Category Archives: Gaza

UAW Rank and File BDS Sign-On Letter

Sign-onto this open letter:

UAW Members         Unions and Community Organizations          Community Members

Dear UAW International and Fellow Unionists,

We, rank-and-file members of the UAW and allied community members/organizations, stand unequivocally in solidarity with the Palestinian people. Following the call by Palestinian Trade Unionists to end complicity in their oppression, we call upon workers everywhere, our union leadership, and the UAW International to demand an immediate end to Israel’s brutal siege and bombardment of Gaza and all military funding going toward Israel.

We watch with horror as the U.S. sends American troops to assist in an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza. We mourn the loss of civilian life. We categorically reject U.S. support of the murderous Israeli regime in its ongoing genocide of Palestinians, which has killed over 7,000 people and injured 16,000 more in airstrikes since October 7, and has cut off water, food, and power to Gaza’s population. We stand in solidarity with Palestinian workers who have renewed their call for academic institutions and unions worldwide to stand with the Palestinian people.

We call on the UAW to endorse and implement the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) call from Palestinian civil society, which urges nonviolent pressure on Israel until it “meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law by:

  1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall
  2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
  3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.”

Historically, the U.S. labor movement has failed the Palestinian people. For instance, the American Federation of Labor (AFL) advocated for and helped finance the construction of Zionist settlements, directly contributing to the displacement of Palestinians. It is a moral imperative for us to acknowledge this history and push the labor movement to act on the side of Palestinian liberation. Advocating for a BDS resolution is also directly tied to our material interests; workers in the U.S. are struggling against many of the same capitalist forces that maintain and bolster the Israeli occupation of Palestine. These forces rely on racialized exploitation, dispossession, and policing in the United States and around the world. As argued by the League of Revolutionary Black Workers and Arab Workers Caucus of the UAW, a global class of workers will not achieve liberation if fragmented by colonization, apartheid, and borders. These are the structures on which an ascendant global fascist movement is shoring up white supremacy, nativism, militarism, heteropatriarchy, and other tools of oppression to further divide us. No longer will we stand for investments that aid in the genocide of Palestinians.

As members of the labor movement, we call on U.S. labor unions to cut all ties with Israeli unions. We call on the AFL-CIO to terminate its relationship with the Israeli Histadrut. We additionally call on U.S. unions and our employers to divest from Israeli bonds and from the military, extractive, and technological industries connected with the Israeli occupation and U.S. imperialism. Furthermore, we demand that the UAW International and AFL-CIO immediately convey to the United States government a demand to halt all aid and military support to Israel. Failure to do so amounts to organized labor’s complicity with, and support for, the ongoing genocide.

We further demand that the UAW and our locals protect workers who engage in pro-Palestine speech and advocacy—particularly Palestinian, Muslim, and Arab workers—from doxxing, surveillance, and repression within the workplace. Additionally, the UAW must not overturn democratic decisions made by the rank-and-file, as it did when UAW 2865, UAW 2322, and GSOC-UAW 2110 voted to support BDS in solidarity with the Palestinian people in 2014 and 2016, respectively.

As unionists, we must always stand on the side of justice, both in word and in deed. In light of Israel’s recent intensification of attacks on Palestine as well as the past 75 years of Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people, we stand firmly in solidarity with the struggle for Palestinian liberation. Already, UAW members have spoken out, joined marches, and walked out in support of Palestinian liberation. We will continue fighting for the liberation of the Palestinian people and we commit to taking direct action against the occupation in the coming weeks, including educating our colleagues on the occupation, disrupting the military industrial complex, standing with anyone in our workplaces facing retaliation for their activism around Palestinian liberation, and, if necessary, striking in our workplaces.

