Labor for Palestine’s Response to Defamatory Attacks and Call to Action

Labor for Palestine‘s December 14 “Open Letter from U.S. Trade Unionists to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka: Boycott Apartheid Israel” has met with an overwhelmingly positive response.

Posted at,, the Open Letter supports the growing international campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, by calling on trade unionists in the United States to Divest from State of Israel Bonds, support workers’ refusal to handle Israeli cargo, break ties with the racist Histadrut, and oppose U.S. military and economic aid for Israel.

In just a few short days, the letter has been published by Electronic Intifada, Dissident Voice, Global BDS Movement, Indymedia, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, MRZine, Palestinian World, Socialist Worker (U.S.), Tehran Times, U.S. Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel, and U.S. Palestinian Community Network. It has also been endorsed by nearly 64 additional U.S. labor signers (see below), for a total of 94, and the number continues to grow.

The letter comes in response to the Palestinian call, adopted around the world and supported by all Palestinian trade unions, for BDS as an essential international action to support Palestinian rights.

It has also become clear that growing support for BDS is seen as a threat by those who would continue U.S. labor officialdom’s support for the apartheid state of Israel, as evidenced by new attacks on Labor for Palestine.

On December 17, two of the letter’s initial signers, Fred Mason (a co-convener of U.S. Labor Against the War and head of the Maryland AFL-CIO) and Clayola Brown (A. Philip Randolph Institute), issued identical written statements demanding that their names be removed from the letter. The statements assert that they “had never seen such a letter or engaged in discussions about its content,” and that it was “disrespectful that someone would attach my name to a document and circulate such a document without contact with me, or consent from me.”

Brown’s statement has been posted on the website of “Trade Unions Linking Israel and Palestine” under the heading, “Leading Black trade unionist expresses ‘disgust and dismay’ at misuse of her name by pro-BDS campaigners.” As explained in LFP’s Open Letter, TULIP was founded to derail the growing international labor support for BDS that has followed Israel’s massacres in Gaza.

LFP immediately honored the requests to remove both names. However, the claim that either had been listed without their knowledge of permission is a complete fabrication.

In fact, Fred Mason and Clayola Brown were among 21 people who signed the letter at a USLAW national meeting held in Chicago on December 5. Their endorsements, written in their own hand (signatures 5 and 6.) can be viewed at: signatures. Nonetheless, “TULIP” has refused to remove Brown’s defamatory statement from its website.

These false assertions come as no surprise. Dishonesty underlies the entire attempt to undermine BDS, and to shore up Israeli apartheid, occupation and oppression.

As the first anniversary of Israel’s massacre in Gaza approaches, LFP will escalate this campaign by posting the expanded list of Open Letter signers, activating a new and expanded website, creating a listserv for LFP supporters, and organizing future action. We ask you to join LFP in supporting the call for BDS, and in standing up against any attempt to silence U.S. workers’ voices in solidarity with our Palestinian brothers and sisters.

Workers around the world responding to the Palestinian call to cut ties with apartheid oppression. In the 1980s, workers stood together around the world to combat South African apartheid — and we can do no less today.

To help make this possible, please:

* Post and forward this report.

* Enlist and refer additional Open Letter signers to:

* Write to,, and (cc: to demand immediate retraction of their false accusations against LFP.

* Donate to LFP:

——————–(List in formation — *For identification only)

