LJ: Antizionism and the Labor Movement – Interview with Alison Glick and Suzanne Adely (Hamotzi Network)

Original online here.

Apr 16, 2024

9 views • Apr 16, 2024In this special interview episode, Sam and Gabe sit down to discuss the history of zionism, antizionism, and the American labor movement, with writer and activist Alison Glick and lawyer, organizer, and activist Suzanne Adely from Labor for Palestine. Donate to Medical Aid for Palestinians: https://www.map.org.uk/ Support the Show. (  / laborjawn  ) https://linktr.ee/laborjawn


Follow along using the transcript.


0:00hello and welcome to the labor John podcast an oasis of joy and learning

0:06where one may escape from the rigors and the woes of the world my name is Sam

0:11James and I’m joined by Gabe solidarity Christie Gabe how you doing uh I’m doing

0:17quite well uh and tonight we are actually joined by two other special guests um so if you’d like to introduce

0:27yourselves I’ll start with uh Allison hi my name is Allison Glick I am a

0:34writer and activist living in Philadelphia and

0:40Suzanne hi uh I am Suzanne ad and um I’m

0:46a lawyer and labor organizer um and I live in New

0:52York oh welcome uh so we wanted to bring you on so that

1:00we can talk about the history of both uh anti-zionism within the labor movement

1:07uh and also how labor institutions have contributed to Zionism um so you know an

1:14easy topic to cover in like 45 minutes um but we at least wanted to get a a

1:22broad history uh to kind of share that with the world um the

1:30so I guess to get us started I think it would probably be beneficial to just get

1:37some definitions out there so if we can how or if we can get a kind of broad

1:44definition of Zionism as a political movement um and either Suzanne or

1:51Allison feel free to jump in I would sure I mean I oh please go

1:58ahead Allison yeah um I would Define Zionism as um a political movement that

2:08essentially centers um the establishment of a Jewish

2:13State on historical Palestine um that necessitated the

2:19ethnic cleansing of the indigenous inhabitants uh of Palestine and that

2:24political movement was born in the late 19th century um um as I would say essentially

2:33um a European nationalist movement as um others have have identified it but that

2:42was one that was centered in the historic land of

2:48Palestine um and that I think the

2:53critical thing to understand is that it necessitated the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous inhabitants

3:00and that’s what uh we’re seeing in the news headlines today as

3:08well yeah and would you uh do you have anything to add for that or to that

3:14Suzanne or no I I think that that’s that’s a pretty accurate

3:20description um I think that like for a time you know there there was some

3:26consideration of other um territor stories um in which they they could sort

3:33of uh build this the Zionist state right it um including I think Uganda at some

3:40point and also another um place in the global South I forget but then it kind

3:45of they saw the connection advantage of kind of like U making that connection to

3:52historical Palestine um and yeah and that you know it it was kind of the the driving

4:01ideology of the the colonization project which continues to this day and yeah it

4:08was very European and it very much a um colonialist

4:14movement yeah and I think I would just add the Lynch pin I think was when um

4:20the the final decision was made essentially to align itself um with the

4:27British colonial project in Palestine that is where you know the consideration

4:33of other entities of other lands was dropped by the Zionist movement when

4:39they saw that um their aims would be best achieved by aligning themselves

4:45with British colonialism and so on that note uh how

4:53did it develop um kind of prior to the B for declaration and I guess we should

4:59also explain what the B for Declaration was and how that changed the situation

5:08um and again uh either Suzanne or Allison feel free to jump

5:15in um well the B declaration uh of 1917

5:21basically um declared that there should be a Jewish National home in historic

5:28Palestine and and that was the opening Salvo if you will of this wedding of

5:35Zionism to the British colonial project um and before that I mean there were

5:41various forms of Zionism I guess you could say cultural Zionism uh dating back uh some years

5:49before that that identified this cultural home of Jews um in mandatory

5:56Palestine but did not Center itself on a territorial project if you will

6:04um and but that that is essentially what predates the balfor Declaration and the

6:12essence of the B balfor declaration thank you um today is the

6:19anniversary of the signing of the B for declaration actually oh that is right oh

6:24yeah wow I missed that Susan how about did not plan that but I don’t know

6:32if that’s a yeah I don’t know if that’s a good thing it’s certainly not something to really celebrate but uh so

6:41we’re also here to talk about the kind of labor story that is tied to all of

6:47this um so with that in mind uh would or

6:53can you uh Suzanne can you explain what the hrut is and kind of how it

7:04veloped um well is the um kind of became

7:11sort of like the the national um Israeli labor union right um and I I’m I’m I’m

7:19not as familiar as to how it it was developed um I think that like I mean

7:27you you were asking earlier about like designist project began right and I

7:33think that like you know we started to see like

7:38European uh colonization to um to Palestine like you know um you know in

7:46at the turn of the 20th century uh before even the Bor Declaration was signed before the creation of like this

7:54the state of Israel um that kind of you know at first kind of the native

8:00Palestinian populations response was like okay here here are kind of like here are some new

