories;
d) recognition of the outcome of the last elections to the Palestinian Authority which were certified as free and fair by international observers;

8) Ensure that the union divests itself of any holdings in companies responsible for maintaining the illegal Wall condemned by the International Court of Justice.

Posted on 24-06-2008

Congress Report Calls for Israeli Boycott Campaign (ICTU)


Congress Report Calls for Israeli Boycott Campaign
18 Jun 2008

Cover image for Report of Delegation visit to Israel & Palestine
Congress today (June 18) formally launched the report of a senior union delegation visit to Israel and Palestine which recommends support and promotion for a “boycott campaign of Israeli goods and services and a policy of disinvestment from Israeli companies.”

The Congress delegation report recommends (full list below) that this course of action be pursued in order to encourage Israeli compliance with International Law and to cease its violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people.

The Congress report also calls for the Irish government to initiate change at EU level, with regard to policy on Israel and Palestine.

The delegation visit (in November 2007) comprised senior Congress officials and was led by the current President of Congress, Patricia McKeown. The delegation visited Israel, the West Bank and Gaza and met with trade unionists, human rights activists and senior politicians.

The visit followed the unanimous adoption by Congress, in July 2007, of two motions that specifically called for a boycott and a campaign of disinvestment.

The report also recommends that Congress raise these issues at senior levels in the Irish government and at a European level, in order to build support for a campaign.

It also calls for Irish government assistance for building civic capacity in both Palestine and Israel, with regard to conflict resolution, along with investment in the Palestinian economy.

1. That the report is presented to the Executive Council and is published as a Congress document for widespread distribution throughout the Irish, European and International Trade Union Movement.

2. The Executive Council should meet with the Taoiseach and the Minister for Foreign Affairs to discuss the findings of the delegation and the content of the two resolutions carried at BDC 2007. The objective purpose of these meetings is:
– to request the Irish government to initiate policy change on Palestine, at EU level with regard to the illegal actions of the Israeli Government;

– to request the Irish government to oppose the withholding of EU funding for the Palestinian Authority and to call for the end of the preferential trading status afforded Israel under the Euro/ Mediterranean Agreement.

3. The Executive Council should meet with the Minister for Foreign Affairs to discuss the financing of specific programmes for the Palestinian people. These should include:

– building capacity in civic society including conflict resolution both intra and inter Palestinian and Israeli society;

– encourage and provide expertise for Irish investment in the Palestinian economy;

– for development of the Equality Agenda and a Rights Based Approach to the political and civic institutions in Palestine;

– the provision of expertise from Ireland in building social partnership between the various pillars in both Israel and Palestine.

4. Following on from the distribution of the report a further meeting to be held with our sister confederations in GB with the objective of a Council of the Isles campaign on behalf of the Palestinian people.

5. Through ICTU membership of the ETUC and the ITUC to raise the plight of the Palestinian people with particular emphasis on building solidarity with the PGFTU.

6. To engage with the Israeli labour movement and the Israeli government to discuss the above policies and to lobby for a change of policy focus, from the primacy of security to the primacy of a political resolution.

7. To encourage other trade union delegations to visit the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel.

8. That ICTU pursue active engagement and collaborative working with Palestinian and Israeli human rights groups and other civic society organisations as necessary.

9. To support and promote a boycott campaign of Israeli goods and services and a policy of disinvestment from Israeli companies as a means of encouraging the Israeli government to comply with International Law and to cease the human rights violations of the Palestinian people.

10. That ICTU hosts a high level conference with international speakers, to develop trade union solidarity.
View text of the full report here.

Invitation of Israeli Ambassador to Meet with Members of the National Assembly for Wales (NYCLAW)

To: Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas, AM and Speaker of the National Assembly for Wales
Cc: Mr. Mohammad Asghar, AM
From: New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW)
Re: Invitation of Israeli Ambassador to Meet with Members of the
National Assembly for Wales

Dear Lord Elis-Thomas:

We believe that it is shameful that Mohammad Asghar, or any other
British public official, would call for a meeting with a
representative of the Israeli state. Thirty-one Palestinians have been
killed and eighty-five have been wounded by Israeli attacks over the
past month in Gaza alone, where the Israeli-imposed siege has resulted
in catastrophic shortages in fuel, food, clean water, medicine and
other basic human needs. In the West Bank, Israel’s colonial policies
of land theft and strangulation targeting the indigenous Palestinian
population continue unabated, as Israeli illegal settlements continue
to expropriate and colonize Palestinian land; as the apartheid wall
and Israeli-only roads encircle and imprison Palestinian communities;
and as hundreds of Israeli military checkpoints choke the remaining
life out of Palestinian society under occupation.