Until Liberation and Return,

UAW Members

Anila Gill, UAW 2110 — NYU-GSOC
Peter Gaughan, UAW 2320 — NOLSW – Staff Association
Benjamin Kersten, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Rachel Hoerger, UAW 2320 — NOLSW-BALAW
Raj Chaklashiya, UAW 2865 — Santa Barbara
Daniel Kim , UAW 2325 — Bronx defenders
Martha Grevatt, UAW 869
Asil Yassine , UAW 2865 — UCLA
Ary Smith, UAW 2320 — NULAW
Pooja Patel, UAW 2335 — CAMBA Legal Services Workers United
Austin D Bowes, UAW 2110 — New Museum of Contemporary Art
Hazem Jamjoum, UAW 2010 — NYU-GSOC
Michael Letwin, Former President, UAW Local 2325; Labor for Palestine
Christopher Viola, UAW 22
Isaac Stokka, UAW 2320 — NOLSW
Jasmin Tabatabaee, UAW 2110 — New Museum of Contemporary Art
Miriam Schachter , UAW 2325 — ALAA
Jessica Coffrin-St. Julien, UAW 2325 — Bronx Defenders Union
Muhammad Yousuf, UAW 2865 — San Diego
Ron Lare, UAW 600
Aparna Gopalan, UAW 5118
Dylan Kupsh, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Michael Gradess, UAW 2325 — The Bronx Defenders Union
Daria Reaven , UAW 2110 — NYU GSOC
Lavanya Nott, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Matthew Ehrlich, UAW 2865 — UC San Diego
Ruiyang Zhang, UAW 2110 — NYU-GSOC
Ricky Sanchez, UAW 5118 — HGSU-UAW
Madeline Weisburg, UAW 2110 — New Museum
Bailey Thomas, UAW 2325 — CAMBA legal Service workers united
Jessica Jiang, UAW 2865 — Berkeley
Patricia Manos, UAW 5118 — HGSU-UAW
Jeppe Ugelvig, UAW 2865 — UCSC
Jared Sacks, UAW 2710 — Student Workers of Columbia
Cristian Avila, UAW 2320 — NOLSW
Benjamin Gaillard-Garrido, UAW 2110 — NYU-GSOC
Nirvana Shahriar, UAW 2865 — Santa Barbara
Hazem Fahmy, UAW 2710
Nico Grace, UAW 7902 — New School Student Workers Union (NewSWU)
Amber Kela Chong, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Ioanna Kourkoulou, UAW 2710
Caitlin Blanchfield , UAW 2110 — student workers of columbia
Zachary Hicks , UAW 2865
Matt Hing, UAW 2865
Rebecca Morgan , UAW 2320 — NOLSW, Legal Aid Services of Oregon Workers Union
Ryan H, UAW 2865
Zachary Clarence, UAW 2179
Emilie S. Tumale, UAW 2110 — NYU-GSOC
Tommy George, UAW 5118 — HGSU-UAW
Megan Riley, UAW 2865
Spencer Tilger, UAW 2320 — NOLSW
Nicolette D’Angelo, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Zho Ragen, UAW 4121
Michael Mirer, UAW 2865
Harrison S, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Lily Jue Sheng, UAW 2010
José G. Miranda, UAW 2320 — IRAP Workers United
Aida M., UAW 2865
Brianna Lavelle , UAW 2865
Gray Golding, UAW 2865
Kendrick Manymules, UAW 2865
Barrett Cortellesi, UAW 259
Nils J, UAW 2865 — UCLA
Samyu Comandur, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Jessica Brown , UAW 2110
Rachel Fox, UAW 2865
Arundhati Velamur , UAW 2110 — NYU-GSOC
Lara Russo, UAW 2325 — Association of Legal said Attorneys
Matt Daunt, UAW — NYURU
Johanna Rothe , UAW 2865
Frank Hammer, UAW 909 — GM Warren MI
Bri Reddick, UAW 2865
Sarah Dinkelacker , UAW 2110
Marini Thorne, UAW 2710 — Student Workers of Columbia
Pamela Perrimon, GSWOC-UAW — USC
Marlaina S, UAW 5810
Hamsini Sridharan , GSWOC-UAW
Yi Lin Zhou, UAW 5118 — HGSU-UAW
Tarang Saluja, UAW Local 2322 — GEO at UMass Amherst
Charli Muller, UAW 2110 & 7902 — NYU GSOC & New School PTF union ACT-UAW
Grant Stover, UAW 509
Elizabeth Sawyer, UAW 2110 — ACLU