8:06residents like and there you know there might have been even with those early um

8:13kind of settlers I think that there might there might have been you know some examples of like you know

8:21collaboration um kind of between those the the European Jewish community and

8:27like the Palestinian Community which was um which was Muslim Christian and Jewish

8:32actually right but Palestinians you know um and I think that there you know there

8:38is some kind of History even of some like labor cooperation right but like with the balfor Declaration with the

8:45founding of of the um state of Israel um and with the the the nakba right and and

8:51the ongoing kind of like ethnic cleansing you know zionists really need to to Really build their nationalist

8:58instit tions um in order to kind of present them State themselves as this

9:04new strong State and hasad is is sort of part of that uh kind of like Zionist

9:10National Institution and I I don’t know exactly like when it was uh when it was created but they but

9:18you know uh designed his project ended up sort of seeing hisr as one of the tools to sort of get support

9:25particularly like in the west um from uh for uh for for the Zionist project um it

9:34was kind of used in in a way it’s kind of as its own um kind of lobbying for

9:40Zionism by using hasad as a vehicle to build relationships um in places like the United States

9:48um wonder if Allison knows more about that history um I think you can think of the

9:55Hut’s role in a couple different ways or uh on on different levels um

10:03before the founding of the state of Israel in 1948 it was essentially um used to bring Jewish

10:11labor into the country which of course was then utilized

10:16to uh expropriate land um from the indigenous inhabitants and then after

10:23the founding of the state it was essentially used as a disciplining Force

10:28um to make sure that there was no cooperation uh of any meaningful kind between Palestinian

10:34laborers and um and Jewish laborers uh who were particularly those not

10:41indigenous to the land but really any Jewish laborers again um it was a tool

10:46of this ethn nationalist project whose main goal was the establishment of a

10:52Jewish State um on the land of Palestine whose main

10:59goal and perhaps I should have said this earlier was to maximize the amount of land under under the control of the

11:06Jewish State and minimize the number of non-jewish inhabitants of the land again

11:12a project that continues to this day um and so it’s really

11:20um used as a tool of settler colonialism up until the founding of the state and

11:27then one that is utilized to entrench um the colonial goals and to

11:35create a a a state that is more and more along the lines of of an apartheid state

11:41which of course we all know uh that’s what exists today yeah thank you um I was actually

11:51and one thing that had struck me in Reading I think uh Michael lewin’s uh

11:59writing on it was the role or the amount that the hrut had to actually prevent

12:05solidarity from growing on the ground um that they had to actively suppress like

12:12uh he there was one mention of Jewish Housewives just wanting to go and shop

12:18at Arab stores and that it was hyr members that had to go and physically

12:24prevent that from happening to prevent any kind of cross-cultural uh collaboration

12:30happening um yeah that’s right and the hisory Jude itself would I think even

12:36attack its own members if not you know physically um in other ways to prevent

12:41them from hiring Arab labor um at one point in its history at least um so

12:49those relationships were seen clearly as a threat um to the project and I think the

12:56extent to which there was this you know type of disciplining or whatever you want to call it um had to do with um at

13:07least in the initial founding in the State of the State and at different times when there were periods um when it

13:15was POS when a different history was possible um and I think that a different

13:21history being possible was quickly dispensed with um the stronger the state

13:27became and certainly after 196 67 um when uh Jews in this country

13:34aligned themselves wholeheartedly with the state of Israel and the state of Israel really became

13:42synonymous with Judaism unfortunately particularly among the in the mainstream Jewish Community it wasn’t always like

13:49that of course there was um and perhaps we will get into this there was a um it

13:57anti-zionism was normalized in the good sense of the word before

14:021967 um and dating back you know certainly into the the 19th century it

14:09it wasn’t seem it wasn’t an idea that seemed odd um in the Jewish Community um

14:16but that all changed of course and uh I guess that leads us into

14:24kind of discussing the American side of it um because my

14:30Mo most of my research into Jewish labor history has been fairly uh booned and

14:37needle trades focused um and I’ve

14:42always uh and I guess I’ll talk a little bit about the Jewish labor committee uh

14:49and it’s founding in 34 as a specifically uh Bas

14:55a uh anti-nazi and anti-fascist labor group within the US mainly pulling

15:02from the uh Jewish needle trade unions up in New York City um but that they

15:09stuck to the b or the Jewish labor bonds line of not it wasn’t necessarily

15:17explicitly anti-zionism for the Jewish labor committee because they weren’t as involved in the politics of the period

15:25um aside from anti-fascism uh but they had a or the idea that the

15:33Jewish question had to be solved in the country that Jews lived rather than through uh settling in Palestine

15:42um but the that then very quickly

15:47changed to an almost complete about face in the postwar era um and that I’ve I’m

15:56still trying to sus out exactly how that happened um

16:01from my best guess right now uh was probably

16:07a mixture of their pre-existing anti-communism

16:12um that the both the boond and all of the boond aligned unions in the United

16:20States uh were fairly strongly anti-communist going back to disagreements in the beginning of the