This year is also significant in that it marks sixty years since
Israel was established through the ethnic cleansing of over 750,000
Palestinians out of their homes and off of their lands, also marking
sixty years of Israel’s forcible denial of the basic human right of
these Palestinians to return to the places from which they were
expelled, and sixty years of institutionalized racial discrimination
against the Palestinians who managed to stay and who, as citizens of
Israel, have been touted as a sign of Israeli “democracy.” The Israeli
apartheid reality faced by Palestinian citizens of Israel has been
repeatedly compared to its South African predecessor by prominent
South African, Palestinian and even Israeli figures.

As a career diplomat who holds the rank of Major (Reserve) in the
Israeli Occupation Forces’ Artillery Division, Ron Prosor is no
regular ambassador. His job is to hide and legitimize Israel’s daily
war crimes and crimes against humanity to the British government and
the British people. It is important to remember that it is this same
army that recently murdered two British citizens who dared to stand on
the side of justice. Palestine will never forget Tom Hurndall and
James Miller.

Prosor’s role as chief Israeli propagandist in the UK was made clear
in the past weeks when, amidst the carnage in Gaza, Prosor dared to
accuse British society of becoming a hotbed of anti-Israel extremism.
Responding to a principled and historic decision by the University and
College Union (UCU) to”consider the moral and political implications
of educational links with Israeli institutions,”Prosor addressed the
British public saying that British academics “have seen their union
held hostage by radical factions, armed with political agendas and
personal interests.”

Your decision to boycott the meeting with Mr. Prosor is a clear
indication of your respect for international law, and the rights of
human beings to live in freedom and dignity. We commend your courage,
and hope that many more will follow your lead, and that of respectable
British institutions like the University and College Union, UNISON,
National Union of Journalists, and the Church of England as well as
notable personalities like Ken Loach, John Berger and Roger Waters in
making their principled positions known to the world. When the
powerful states of the world turn their backs on the downtrodden and
oppressed, it is up to the people of the world, people like yourself,
to stand with the truth in the face of all odds. History will not
forget those who speak truth to power, nor will it forgive those who
were willfully blind to the horrors that power commits.

New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW)

Labor for Palestine Pickets NYC Israel Celebration

On Thursday, June 5, some fifteen union members and other activists participated in an emergency picket line for more than two hours outside a “Celebration” of the “60th Anniversary of Israel” held at AFSCME District Council 37, the largest city workers’ union in New York.

The picket was sponsored by New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW). It was endorsed by Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition-NY; Adalah-NY; New Jersey Solidarity-Activists for the Liberation of Palestine; Center for Constitutional Rights; Guyanese-American Workers United; and Not in Our Name-Toronto.Protesters carried placards and banners proclaiming “Labor for Palestine,” “End DC 37 Support for Apartheid Israel,” “Israel is a Racist Slave-Labor State,” “Free Palestinian Workers from Israeli Apartheid,” “Support Palestinian Labor Against Zionist Racism” “Gaza is Today’s Warsaw Ghetto,” and “Free Palestine — From the River to the Sea.”

Despite its small size, the emergency picket achieved its purpose of showing that such protests in U.S. labor are both possible and necessary.

By ensuring that such events did not go unchallenged, it emboldened protesters and visibly demoralized those who came to “celebrate.” It was also an opportunity to distribute hundreds of the attached flyers to DC 37 staff and members — predominantly People of Color — many of whom were disturbed to learn of their union’s support for Israeli Apartheid.


Labor for Palestine: 60 Years of Racism & Apartheid Is Nothing for Labor to Celebrate

An Appeal to DC 37’s Membership

Please contact for more information about upcoming Labor for Palestine efforts in the U.S.

Background of Labor for Palestine

The June 5 picket built on more than six years of NYCLAW work against Israeli Apartheid.

April 20, 2002
NYCLAW helps ensure unified action, with full inclusion of Palestine, in the first national antiwar protest following 9/11, which takes place in Washington, D.C.