Or Pansky, UAW 2110 — NYU GSOC
Robert Carey, UAW 4100
Sonia Roubini, UAW 2325
Yassaman Rahimi, UAW 2865
Sophia Gurulé, UAW 2325
Erik Hazard, UAW 2865 — UCLA
Maya Alper, UAW 5118 — HGSU
Daad S., UAW 2325
Anthony Stoner, UAW 2865 — Riverside
Gordon Beeferman, UAW 7902 — NYU
Anthony M Triola , UAW 2865 — Irvine
Tausif Noor, UAW 2865 — UAW UC Berkeley
Brenden Ross, UAW 2320 — LSSA 2320
Christopher Geary, UAW 2865 — Berkeley
Vincent Doehr, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Alexis Aceves Garcia, UAW 2865
Mirella Deniz-Zaragoza, UAW 2865
Raghvi Bhatia, UAW 2865 — UCLA
Liam Moore, UAW 2865 — UCLA
Meesh Fradkin, UAW 9A — NYU
Swarnabh Ghosh, UAW 5118 — HGSU-UAW
Erika Barbosa, UAW 2865 — UCSD
Alex Jackman, UAW 2325 — ALAA Legal Aid
Thomas Connell, UAW 2865 — UC San Diego
Leila M. , UAW 2010
Fred DeVeaux, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Melinda Butterfield , UAW 2320 — National Organization of Legal Services Workers
Rachel Lindy, UAW 2325 — OAD
Rocio Rivera , UAW 2865
Lauren Textor, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Samia Saliba, UAW — GSWOC-USC
Nadeem Mansour, UAW 2710
Ross Hernández , UAW 2865
Hannah Kagan-Moore, UAW 2865 — SB
Marlene G Marte , UAW 2325
Jackson Kuklin, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Leonard Butingan, UAW 2865
Yair Agmon, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Yulia Gilich, UAW 2865 — UAW 2865 Santa Cruz
Gabriela Flores, UAW 2865
Reema Saad, UAW 2865 — UC Davis
Alice M., UAW 2320
Sabrina Habchi, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Samantha Abbott, UAW 2865 — Davis
LN, UAW 2865
Claire Gavin, UAW 2325
Adam Moore, UAW 2865
Melina R. , UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Drew Westaway, UAW 182
Nathanael Joseph, UAW 2865 — UC Irvine
Kaylee-Allyssa Roberts Larson, UAW 2865 — UCSC
Ryan McMillan, UAW 5118
Rebecca Waxman, UAW 2865
Kathleen Cash , UAW 2320
Erin Miller, UAW 2110 — NYU-GSOC
Rammy Salem, UAW 2865 — UC Santa Barbara
Deren Ertas, UAW 5118 — HGSU
Christopher Fasano, UAW 2320
Destina Bermejo, UAW 2865 — Merced
Charles Gelman, UAW 7902 — NYU Adjuncts
Jessica Peña , UAW 2865 — UCLA
Sabrina Habchj, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Aaron Benedetti, UAW 2865
Caleb Schimke, GSWOC-UAW — USC
Gabriel Woolls, UAW 2865
Tascha Shahriari-Parsa, UAW 5118
Alexi Shalom, UAW 2325
Jocelyn Yang, UAW 2110
Jessie Rubin , UAW Local 2710 — SWC
Rebecca Wong, UAW 2865
Corina Copp, GSWOC-UAW
Anthony Kim, UAW 2865 — UCLA
Emma Roth, UAW 2324
Stewart Stout, UAW 2110
Anthony Stoner, UAW 2865 — Riverside
Willa Smart, UAW 2865
Katrina T. , UAW 2110
Kerry Keith, UAW 2865 — San Diego
Evan Lemire, UAW 5118 — HGSU
Tyler P., UAW 2865
Khirad Siddiqui, UAW 2865 — Irvine
Joanna Lee-Brown, UAW 2710 — Student Workers of Columbia
Ali Blake, UAW — Boston College Graduate Employees Union
Maya Misra, UAW 2865
Marcus Knoke, UAW 5118 — HUWU-UAW
Natalie Goncharov, UAW 2320 — NOLSW-LSSA
Lindsey Ortega, UAW 2865
Arlo Fosburg, UAW 2865
Jenny Lee, UAW 1069 — GETUP-UAW
Vish Soroushian, UAW 2320
Aisha Zaman, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Koby L., UAW 5118 — HGSU
Sammy Feldblum, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Hannah Walsh , UAW 2325
Anna Derby, UAW 2322 — UMass-GEO
Rui Liu , UAW 2110 — NYU-GSOC