16:27Russian Social Democratic labor party and it’s that’s a whole another long history that we do not have time for

16:34uh but the uh especially in towards the

16:39end of the 40s uh there were a lot of Fairly left leaning unions that were

16:46willing to participate in uh the D’s uh the D’s commission and the uh

16:55house and American activities commission to attack their communist former comrades um and that

17:03ended up aligning a lot of these unions with uh kind of the US state which was

17:09then also aligning itself with the newly formed uh state of

17:15Israel that was a long question Gabe sorry I don’t know if that was a question that’s just been on my mind all

17:21day uh but

17:27the can you give any insight into kind of how that connection between the US

17:35Labor movement and Zionism developed uh moving forward in the 20th century in the post-war

17:41era and I guess the post 48 era

17:50specifically well you know I think the

17:56um you know as Allison was saying um you know Zionism and and its Colonial

18:05project was not something that Jewish communities easily brought into in um

18:13especially like in in the beginning right um and and I think that

18:20that went um that that was also the case uh for you know Jewish workers who were

18:28active like in the movement in the labor movement in the United States and for other workers non-jewish workers right

18:34um but that did start that did start to change and and and and particularly like

18:40postwar right and I think that there’s a lot of reasons for it right and I think

18:46number one is how uh institutions like hodat

18:52were actively lobbying um kind of through their

18:57relationships with the trade unions right um and utilizing the trade unions

19:03in the United States to they themselves Lobby the US government for a change in policy but I think that more than that

19:10it it just also reflected the kind of political changes that were just going

19:16on in in in the labor movement itself right just kind of those Decades of

19:21weeding out Comm communism the Decades of like weeding out kind of like more

19:28kind of rank and file kind of empowered kind of like um critical perspective

19:34about like what labor leadership is doing like you know and um um and so as

19:42as that changed you know so did um kind of the creation of more hierarchical

19:48unions who kind of like were then uh responding um to this call to support

19:55Zionism right um and I think also so I mean I this this is not a labor union um

20:02but I’m part of an organization called the national lawyers Guild right which is like kind of Professional

20:07Association and you know we have we currently have a very strong um uh

20:14position on Palestine right we’ve had a strong position we were one of the first to use the words apartheid and call for

20:21BDS and to support the right of Palestinians to resist but our organization supported the creation of

20:27the state of Israel in 194 48 and even passed a resolution um you know uh at the time I

20:35think condemning the US government for not sending um military uh not sending

20:42arms right to um the hugana um who were also kind of like actively materially

20:50colonizing um Palestinian lands and we we’re actually trying to pass a resol

20:55resolution this year like officially apologize for that um and then when you

21:01when you kind of ask especially kind of like the older generation you know they’ll they’ll say

21:08that like oh you know it was because they were supporting the Soviet line that that they they that that sort of

21:15that they that they that they will give right um and I can understand that like

21:20you you know I could see certain organizations and institutions um that are just really um

21:27very sectarian just falling falling into like following uh the perspective of

21:32whatever sort of like party that they’re they’re attached to but there was a lot sort of there was a lot more going on um

21:40you know I think just the the repression of the labor movement itself over the years turning it into something very

21:48very different um you know the the Zionist lobbying um and then also like

21:55you know the ability for people to be able to really empathize with uh people

22:00of the global South as as opposed to sort of empathize with the European worker you

22:08know and that’s led to a labor Zionism that exists to this day you

22:14know yeah I think Susan brings up Suzanne brings up a great example of the

22:21uh anlg um BEC another thing that uh

22:28happened with the nlg is that um and I think this is an example of what was

22:33happening also else uh in the Jewish Community is um the Red Scare and

22:40McCarthy era really decimated the ranks of organizations like the nlg um and I

22:47although I’m you know not a labor historian by any stretch of the imagination I think that that also

22:54decimated the ranks of you know workers

22:59at large who were trying to organize at the time for obvious reasons um I also

23:05think at that time but also proceeding and and um afterwards that is the time

23:13of the founding of the state um there within the Jewish Community

23:19itself there was the sort of hierarchical um German ashkanazi Jews

23:24who were um watching with horror as these um you know the rabble of the the kind

23:33of Russian pale were immigrating into the United States they were you know largely quite poor quite um you know

23:42they were they were laborers and they had a different take on what it meant to be in this country

23:51than their um largely German ashkanazi um Brethren so to speak who

23:57had immigrated many years before and I think

24:03um that history became the history of the what you see in the Jewish Community

24:09today in in some respects that they were the founders of the mainstream um Jewish

24:16organizations that became um the American Jewish Community the ADL the

24:24APAC um they were the the the that they were the Genesis so to speak

24:31um the the ideological Genesis um of the organizations that we

24:37see today that fight so vehemently against those supporting Palestinian

24:42rights and at the time that included making sure that these radical you know

24:50Jews from the Russian pale weren’t too radical here in the United States and

24:56what could we do to again you know sort of discipline them to assimilate them um