Initial Signers (revised, as discussed above)
Monadel Herzallah, President, Arab American Union Members Council, California
Larry Adams, Co-Convener, NYCLAW; Former President, NPMHU L. 300*
Michael Letwin, Co-Convener, NYCLAW, Former President, UAW L. 2325/ALAA*; Al-Awda NY; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network/Labor
Brenda Stokely, Co-Convener, NYCLAW, Former President, AFSCME DC 1707*; Co-Chair, Million Worker March Movement
Sam Weinstein, Former President, UWUA L. 132*; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network/Labor
Stanley Heller, AFT L. 1547*, Delegate, CT Central Labor Council*
Marty Goodman, Former Executive Board Member, TWU L.100*
Frank Rosen, General Vice President (retired), UE*
Steve Zeltzer, Producer, Labor Video Project
Anthony Arnove, National Writers Union/UAW L.1981*
Mike Gimbel, Chair, Labor-Community Unity Committee, AFSCME DC 37 L. 375*; Delegate, NYC Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO*
Dave Welsh, Delegate, San Francisco Labor Council*
Lee Sustar, Chicago Labor Against the War
Timothy Kaminski, UAW L. 110* (ret.)
Janice Rothstein, AFSCME L. 3299*
Andy Griggs, UTLA*; LA Palestine Labor Solidarity Committee, Cafe Intifada
Emma Rosenthal, UTLA*; LA Palestine Labor Solidarity Committee, Cafe Intifada
Pete Nowicki, AFSCME L. 145*
Jim Crampton, 1199SEIU/UHWE*
Allan Fisher, AFT L. 2121, SF Community College*
Sharon Black, AFT L. 2*; Bailout the People Movement
Bill Balderson, Oakland Education Assn.*
Sarah Ringler, AFT L. 1936, PVFT*
Frank Pinto, UPTE-CWA L. 9119*
Steve Desavouret, TCU/IAM 6608*
Louis LaFortune, AFT L. 1936, PVFT*
Azalia Torres, Former Executive Bd. Member, UAW Local 2325/ALAA*
Patrick Langhenry, UAW Local 2325/ALAA*
Lucy Herschel, Delegate 1199SEIU/UHWE*