Julian de Gortari, UAW 2865
Liana Goff, UAW 2320 — LSSA-Mobilization for Justice shop
Nadja Eisenberg-Guyot, UAW 4100 — CPU-UAW
Sachinthya Wagaarachchi, UAW 2865
Chandler Hart-McGonigle, UAW 2325
Katsyris Rivera Kientz, UAW 1596 — Region 9A
Dinah Luck, Local 2320 — LSSA (MFJ shop)
Hanbyul Jenny Kang, UAW 2110 — NYU GSOC
Yasmine Benabdallah, UAW 2865 — Santa Cruz
Yosmin Badie, UAW 2325
Claire Stottlemyer, UAW 2325 — ALAA Legal Aid NYC
Roxanne Houman, UAW 2710
Nena Hedrick , UAW 2865 — UCSC
Dana Kopel, UAW 2865 — UCLA
Tatum H. , UAW 2865
Denish Jaswal, UAW 5118
Kevin schwenkler, UAW 2865 — ucsd graduate student workers
Jack Davies, UAW 2865 — Santa Cruz
Rosa Navarro, UAW 2865 — UC Santa Cruz
Navruz Baum, UAW 2325 — NYLAG
Fletcher Nickerson, UAW 2865
Ben Bieser, UAW 2865 — Irvine
Leemah Nasrati, UAW 2320 — NOLSW
Clare Canavan, UAW 5118
David Soper, UAW 2865
Ali M. Ugurlu, UAW 2710 — SWC
Maxwell Hellmann , UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Cherí Kruse , UAW 2865 — Berkeley
Max Greenberg, UAW 2322 — UMass GEO
Mithra Lehn, UAW 7902 — SENS
Amelia Spooner, UAW 2710 — Student Workers of Columbia
K Jacobson, UAW 2865 — UCSD
Megan Spencer, UAW 2865
Natalie May, UAW 2110 — NYU-GSOC
Eesha K, UAW 2110 — NYU-GSOC
Jackson Tham, UAW 2325
Elisabeth Koch, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Sophie Wilkowske , UAW 5118 — Harvard-HGSU
Rosie Stockton, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Ignacia Lolas Ojeda, UAW 2325 — The Bronx Defenders Union – UAW Local 2325
Nastaran Far, UAW 2320 — NOLSW
Ignacia Lolas Ojeda, UAW 2325
Adithya Gungi , UAW 2710 — SWC
Annie Powers, UAW 2865 — Los Angelea
Carson Greene, UAW 2865 — UCLA
Sierra E., UAW 2865
Shanaz Chowdhury , UAW — LAS
Joe Riley, UAW 2865
Ella Nalepka, UAW 2325 — The Bronx Defenders Union
Christy A., UAW 2865
Jonathan Ben-Menachem, UAW 2710
Magally Miranda, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Abby Richburg, UAW 2110 — NYU-GSOC
Aaron Katzeman, UAW 2865
Claire Valdez, UAW 2110 — Columbia University
Emily Ortiz , UAW 2865
Kyle Galindez, UAW 2865 — Santa Cruz
Anna Robinson-Sweet, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Sam Heller, UAW 4123 — CSU Academic Student Workers
Elizabeth Ross, UAW 5118 — HGSU
Sarah Mason, UAW 2865
Daniel Owen, UAW 2865
Whitney Braunstein, UAW 2325 — The Bronx Defenders Union
Emily Janakiram, UAW 2110
Cameron Foltz, UAW 2710
Helen Bolton, UAW 2110 — Center for Reproductive Rights Union
Kevin Cruz, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Kristy Palomares, UAW 5810 — UC Irvine
Camila Valdivieso, UAW 2320 — BALAW
David Klassen, UAW Local 7902 — NYU adjuntcs
Tony C., UAW 2865
Zachory Nowosadzki, UAW 2325 — ALAA
AP Pierce, UAW 2865 — UC Santa Barbara
Oliver Lazarus, UAW 5118 — HGSU
Alex Garnick, UAW 5118 — HGSU
Marisa Borreggine, UAW 5118 — HGSU
Heather R., UAW 2865
Michael Malloy , UAW 2350
Brandon Cunningham , UAW 2320
Toby Smith, UAW 2865/5810 — Davis
Andreas P., UAW 2110 — NYU-GSOC
Jake Orbison, UAW 2865 — Berkeley
Kelsey Weymouth-Little, UAW 2865
Marie Buck, UAW 7902 — NYU—adjuncts
Kai Nham, UAW 2865
Stephanie Martinez, UAW 2865 — San Diego
Antony Wood, UAW 2865
Salima Koshy, UAW 2110 — NYU-GSOC
Maritza Geronimo, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Kendall Rallins, UAW 2865