25:02and to bring them into their ideological sphere of what it

25:08meant to be an American a and I think that um plays a part in this uh as well

25:18in terms of the challenges that were faced um throughout this history when

25:25anti- Zionism was essentially abandoned for for a full throated um Zionism that

25:33we see today I think um that or that analysis

25:40lines up really well with Philip Nicholson uh author of labor story in

25:45the United States um because he talks a lot about how there was

25:51a a like move towards not quite respectability

25:57politics in the labor movement postwar but a basically the elected labor leaders

26:04had gotten comfortable being in positions of power and had started to

26:09seek more proximity to the power that existed and that’s how or at least in

26:15his analysis um he argued that that’s how not only they allowed themselves to

26:22get uh wiped out in huak because they were feeling much more comfortable than they probably should have been and

26:28should have been able to recognize that their positions were fairly precarious um but those that survived the

26:35McCarthyism were willing to Cozy up to the imperialism that was growing um

26:43which then also would tie that whole movement into

26:49Zionism absolutely [Music]

26:55yes uh so now I want to Pivot

27:01to kind of the return to anti-zionism

27:06um and I before that we should also recognize the fact that Palestinian

27:13history exists because we haven’t really talked about it yet um so if we can very

27:19briefly cover uh the I guess first two decades

27:26of uh the Palestinian life on after the nakba um moving up to The Six Day War

27:36obviously that again is a lot to cover um you have you have 30

27:42seconds uh either suzan or

27:47Allison Suzanne do you want to go first uh you can start it’s fine um well

27:55Palestinian life after the Naka um just so your listeners know exactly what

28:02the nakba is the nakba is an Arabic word uh meaning catastrophe which is how

28:08Palestinians describe what happened to them in 1948 when starting before um the

28:17war that resulted in the creation of the state um they began they were uh

28:24ethnically cleansed from their homes for set of their homes at gunpoint in major

28:30cities in Palestine and then once the war started in Earnest um over 400

28:38Villages throughout uh historical Palestine were erased from the map

28:45literally um uh there were um massacres

28:51bombing campaigns um that resulted in over

28:57750,000 Palestinians fleeing from their homes um that’s the

29:02Naka and as you can imagine um well after that occurred of course there was

29:10no those Palestinians were not allowed to return to their homes after the cessation of hostilities and those who

29:18did attempt to return were treated as quote unquote

29:23infiltrators and either detained or shot on site so uh it was made very clear that there

29:31was no returning to their homes and that’s 750,000 Palestinians just in 1948

29:38and those are the Palestinians who populate the refugee camps um throughout the Arab world as

29:45well as in Gaza in addition to that um the Palestinians who did remain um were

29:53under military were under military rule until I believe it was

30:011956 um and so they eventually became technically

30:07citizens of the state but only after enduring um you know close to a decade

30:14of military rule um and being forced to live in um live as

30:23second class citizens um in 19 67 during the war that resulted

30:31in the occupation then of the West Bank the golen Heights and the Gaza Strip by

30:37the Israeli military um even more Palestinians were

30:42pushed out of their homes and were made uh refugees um as you might imagine this

30:50resulted in the decimation of Palestinian political social and

30:56cultural life throughout the state of Palestine um

31:03but um I I guess one thing that’s is

31:09important to note is that throughout this period really despite the

31:15repression despite um the the odds being stacked against them there were attempts

31:23to organize there was a a military resistance against

31:28um the occupation both in 48 and 67 um of course that was brutally put

31:35down um but there were also um cultural

31:41life did continue in one form or another throughout this period and has I think

31:48always been a part of Palestinian resistance itself um what we hear a lot

31:53about of course especially these days is military resistance which of course um is codified in

32:01international law as a right right of an occupied people um but I think it’s also

32:08important to remember that um organizing of various types and I’m I’m sure

32:13Suzanne can speak more eloquently than I to this including among laborers

32:20including among cultural workers including among you know teachers and

32:26students um so it’s it’s kind of a mixture of intense

32:31repression um brutal violence but ongoing

32:44resistance yeah I mean I think the way that you ended it is uh is a good summary right I mean I think you know it

32:52it’s uh the knba is really has continued until like it until today I mean it’s

32:59current you know it it’s just sort of like you know between nakba and 1967 but

33:06then further on um it’s just further and further um sort of expansionist policies

33:12by you know the state of Israel um which um you know uh is done through different

33:20acts of ethnic cleansing and colonization and um you know so there’s

33:25there you know there are a lot other historical examples of of massacr that happened as well during that time like

33:31the massacre of workers um at kuer kasum in 1956 right um or sort of like you know

33:41um just sort of the the daily aggressions that uh that were taking place in kind of the militarized areas

33:50um before they even occupied uh pales I mean the West Bank in Gaza and then when

33:56they started to occup westm Gaza you know that that continued even further

34:02and with the expansion of of the settlements which are also very militarized zones like you know it we’re

34:08just sort of seeing a history of like increased increased sort of colonial violence in different forms in different

34:14manifestations right um and as Allison said also consistent resistance I mean

