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.