Carol Seligman, South San Francisco California Teachers Association*

U.S. Labor Endorsers
[updated March 7, 2010]
Monadel Herzallah, President, Arab American Union Members Council, California
Larry Adams, Co-Convener, NYCLAW*; Former President, NPMHU Local 300
Michael Letwin, Co-Convener, NYCLAW*, Former President, UAW Local 2325/ALAA; Al-Awda NY*; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network/Labor*
Brenda Stokely, Co-Convener, NYCLAW*, Former President, AFSCME DC 1707; Co-Chair, Million Worker March Movement
Sam Weinstein, Former President, UWUA Local 132; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network/Labor*
Stanley Heller, AFT Local 1547, Delegate, CT Central Labor Council
Marty Goodman, Former Executive Board Member, TWU Local100
Frank Rosen, General Vice President (ret.), UE
Steve Zeltzer, Producer, Labor Video Project
Anthony Arnove, National Writers Union/UAW Local1981
Mike Gimbel, Chair, Labor-Community Unity Committee, AFSCME DC 37 Local 375; Delegate, NYC Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO
Dave Welsh, Delegate, San Francisco Labor Council
Lee Sustar, Chicago Labor Against the War*
Timothy Kaminski, UAW Local 110 (ret.)
Janice Rothstein, AFSCME Local 3299
Andy Griggs, UTLA; LA Palestine Labor Solidarity Committee*; Cafe Intifada*
Emma Rosenthal, UTLA; LA Palestine Labor Solidarity Committee*, Cafe Intifada*
Pete Nowicki, AFSCME Local 145
Jim Crampton, 1199SEIU/UHWE
Allan Fisher, AFT Local 2121, SF Community College
Sharon Black, AFT Local 2; Bailout the People Movement
Bill Balderson, Oakland Education Assn.
Sarah Ringler, AFT Local 1936, PVFT
Frank Pinto, UPTE-CWA Local 9119
Steve Desavouret, TCU/IAM 6608
Louis LaFortune, AFT Local 1936, PVFT
Azalia Torres, Former Executive Bd. Member, UAW Local 2325/ALAA
Patrick Langhenry, UAW Local 2325/ALAA
Lucy Herschel, Delegate 1199SEIU/UHWE
Carol Seligman, South San Francisco CTA
Manzar Foroohar, CFA
Joe Iosbaker, Executive Board, SEIU Local 73
David Klein, CFA
Mary Hughes, WGA, West
Barbara Harvey, Attorney, Labor and Employment Committee, National Lawyers Guild
Sherna Berger Gluck, Former Vice President, CFA-SEIU Local 1983
Sabina Virgo, Founding and Past President, AFSCME Local 2620
Shelia Cassidy, USW, Riverside, CA
Evalyn F. Segal, CSEA, SEIU Local 1000
Mark Kaswan, UAW Local 2865
Roger Dittmann, President, Scientists Without Borders; CFA-SEIU-AAUP
Larry Duncan, Co-Producer, Labor Beat Cable TV Series; CWA Local 14408
Andrew Berman, AFGE Local 375 (ret.)
Stephen Mahood, UAW Local 2322/Graduate Employees Organization
James Marc Leas, CWA Local 1601
Hester Eisenstein, Vice-Chair, Queens College Chapter, PSC-CUNY
Jerry Silberman, Organizer, PASNAP, AFL-CIO
Howard Lenow, Union Attorney, Lawyers Coordinating Committee, AFL-CIO
Bob McCubbin, CTA-NEA (ret.)
Nagesh Rao, AFT Local 2364
Anna Potempska, PEF
James Local Richardson, UDU
Tom Lacey, OPEIU, Local 3
Joseph Levine, Massachusetts Society of Professors, MTA-NEA
John Levin, WGA, West
Rogers Turrentine, WGA
Dennis Kortheuer, CFA
Leslie Feinberg, NWU, UAW Local 1981
Noha Arafa, ALAA/UAW Local 2325
Michael Yates, United Association for Labor Education
Mike Prokosch, IUPAT, DC 35
Wendy Thompson, Former President, UAW Local 235
Mary Lou Finley, San Diego Para Chapter Secretary, CSEA, AFL-CIO
Sam Blan, SAG
Jeffrey Klein, President (ret.), NAGE/SEIU Local R1-168
Fred Hirsch, Executive Board, Plumbers and Fitters Local 393
Gaby Forrell, AFM, New York, NY
Michel Lyon, AFSCME Local 3299
Sheila Hoyt, BTU
Steve Early, NWU/UAW Local 1981
Gabriel Camacho, UNITE HERE Local 66L
Edie Pistolesi, CFA
Erin Breault, PFT
Donna Blythe-Shaw, Staff Representative, USW, Dorchester, MA
Joe Balkis, Steward, IBT, Calumet City, IL
Robert McCauley, Organizer, NUHW
John J. McColgan, USW Local 9158
Dan Kaplan, Executive Secretary, AFT Local 1493, San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers
Andre Powell, Delegate, Baltimore Metro Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO
Leila Kawar, GSOC/UAW Local 2110 NYU, AFL-CIO
Mary Sully, IUE-CWA Local 201 (ret.), McAllen, TX
Saladin Muhammad, International Representative (ret.), UE
Ann Pett, UTLA, NEA, Valley Village, CA
Deborah Rosenstein, Labor Educator, University of Minnesota Labor Education Service
Keith Rosenthal, AFSCME Local 3650
Patrick Finn, UUP/SUNY Buffalo
Daniel Bosch, Twin Cities GMB, IWW
Chelsea Earles, Hear Our Public Employees Coalition (HOPE), Durham, NC
Joseph Agonito, AFT Local 1845
Scott D. Egan, IWW, Tucson, AZ
Brian Kelly, IBC Local 33, Boston (formerly); IUMSWA L25
Thomas F. Barton, AFSCME DC 37, Local 768
Dick Wood, CSEA, Sacramento, CA
Keith Sadler, UAW Local 12
Peter Rachleff, United Association of Labor Educators/CWA, Saint Paul, MN
John Wheat Gibson, Sr., National Lawyers Guild; former member, LIUNA, AFL-CIO, Dallas, Tx
Shelley Ettinger, AFT Local 3882, New York, NY
Elizabeth J. Hauser, North Thurston Education Association, Olympia, WA
Nathaniel Miller, IWW International Solidarity, Philadelphia, PA
Evalyn F. Segal, CSEA, Walnut Creek, CA
Martha Grevatt, Chair, Civil and Human Rights Committee, UAW Local 122, Cleveland, OH
Edward Childs, Chief-Steward, UNITE HERE Local 26, Somerville, MA
Bill Zoda, PASNAP, Philadelphia, PA
Eric Robson, Steward, AFSCME Local 171, Madison, WI
Jim Holstun, Chapter Board Member, UUP Buffalo Center, NYSUT, AFT, Buffalo, NY
Rebecca Anshell-Song, San Diego Education Association
Emmanuel Lopez, UNITE HERE Local 355, Margate, FL
Donald Dinelli, Retired Educator, NEA-CTA-OEA, Oakland, CA
Bill Bachmann, APWU Local 10, New York, NY
Mark D. Stansbery, CWA Local 4502, Columbus, OH
Carl Gentile, National Representative, AFGE, Frederick, MD
Bill Preston, Acting President, AFGE Local 17, Washington, DC
David Stein, former rank and file organizer, UNITE HERE, Los Angeles, CA
Nancy Snyder, Recording Secretary Emeritus, SEIU Local 790, San Francisco, CA
Simona Sharoni, Associate Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies, UUP, SUNY, Plattsburgh, NY
Don DeBar, Unpaid Staff Organizing Committee WBAI-FM, Ossining, NY
George dePue, former organizer, District 65/UAW, Baltimore, MD
Ivy R. Nightscales Williams, SEIU Local 775NW, Seattle, WA
Ziyad Zaitoun, IFPTE Local 17, Seattle, WA
Frank Couget, NALC Branch 36, New York, NY
James Jordan, Campaign for Labor Rights National Coordinator, NWU, Tucson, AZ
Frances Taylor, CWA, San Francisco, CA
Larry Duncan, CWA Local 14408, Chicago, IL
Moses Seenarine, CTA, Anaheim, CA