34:22going back to to even the 1930s with the with the peasant Revolt with the peasant

34:27work worker sort of Revolt like you know I mean a lot of a lot of what

34:32Palestinian has looked like has been strikes right it has been strikes and

34:38boycotts um you know as well as like armed struggle which is sort of what

34:43which is which is their right and um and I mean I’m kind of like jumping in in

34:49history right now but like a lot of what you know

34:55um the sort of like strategy uh had been on Israel’s part through uh

35:01the the development of uh things like the Oslo Accords right was really to

35:06also kind of like undermine the ability for Palestinians to attempt to kind of

35:12undermine the ability of Palestinians to kind of um remain a United sort of like

35:17force of of resistance right by kind of physically separating them into ban but

35:23and also by creating um like facilitating the the the PA’s creation of its own police

35:30force to act as also kind of like further suppression of like Grassroots

35:35Palestinian resistance and so on so um it’s it’s a it’s a

35:44lot and on uh just on the PA’s police

35:50force there’s one again we’re jumping around in history a lot but uh there’s one quote that I just loved when uh I

35:58think it was talking about the 2004 teacher strike uh but there’s an

36:04interview of a uh police officer from the uh Palestinian Authority who is

36:09complaining that people in or citizens in every country complain about the police in their country and just the the

36:17fact that you’re saying that and not quite asking the question of why right

36:24right uh but the um and uh if I’m not

36:30mistaken also it wasn’t until 59 that Palestinian workers were allowed to join

36:36the Hut uh and even then they were still kind of relegated into more menial lower

36:43paying jobs even within what was ostensibly a union fighting for

36:48them yes that’s my understanding

36:53um but the now I want to swing back to

36:59the United States uh to talk about kind of the rise of anti-zionism um that developed here with the uh uh

37:09the Arab Auto Workers in I think it was 1973 in Detroit right um yeah can you

37:16talk on that at all Suzanne sure so you know um that was a a

37:23very sort of significant historical moment I I think for the Palestinian solidarity movement in

37:29the US for the BDS movement and and for the lab the labor movement overall you know

37:36um and you know so in 1973 there there

37:41there was uh a strike by arab-american Auto Workers um who

37:47were um demanding that the UA W Divas from Israeli bonds right um and I think that

37:56sort of um which which I I believe lasted about two days and kind of um did

38:02result in um some kind of concessions on from the UAW in terms of like uh

38:10divestment but like they’re they’re they’re still invested right now as as well as like many other um large unions

38:17except you know there’s not a lot of transparency around that too so um we don’t always know sort of the extent um

38:26and also to break relation with his um and I think that like you know one

38:33important things to sort of say about this is that like you know this is Detroit in the early 70s and this is

38:40kind of like in the backdrop of um like the the race uprisings right and also

38:46the formation of other really militant labor organizations like the league of re Revolution Le black black workers and

38:54Dodge revolutionary union movement which I think think that like um you know uh

39:01the interaction with in the interaction that arab-american workers had uh with

39:08those movements I think um including Sol the solidarity that they received from

39:13those movements right if if you know you can see examples of Publications from

39:19organizations like drum and CID with palson at that time um but also kind of

39:25um you know um just kind of like the the exposure to kind of that that kind of

39:31militancy sort of really I think was sort of significant um in perhaps kind of um the

39:39Arab Auto Workers thinking that like this is this is a good time this is this is something that we we can achieve

39:45right um you know there’s been I I think what’s also interesting

39:51to point out you know when I was researching um this moment in history I

39:57found also a flyer from a 1974 UAW convention in which that was passed out

40:05by the Arab workers caucus right um and it had like a a platform that they were

40:12presenting uh which was calling for you know basic health and safety conditions

40:18in the job anti-discrimination um sort of like policies in the job but it was calling

40:25also for um know an anti-racist sort of

40:30solidarity but also it was calling for workers to and for the union to organize

40:37itself in solidarity with the movement for self-determination of peoples of the

40:42global South right so there was a kind of internationalism right that place in

40:49that moment right um or not just in the labor movement but I think in our movements as a whole right that we don’t

40:56NE neily see it’s not that there’s there is internationalism in in in the in

41:03labor now but I think it’s it’s a bit different right and and also just kind of like reminds me of

41:10um you know um not too long before uh that uh there

41:17was also a Yemen Farm worker who was the first Farm worker that was killed in the

41:23movement to create the United Farm Workers uh Union right or or to to win

41:28collective bargaining rights for Farm Workers in California and if you see pictures of his funeral um like the community came out

41:37with like the flag of um the ufw union the flag of Yemen and pictures of ABD

41:44Naser and I think also Palestinian flag so there was also kind of like an Arab

41:50nationalism that it was internationalists in itself as well like you

41:55know um but you know it’s a very significant thing because I don’t think

42:01that a lot of people know that like that auto worker strike was the very first

42:06BDS call um in in the United States people think that the BDS movement

42:12started like 105 in the US 10 15 years

42:19ago so uh on that note can you talk a little bit about how BDS has developed

