Does Stuart Appelbaum really belong in OWS? (Michael Letwin)

Michael Letwin, who is a member of the OWS Labor Outreach Committee; Former President of UAW Local 2325 (Assn. of Legal Aid Attorneys); and speaking here on behalf of Labor for Palestine and New York City Labor Against the War, sent the following email after Stuart Applebaum of RWDSU, UFCW & the Jewish Labor Committee announced a panel discussion about labor and OWS:

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Michael Letwin
Date: Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 7:33 PM
Subject: Re: [Labor OWS] LABOR MEETS OWS

Does Stuart Appelbaum really belong in OWS?

Born of the Arab Spring, our movement’s strength is that it seeks justice for all people. This reflects Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous observation that, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Stuart Appelbaum, however, is chief trade union defender of apartheid Israel (see below).

We wouldn’t tolerate other forms of racism or anti-Semitism in OWS. So how is this OK?

June 13 New York City Picket Tells Labor Officials to Dump Israel Bonds
Appelbaum has long traded on his image as a “progressive” labor leader to attack growing international trade union support for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel. Recently, he has been at the forefront of a witch-hunt that banned supporters of Palestinian rights from meeting at the NYC LGBT Community Center.

Palestinian Trade Union Coalition for BDS (PTUC-BDS) formed at historic conference
The support of the entirety of the Palestinian trade union movement for a full boycott of Israel, as the most effective form of solidarity with the Palestinian people, was the overarching message of this historic gathering.

Sign on: Stop Scabbing for Apartheid — Withdraw From Israel Bonds “Celebration”
The undersigned labor, anti-apartheid and human rights activists call on you — Dennis Hughes (President of the New York State AFL-CIO) and Stuart Appelbaum (President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union and head of the Jewish Labor Committee) — to respect the above call from Palestinian labor by withdrawing as “Honoree” and “Chair,” respectively, of the “State of Israel Bonds” fundraiser in New York City on June 13, 2011.

Open Letter to the Labor Research Association: Don’t Honor Israeli Apartheid
The LRA’s dinner program praises Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, for building “relationships with community organizations in an effort to expand the rights of unorganized workers.” What it doesn’t say is that, as head of the Jewish Labor Committee (JLC), he leads the witch-hunt against labor bodies in South Africa and around the world that support Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israeli apartheid.


On Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 3:11 PM:
Please Join

Stuart Appelbaum
Retail, Wholesale & Department Store Union (RWDSU, UFCW)


George Gresham
President 1199SEIU

for a

Discussion on
“Labor and Occupy Wall Street”
Representatives from Occupy Wall Street will join us for a discussion on how Labor and Occupy Wall Street can work together on common concerns about the current economic conditions in New York and the United States. They will also update us on the current status of Occupy Wall Street.

Thursday, October 27, 2011
5th Floor Conference Room
30 E. 29th Street
New York City
– See more at:

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