Ngozi Harrison, UAW 2865
Rachel Himes, UAW 2710 — SWC – Students Workers of Columbia
Jonah Inserra, UAW 2110 — NYU-GSOC
Siddharth J, UAW 2865
Fabiola Carranza, UAW 2865 — UC San Diego
Bailey Plaman, UAW 5118 — HGSU
Olu D. , UAW 2110 — NYU-GSOC
Ja Bulsombut, UAW 2865
Jenn DiSanto, UAW 2865 — UCSF GSR
Aaron Berman, UAW 7902 — SENS-UAW
Ethan Friedland, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Nora Carroll, UAW 2325 — ALAA (Association of Legal Aid Attorneys)
Monica Panzarino, UAW 7902 — ACT-UAW
Emily Janakiram, UAW 2110
Christina M Ruiz, UAW 5810 — UC Irvine
Maren Karlson, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Sunny Chen, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Cesar Bowley Castillo, UAW 2865 — University of California, Los Angeles
Carol Darleny Larancuent, UAW 2325
Gregoria Olson, UAW 2865 — UC Berkeley
Michael Wasney, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Colin Vanderburg, UAW 2110 — NYU-GSOC
Piril Nergis, UAW 509 — USC-GSWOC
Johannah King-Slutzky, UAW 2710 — Student Workers of Columbia
Ina Morton, UAW 2865 — UCLA
Bella seppi, UAW Region 6 — UAF-AGWA
Michael Ernst, UAW 2110 — NYU-GSOC
Katrina T. , UAW 2110
Sarah Halabe, UAW 2865
Andrew Bergman, UAW 5118 — HGSU
John King, UAW 7902 — ACT-UAW 7902 at NYU
Semassa Boko, UAW 2865 — UC Irvine
Daniel Arcand, UAW 2865 — UCSD
Leonardo Vilchis-Zarate, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Katherine Funes, UAW 2865
jaime ding, UAW 2865
Alice Wang, UAW 2320 — NOLSW
Sarah C., UAW 2865
Jennifer L., UAW 2110
Irene D, UAW 2865
Jarred Brewster, UAW 2865 — UCLA GSA
James Karabin, UAW 2865 — UC Santa Cruz
Zaynab Mahmood, UAW 2865
Kathleen Cash, UAW 2320
Sophie Wilkowske, UAW 5118 — HGSU
Grant Leuning, UAW 2865
Mariko Whitenack, UAW 2110 — NYU-GSOC
Emily Whalen , UAW 2325 — BDS
Cameron Dunphy , UAW 3520
Amed Galo Lopez, UAW 2865 — UCLA
Ramona A., UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Melissa Smyth, UAW 2325 — Neighborhood Defender Service
Madeleine Roepe, UAW 2865
Victoria Tran, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Nabil Hassein, UAW 2110 — NYU-GSOC
Ahmed Mitiche, UAW 2710
Tamar Ghabin, UAW 2110 — NYU GSOC
K Persinger, UAW 2865 — Riverside
Dana Zofia Flicker, UAW 2865
Sudipta Saha, UAW 5118
Carolin Huang, UAW 2865 — Irvine
Iris Ramirez , UAW 2865
Carol Darleny Larancuent, UAW 2325
Paul Brown, UAW 2710
Danica Radoshevich , UAW 1596
Joanna Lee-Brown, UAW 2710 — Student Workers of Columbia
Michael O’Brien, UAW 5118
Conrad B. , UAW 2325 — The Bronx Defenders Union
Rurik Asher Baumrin, UAW 2325
Natalie Robertson , UAW 2865 — Davis
Jake Scarponi, UAW 2322 — WPI-GWU
Kourtney Nham, UAW 2865
Noah Pinkham, UAW 5118 — HGSU
Allison Rosen, UAW 509
Thalia Ertman, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Noor Al-Sharif, UAW 5810 — UCLA
Diego Ayala , UAW 2865 — UC Berkeley
Mason Smith, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Anisa Jackson, UAW 2110 — NYU-GSOC
Maggie Davis, UAW — USC
Adam Cooper, UAW 2865 — San Diego
Frances H., UAW 2110 — NYU-GSOC
Kira Pratt, UAW 2010 — NYU-GSOC
Nia Abram, UAW 2110
Alex Ferrer, UAW 2865
Olivia Ortiz, UAW 2110 — NYU-GSOC
james d sirigotis, UAW 2865 — ucsc
Ethan Hill, UAW 2865
Kirt Mausert, UAW 2865 — UC Berkeley
Benjamin W., UAW 2865 — UCLA
Gabriel Flores, UAW 2110 — NYU-GSOC