42:25since 73 and expanded both in the US and abroad um

42:31and actually what it is as well so the BD I mean the BDS movement

42:37is is like the call from Palestinians um for um you know the solidarity

42:46movement to organize uh to boycott um organized to pressure um

42:55institutions to cot divest um and sanction Israel right and

43:03and I think that that you know that really comes down to kind of you know

43:10not so much individuals but divesting from institutions

43:16businesses um that um are complicit right in the colonization project you

43:23know um and also the call for sanction is to you know to sanction sort of

43:29Israel and and and and like something like that would look like for example removing Israel from the United Nations

43:37which was something that was called for um for against South Africa at some

43:42point too like you know um or for States like you know Chile Colombia Bolivia to

43:50recall their ambassadors or or like in the case of Bolivia completely cut off diplomatic ties with Israel that falls

43:57under I think like sanctioning for example right so it’s kind of like broadly defined but the the call is to

44:05um really continue to demand that until um until Israel uh you know

44:13follows international law adheres to international law and um stops you know

44:19the colonization occupation of Palestine um and you know I mean since that time

44:28you know the Bas movement itself has has really grown um and has really won some

44:35major victories around the world and in sort of like different sectors of

44:40society um that hasn’t necessarily changed the facts on the ground for

44:47Palestinians right but it has succeeded at least I think in in helping to sort

44:52of like isolate Israel and and and and gain a gain awareness as to um you know

45:00the kind of Oppression that is happening against the Palestinian people and and we do know that the public opinion is

45:07really in in solidarity with Palestine except really for the ruling Elite and and like I think the fascist forces that

45:14support them like you know um we can just see from the way people are reacting you know right now I mean of

45:20course and you know there are a lot of liberals that are like reinforcing um the ruling Elites policy

45:28um and but in the labor movement you know it hasn’t really kind of like been

45:34that easy to um get the labor movement to mobilize in the same way that the

45:40Arab workers in early early early 70s did for a lot of different reasons because labor Zionism really was really

45:47successful like you know in um and also because we have a ve we don’t really

45:52have Democratic unions where where where we find it very often

45:57not that hard after some organizing to get the sympathy and solidarity of rank

46:03and file the rank and file don’t necessarily have the ability to push

46:08their their their hierarchical unions to act in the way that they need to right

46:13um but like when we look at sort of like the history of like the io um Wu on the

46:20west coast and how they as of rank and file decided not to handle um kind of

46:26cargo that was going to apartheid South Africa I think it was kind of like moments like that that really kind of

46:33became um sort of the roots of of of

46:38re it’s really kind of like um what we looked to like you know in when labor

46:46for Palestine which I’m a part of was formed right in 200 three or four right

46:52it was really that ILWU uh Rank and file movement against parde that we looked to um to sort of

47:00like be the Catalyst the history that we were um trying to sort of like utilize

47:05to like start to sort of move like other sort of Frank and file towards um

47:11towards thinking about how how um you know their labor institutions could uh

47:16play a significant role in supporting Palestinian movement and in supporting the BDS movement right um of course we

47:24knew about the Detroit workers movement but um um we you know we thought that they

47:31like really kind of making that connection with black workers and anti- aarte struggle really would resonate

47:37more with kind of like the modern sort of like um working class and in many

47:43ways it it it you know it does right um and so you know

47:49it I I would just say this that over the years like every time that there’s been

47:54an escalation uh um of the war on Gaza right or or like in or in the West Bank

48:01or like um that like we we we saw more and more kind of like the rank Rank and

48:08file communities from different sectors moving more and more towards understanding and supporting palestin

48:14and solidarity right um so now where we have hundreds of people on a call right

48:20ready to sort of stand in solidarity with um and the way that we the we need

48:27what we really had to do to penetrate that is um kind of navigate navigate

48:34through that hierarchy right because what we found is there was like is that like you know if there’s a like a health

48:42care worker who’s Palestinian or a teacher who’s Palestinian or like a factory worker who’s Palestinian and

48:48wants to have a a discussion with their co-workers about what’s happening with them and their family and ask for

48:55solidarity that they were Gatekeepers Union officials that were just preventing those conversations

49:01from happening in the first place right and then when they did like you know we we saw examples to of like different UAW

49:09locals who back in in 2014 um kind of like did the organizing

49:16did the work and and you know and and got like a large sort of critical mass

49:22of of of their um Rank and file to support solidarity statement right um

49:27that that was kind of like thed by like UAW leadership that had at the had you

49:34said um that they you know like that they could not allow for this sort of

49:42to um continue to stand that it was nullified because they had signed

49:48basically anou with the Jewish labor committee saying that they would not support BDS initiatives I mean it kind

49:55of was initi ated by another UAW member who like opposed it and it was appealed

50:02and so on but ultimately the decision was because UAW leadership at the time

