House Staff Against Apartheid (CIR-SEIU)

House Staff Against Apartheid

Whereas, labor unions are fueled by the power of collective worker action to confront and dismantle oppression, and have a long history of solidarity with the struggle for global liberation, and

Whereas, CIR has a rich history of standing for social justice and to matters that affect our members, patients, and communities, as well as a commitment to justice for all people, including standing in opposition to Apartheid South Africa and in solidarity with the NY Young Lords’ occupation of Lincoln Hospital, and

Whereas, the UN defines apartheid as, “…similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination as practiced in southern Africa” – as covering “inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them,” and

Whereas, the Israeli military has kept the Gaza Strip under a state of siege since 2007, and according to many international human rights organizations (including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and others), maintains an apartheid occupation against the Palestinian people, and

Whereas, the UN defines genocide as, “…acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group,:

Whereas, many US elected officials have encouraged Israel’s escalation of violence against Palestinians, have pledged to support further increases in US military aid beyond the nearly $4 billion a year it provides to Israel, or have otherwise failed to call for a ceasefire, and 

Whereas, CIR has resolved to advocate for expanding and ensuring access to healthcare for our patients and communities and to addressing underlying social determinants of health, including access to housing, food, and education,

Whereas, since October 7, Israeli forces have blocked the entry of essential medical supplies to the Gaza Strip, bombed hospitals and other medical facilities, killed and kidnapped healthcare staff, targeted ambulances and restricted access to aid, and destroyed essential infrastructure including housing and educational facilities, and

WHEREAS, CIR, SEIU, APWU, UAW 2865, UE, Teamsters, and many other unions have spoken out in solidarity with the Palestinian people, and 

WHEREAS, Islamophobia, Anti-Semitism, hatred, and bigotry in all forms have no place in the fight for collective liberation, and 

WHEREAS, many Jewish people are actively organizing on college campuses and in cities across the country in support of Palestinians and are demanding divestment from Israeli apartheid and genocide, and

WHEREAS, elected officials and the media continue to exploit fears of rising anti-Semitism and continually conflate anti-Zionist/anti-war organizing with anti-Semitism, and

WHEREAS, CIR residents who speak out in solidarity with Palestine have faced widespread institutional harassment and/or disciplinary action, and

WHEREAS, Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) is a Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice and equality. BDS upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity and calls for divestment from the Israeli military and institutions of oppression until they comply with international law, and

THEREFORE, be it resolved, that CIR rejects the conflation of anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism, and affirms in the strongest terms that there is no place for anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, hatred, or bigotry of any kind in our union, and

THEREFORE, be it resolved, that CIR calls on elected officials to:

  • Oppose all existing and any future military aid to Israel until it complies with international law
  • Call for an end to Israeli apartheid and the occupation and blockade of Palestinian land by Israeli military forces.
  • Call on Israel to immediately restore water, power, and humanitarian aid to Palestine.
  • Use all available legal means to pressure Israel to an immediate, permanent ceasefire including supporting sanctions, ceasing military aid, making public statements and media appearances, undertaking lobbying efforts and other advocacy actions of US elected officials through Regional COPE Boards, and 

THEREFORE, be it resolved, that CIR will join likeminded labor coalitions who are calling for a ceasefire and will encourage other unions and labor councils to join our efforts as outlined above, and

THEREFORE, be it resolved, that CIR joins the international call for boycott, divestment and sanctions of Israel until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights and will further support the BDS Movement by:

  • Declining to endorse any candidate for political office that continues to support legislation that seeks to criminalize the BDS movement
  • Calling on SEIU to divest the pension fund
  • Encouraging their affiliated academic institutions to divest all resources, including but not limited to direct financial contributions, human capital, pension funds, and retirement programs such as 401K and intellectual property

THEREFORE, be it resolved, that CIR will provide legal and logistical support to staff and members in such cases that they suffer harassment, disciplinary action, or other forms of retaliation in response to free speech. 

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