International Endorsers

Rubina Jamil, Working Women Organization; All Pakistan Trade Union Federation
Tony Leon, Secretary General, Venezuelan Union of Oil Industry Workers
Amir M. Maasoumi, Federation des travailleurs du Quebec (FTQ)
B. Ross Ashley, Retired Shop Steward, SEIU Local 1, Canada
Boudemi Abdellah, Federation Generale du Travail Belgium
Christina Rousseau, Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 3903
Faiz Ahmed, Secretary, Public Service Alliance of Canada, Direct Chartered Local 60550, Union of Graduate Student Workers
Hanna Braun, National Union of Teachers (ret.), London, UK
John M. Darlling, International Typographical Union (ret.), Toronto, Ontario
Mike Treen, National Director, Unite Union New Zealand
Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, Life Member, National Union of Journalists (UK), member, National Union of Teachers Waltham Forest Branch
Peter Brogan, Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 3903
Kelvin Bland, Royal Institute of British ArchitectsTheresa Peters, National Union of Teachers, London, UK
Orsan Senalp, Labour activist, FNV-Bondgenoten, Hilversum, The Netherlands
Zarina Bhatia, Retired, GMB, Birmingham, UK
Anne Key, Unison, Cumbria, UK
Paul Harris, APHEDA Member, Melbourne, AU
Steve Stephens, cjpp, Sydney, AU
Wayne Knight, NSW Teachers Federation member, Sydney, AU
Yvette Van Hauwe, ACV, Brussels, Belgium
Tyler Shipley, Former Executive, CUPE Local 3903, Toronto, ON
Sabah Al-Mukhtar, Arab Lawyer Association, London UK
Susan Stout, CAW retired, Vancouver, BC

Organizational Endorsers

BDS National Committee, Palestine
US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel


AAUP. American Association of University Professors
AFGE. American Federation of Government Employees
AFM. American Federation of Musicians
AFSCME. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
AFT. American Federation of Teachers
ALAA. Association of Legal Aid Attorneys, UAW Local 2325
APWU. American Postal Workers Union
BTU. Boston Teachers Union
CFA. California Faculty Association
CSEA. California State Employees Association
CTA. California Teachers Association
CWA. Communication Workers of America
GSOC. Graduate Student Organizing Committee
IAM. International Association of Machinists
IBT. International Brotherhood of Teamsters
IFPTE. International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers
IUE. International Union of Electronic Workers
IUPAT. International Union of Painters and Allied Trades
IUMSWA. Industrial Union of Marine and Shipbuilding Workers of America
IWW. Industrial Workers of the World
LIUNA. Laborers’ International Union of North America
MTA. Massachusetts Teachers Association
NAGE. National Association of Government Employees
NALC. National Association of Letter Carriers
NEA. National Education Association
NPMHU. National Postal Mail Handlers Union
NUHW. National Union of Healthcare Workers
NWU. National Writers Union
NYCLAW. New York City Labor Against the War
NYSUT. New York State United Teachers
OPEIU. Office and Professional Employees International Union
PASNAP. Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals
PEF. Public Employees Federation
PFT. Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers
PFVT. Pajaro Valley Federation of Teachers
PSC-CUNY. Professional Staff Congress
SAG. Screen Actors Guild
SEIU. Service Employees International Union
TCU. Transportation Communications International Union
TWU. Transport Workers Union
UAW. United Auto Workers
UDU. United Domestic Workers Homecare Providers Union, AFSCME
UE. United Electrical Workers
UHWE. United Health Care Workers East
UPTE. University Professional and Technical Employees
USW. United Steel Workers
UTLA. United Teachers of Los Angeles
UUP. United University Professions
UWUA. Utility Workers Union of America
WGA. Writers Guild of America



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