50:07said that they had signed such anou right which I think then points to the

50:13kind of ways that labor Zionism has continued to organize right um even if

50:19if their ranks are smaller you know they’re they’re still sort of like um

50:24very sort of sort of targeted uh organizing to sort of undermine efforts

50:30at Palestine Palestine solidarity from some Gatekeepers like seart applebomb of

50:37R rwdsu which I say that I mean I actually work with rwdsu through my laor

50:43organization but everyone knows St seart applebomb has been a driving force of Zionism in the labor movement you

50:51know you know it’s interesting to me um the analogy um that one could make with

50:58what Suzanne just described in terms of The Gatekeepers in the union movement

51:05and The Gatekeepers in the Jewish Community r large because what they’re

51:10gatekeeping against of course is Young Jews who Jews under 40 um who are

51:22overwhelmingly not behind the policies of the state of Israel uh at the very least and who are

51:30abandoning in droves the visions of Zionism who don’t identify with that

51:36Vision who don’t identify with the policies and who are being punished for expressing that and it

51:45strikes me that that’s a a similar situation uh with what’s going on in the

51:51labor movement um and it’s you know it’s something is um really swelling the

52:00ranks of anti- zionists because if a young person is told well no you can’t

52:08uh invite a Palestinian historian to speak to your Hillel which is the c um

52:15on Camp college campuses the Jewish sort of Student Center very well funded um if

52:23you invite a Palestinian Palestinian historian to to talk to your group we’re

52:28going to defund you I mean very this is just citing one example um very

52:35heavy-handed tactics to make sure that any type of solid Nation solidarity

52:41cannot happen um and as young people have throughout history they see right

52:48through it and they rebel against it and they begin asking more questions so it

52:53does in many in some respects I I think have a uh it

52:59backfires um but it it’s it’s interesting these sort of parallel phenomenon both in the labor movement

53:06and just you know in the Jewish Community uh overall um another point I

53:13would make regarding BDS in terms of the development of anti- Zionism and

53:19solidarity is the BDS movement um of course didn’t invent the

53:27tactic of boycott divestment and sanctions it adapted um that those uh

53:34tactics that were developed of course during the anti-apartheid struggle and the Civil Rights struggle in this

53:40country and and many in many other places I think we could site but just to cite those as the most relevant ones for

53:48this discussion I think um and it really

53:53problematized the Jewish community’s almost obsessive identification of itself with

54:00the civil rights movement in this country because if you if you read um uh various people who

54:09have written about that era era um there’s always a mention of you

54:16know this or that Rabbi who marched with Martin Luther King or of course um the

54:23fact that there are a lot of Jews who are involved in uh Freedom Summer for example um one

54:30of whom was of course murdered um so how do you then site that

54:37proud example of of our history on the one hand um but on the other hand call

54:44boycott the Palestinian BDS or boycott divestment and sanctions movement

54:49anti-semitic it’s one of many many uh you know cognitive examples of

54:57cognitive dissonance that is really collapsing um and it’s also because it’s

55:03collapsing and because people aren’t having it anymore especially young people it’s why repression is is

55:11heightening and will continue to heighten I believe into the

55:18future we may have lost you a little bit at the end there um I

55:27okay well I guess it was just me um the uh and I also wanted to touch on

55:34the uh kind of Gatekeepers discussion um

55:39because then there’s also situations where uh like uh Starbucks Workers United released a statement in

55:45solidarity with Palestinians which then led starbu the corporation to sue them

55:53um and they’re I think there’s currently battling it out um but there’s just an

56:00interesting or you can see where the interests of everyone are or the

56:08interests of everyone who is preventing this are aligning and who those interests are aligning with um when you

56:15have the literally the bosses that you’re fighting against aligning in their interests with union leaders and

56:23Community leaders within the Jewish community that that’s there’s clearly something probably not right there that

56:30uh needs to be uh further examined um

56:38the and so with jumping off from

56:44Starbucks Workers United right now um and without uh breaching any operational

56:51security um what are like where where do

56:56you see this movement going in the future because obviously right now we’re in a crisis moment um where there’s an

57:06active genocide and ethnic cleansing happening in front of our faces um but

57:13there’s and not necessarily the time to do slow on the

57:20ground personto person organizing um but I’m

57:27I’m just interested in your kind of thoughts on that Suzanne where where you see all of this going where both

57:34practically and hopefully yeah um you know one other sort of like

57:43important like labor action that took place was was the block the boat um

57:49action particular um I mean we we did sort of have a national day of action where we had simultaneous like block the

57:55boat actions in New York and in Oakland where um you know the the strategy was

58:02to um try to stop the Zim ship the Israeli Zim ship from being able to Dock

58:10and and be unloaded and that succeeded in in in in the Bay Area um not because ILWU directly signed

58:18up to sort of refuse because the community created a picket line in the

58:24ILWU um um was sort of empowered to say that we

58:29won’t cross the picket line right and so Zim wasn’t able to sort of like unload New York New Jersey the port of New York

58:37we weren’t really able to do that and and we don’t really see any opportunity

58:43to do that anytime soon it’s very hard it’s a different Union it’s it’s a different town like you know um but

