Monthly Archives: January 2015

Protest the Crushing Death of Yet Another Palestinian Worker

Protest the Crushing Death of Yet Another Palestinian Worker
Workers Crushed at Checkpoint – Unions, Get Angry!

I’m Stanley Heller.  I’ve been a member of the American Federation of Teachers since 1969.  I’m a former local president and a member of the Greater New Haven Central Labor Council for over 40 years.  I think we, as union brothers and sisters, should take up this issue:

On December 31st Ahmad Samih Bdeir was lined up at the checkpoint trying to get to his job as a construction worker.  The workers have to go through a series of gangways with bars up to the ceiling.  They wait hours in an area that’s a virtual cage worried about getting to work late.  It was overcrowded as usual.  39 year old Bdeir couldn’t breathe.  Workers around him realized he had been crushed to death.   He was he second Palestinian crushed to death in 2014 at that very same al-Taybe checkpoint.

Palestinians on the West Bank are desperate to find even low paying jobs.  So some 40,000 Palestinian go through the humiliating and dangerous checkpoints every day to get to work in Israel.  It’s outrageous.

This is the cage at al-Taybe

As union members we say, “An injury to one is an injury to all”.  Let’s get our unions to send angry letters to Israeli officials, the U.S. media and the politicians.  As Americans we have a special responsibility because our tax money goes to pay for what Israel does.  We send the Israeli government over $3 billion every year.  It pretends to be a democracy that respects human rights, but it treats Palestinian workers much like workers were treated in old apartheid South Africa.

Click here
for a model resolution that could be passed by your union and for more information about workers and checkpoints (including an Israeli TV video about the Bethlehem checkpoint).
Email me if you’d like to sign on to the call above to be sent to labor officials, labor papers and other media.  I’m at   Since I retired I’ve become the Executive Director of the Middle East Crisis Committee.  Our website is