May 21, 2002
NYCLAW pickets the Midtown Manhattan appearance of Israeli Consul General Alon Pinkus before the AFL-CIO Israel Bonds National Labor Division.

December 2002
NYCLAW cosponsors U.S. tour by Palestinian trade unionists.

March 20, 2004
NYCLAW successfully fights for UFPJ to join with the ANSWER Coalition in unified New York City antiwar protest that includes Palestinian demands.

April 2004
NYCLAW and Al-Awda-NY initiate Labor for Palestine, which calls for: Palestinian national, democratic and labor rights throughout historic Palestine, including the right of all Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and land; An end to U.S. military and economic support for Israeli Apartheid; and Divestment of all labor investments in Israeli Apartheid.

October 7, 2004
NYCLAW helps organize “From Palestine to the US — Labor Fights Back” forum, at AFSCME District Council 1707 in New York City.

October 17, 2004
Labor for Palestine is announced from the platform of the Million Worker March in Washington, DC.

November 20, 2004
Labor for Palestine simultaneously presented at a NYCLAW’s “Resistance to Empire” conference held at AFSCME District Council 1707, and at Al-Awda’s West Coast Regional Conference in San Diego, where it “was given center stage as one of Al-Awda’s most critical campaigns for international justice.”

December 2004
Labor for Palestine issues founding statement.

December 2, 2004
NYCLAW proposes that U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW): (1) Condemn Israeli attacks on the rights of Palestinian labor; (2) Join a U.S. labor delegation to examine the conditions of Palestinian workers; (3) Organize a U.S. speaking for Palestinian trade unionists; and (4) Discuss joining LFP and the growing movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions. USLAW declines to do so.

July 23, 2005
Labor for Palestine conference in Chicago coincides with AFL-CIO convention.

August 11, 2006
NYCLAW statement denounces U.S. labor leaders’ support and/or silence about the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.

August 2007
NYCLAW participates in a two-week delegation of attorneys and activists to the ‘67 and ‘48 areas of Palestine.

March 23, 2008
NYCLAW statement on U.S. Labor and Gaza is endorsed by hundreds of activists around the world.

Labor for Palestine Protests AFSCME DC 37s Celebration of 60 Years of Israeli Racism and Apartheid – June 4 version (OCR)

Formatted PDF Flyer: 2008.06.05 – Labor for Palestine Protests AFSCME DC 37s Celebration of 60 Years of Israeli Racism and Apartheid – June 4 version

Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 8.16.44 PM

***Please forward widely and reply with additional organizational endorsements***

Labor for Palestine

Protests AFSCME DC 37’s “Celebration”

of 60 Years of Israeli Racism and Apartheid

Israel was Apartheid South Africa’s Strongest Supporter Israeli Apartheid Today

Emergency Picket

Thursday, June 5, 2008, 4:30-7:30 p.m.

125 Barclay Street (1/2/3/A/C to Chambers, E to WTC, R/W to City Hall)


*An End to the Occupation

*Palestinian Refugees’ Right to Return

*Elimination of Apartheid Throughout Historic Palestine & Equal Rights for All

*No More Labor Support for Israel

*U.S. Out of the Middle East

Sponsored by

New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW) *

Endorsed by (list in formation): Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition-NY; Adalah-NY; New Jersey Solidarity – Activists for the

Liberation of Palestine Union Labor Donated – 6.4.08

“We urge international civil society in all its components, particularly institutions and individuals working

in the arts, academia, sport, trade unions, and communities of faith to boycott the ‘Israel at 60’ celebrations

wherever they are held in the world. These celebrations, by definition, insult our history, violate our rights,

and deepen our oppression.” –171 Palestinian trade unions and other organizations, March 30, 2008

“As someone who lived in apartheid South Africa and who has visited Palestine I say with confidence that

Israel is an apartheid state. In fact, I believe that some of Israel’s actions make the actions of South

Africa’s apartheid regime appear pale by comparison.” –Willie Madisha, President, Congress of South African

Trade Unions, June 6, 2006

“We call on all South Africans to establish a strong, forceful and determined boycott and sanctions

campaign against the Israeli apartheid state.” –Congress of South African Trade Unions, July 10, 2006

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” –Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., speaking against the

Vietnam War, November 1967