58:52there are other logistics unions around the world right that are um standing up

58:59including in Belgium recently right and I think um the transport worker unions

59:04and other unions refusing to um allow kind of like Israeli shipments to flow

59:11right or to sort of like be sent out or be handled um I think we can we might

59:18expect more actions from other International unions like from Italy and South Africa and so on those are all

59:24like very very significant right um and I I’m saying this is because like we we

59:31really need to sort of stand up to the challenge of um saying that we need to we have to stop arming Israel and and

59:39this is not a labor movement but there’s been a really important direct action that started in the UK and is happening

59:45in the US by Palestine action which is like that are sort of like blocking the

59:51entrances of albite systems just just to like try to shut down the business of of

59:57the arms trade right now as far as like other us unions whether they be

1:00:02Starbucks or they be teachers unions or academic unions I think that

1:00:09like I mean you’re right it’s like it’s not like it’s not time for the teachings

1:00:14it’s like time it’s time to be like okay what do you got what are you GNA do um

1:00:20and I think the one of the things that labor for Palestine has been thinking about is is calling for like a national

1:00:26day of action for labor right um we might actually end up um Co like

1:00:34attaching that to another national day of action that’s recently being called by some of the Palestinian groups but so

1:00:40just sort of do labor specific one and the idea is like you know because you

1:00:45know I I I run a an alliance of like 33 worker organizations that have different

1:00:51levels of precarity right from worker centers to unions and so whenever we have an like a kind of a day of action

1:00:58we give people an opportunity along a spectrum of different ways to participate right from just like wearing

1:01:05a particular color or wearing a button to walking out like you know really kind of depending on the level of power that

1:01:11workers might have because we know that like there’s a lot of situations where workers have little power in this

1:01:17country you know um and so that’s one thing that we’re hoping to do and just

1:01:23sort of see what happens but I think I think it we still need to continue to

1:01:29um you know educate and and sort of like bombard like the leadership especially

1:01:36the ones that are stepping up to saying okay like you know this is this is the time to demand the divestment from the

1:01:43bonds this is the time to demand that they that they cut off the relations with hodr and on one level and this is

1:01:50kind of the contradiction today on one level it’s like it feels like we can we

1:01:56we’re moving people more than ever right but on another level it also feels like that there’s a lot of apologists for

1:02:02genocide right and and and I’m sure like among and that includes the labor

1:02:08leadership so I think it’s I think there’s got to be a confrontation we’re going to see you

1:02:15there’s got to be a confrontation between those two contradictions like you know in in our in our labor spaces

1:02:22and we in other we have to be ready to just sort of support that you know I mean Elison was talking about the

1:02:30backlash you know as sort of a leader of the nlg um I’m the president and like

1:02:36you know we we’re kind of one of the groups who kind of been trying to respond to all of this backlash right on

1:02:41campuses you know in protests and in in the workplace right we we’ve never seen

1:02:47this much um kind of uh harassment intimidation discrimination and firings

1:02:53in in in in workplaces in regards to Palestine before like in all in

1:02:59everywhere from like low wage work to like hospitals to like you know schools

1:03:05and so on um so it’s it it’s it’s it’s not easy right so I think it’s it’s

1:03:10really just about you know people kind of um you know rising to the challenge

1:03:16and I know there was another labor call tonight um

1:03:21um with probably a few hundred people uh mainly Rank and file folks who that are

1:03:27like strategizing as to like what they can

1:03:33do brought to that and I think I’ve at least

1:03:39from talking to and listening to some of the

1:03:44more radical Rank and file focused thinkers I’ve

1:03:50been feeling like that confrontation that you were you were talking about in

1:03:56terms of solidarity with Palestine that I think there’s broader confrontations

1:04:01that are starting to show up across the labor movement as well uh to kind of break down the hierarchical unions that

1:04:08have come out of the New Deal era um and so it is certainly something to

1:04:17that is interesting and both exciting and terrifying to watch indeed

1:04:24true um but I think at the risk of going on

1:04:33and talking about all of this for another hour or two or three because there’s still a lot to cover um uh I

1:04:42don’t have any other pressing questions do you have anything Sam are you kidding

1:04:47me no um unfortunately there there wasn’t a lot for uh to make light of you

1:04:54know especially with everything going on in the world but um I think I made sure that I had control of the soundboard for

1:05:00this so no DJ air horns um but I think

1:05:05not not nice that’s the word interesting it’s interesting to know um as someone

1:05:11who is not well-versed in any of this as as you three are um that this situation

1:05:19that we’re going through right now did not start and end on October 7th this has been going on and it’s a lot more

1:05:24convoluted than people think so people really need to get out there and um

1:05:30listen to what’s going on and uh read the history so I appreciate both you

1:05:35coming on Alis and uh Suzanne and um educating me and educating our listeners we appreciate

1:05:41it thank you for having me yeah thank you both so much and uh stay safe and uh

1:05:50have as much fun as anyone can right now on

1:05:58thank you well have a great night good night you too have a good night bye bye

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