Rebecca M., UAW 2110
Akshay Ragupathy , UAW 2710
Robin Gabriel , UAW 2865 — UCSC
Naomi Schachter, UAW 2325
Eric Cohn, UAW 5118 — HGSU
Aiza K., UAW 2865 — UCLA
Marilia Kaisar , UAW 2865 — UCSC
Brian Allen, UAW 7902
Athena G, UAW 2865
Johnathon Vargas, UAW 2865 — UCSD
Samantha Griggs, UAW 2865 — UCR
Noam Chen-Zion, UAW 2710
Bineh Ndefru , UAW 2865
Palashi V, UAW 5810
michelle chang, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Christopher L., UAW 2865
Lauren Palmieri, UAW 2110 — NYU-GSOC
Emily Janakiram , UAW 2110
Wilson Hammett, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Cooper Lynn, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Naima Karczmar, UAW 2865
Rebecca Angela Ruiz, UAW 2865 — UC Irvine ASE
Jason Butters, UAW 2710
Geroline Castillo, UAW 2320 — NOLSW
Wes Wise, GSWOC-UAW — USC Grad Student Workers
Da In Choi, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Summer Sloane-Britt, UAW 2110 — NYU-GSOC
Francis Galang, UAW 2865 — UC San Diego
Isik Kaya, UAW 2865
Robbie Trocchia , UAW 2865
Sasha K., UAW 2865 — UCLA
William Guerrero, UAW 2865
Doga Tekin, UAW 2865 — UCLA
Matt Schneider, UAW 2865
Leslie H., UAW 2865 — UCSB
Aaron Posner, UAW 7902
Cybele Kappos, UAW 2865
Michael Buse, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Cristina Awadalla, UAW 2865 — UCSB
Annika Berry, UAW 2865 — Santa Cruz
Aviva Galpert, UAW 2325 — ALAA
Tanvee Trehan, UAW 2320
Amanda B Parmer, UAW 2110 — NYU-GSOC
Sidrah Marotti, UAW 2865
Charlotte Minsky, UAW 5118
Jeremy Montano, UAW 2325 — ALAA
Anna Haynie, GSWOC-UAW — USC
Josh Turner, UAW 2865 — UC Davis
Aditi Kini , UAW 2865 — UC San Diego
Elena Peterman, UAW 2865 — UC Berkeley
Andrew Brown, UAW 4121
Ifeanyi Awachie, UAW 2110 — NYU-GSOC
Flavia Maria Lake , UAW 2865 — UCLA
Vincent Doehr, UAW 2865
Rayyan Mikati, ACT-UAW 7902 — Sens-UAW Local 7902
Ruwa Alhayek, UAW 2710 — SWC
Edward Painter, UAW 2865
Adithya Gungi, UAW 2710 — SWC
James Huynh, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Emi B., UAW 2865 — Davis
Dimitri D., UAW 2865
Bryan Ziadie, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Meredith Durbin, UAW 5810 — Berkeley
Jonah Gray, UAW 2865 — UCSD
Oya Gursoy, UAW 2110 — NYU-GSOC
Zachary Valdez, UAW 2110 — Columbia University Support Staff
Ellis Garey, UAW 2110 — NYU-GSOC
Cathy Román, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Jordan Victorian, UAW 2865
Jason Butters, UAW 2710 — SWC
Isabel Duron, UAW 2865
Max Grear, UAW 2710 — SWC
Peter VanNostrand, UAW 2322 — WPI-GWU
Susanna Collinson, UAW 2865
Aiko Dzikowski, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Nicholas Hu, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Kate Metcalf, UAW 2865 — San Diego
Caroline Bowman, UAW Region 9A — NYU Researchers United
Adam Gill, GSWOC-UAW
Roberta Dousa, UAW 2865
Clara Lingle, UAW 2110 — NYU-GSOC
William Sánchez, UAW 2865
Aaron Posner, UAW 7902
Sarah Z Ahmed , UAW 7902 — NYU Adjuncts Union
john king, ACT-UAW 7902 — NYU
Vandhana Ravi, UAW 2865
Elsy El Khoury , UAW 4100 — Columbia Postdoctoral Workers
Edward Berdan, UAW 2865
Mehrnush Golriz, UAW 2865
Eric Maron, UAW 186
Emmy Cantos , UAW 2320
Antony Wood, UAW 285
Walker Hewitt, UAW 2865
Sal Suri , UAW 5118 — HGSU
Kimberly Yu, UAW 2865
Ashley Guzman, UAW 2325
Patrick R Forrester, UAW 5118 — HGSU
Alyssa W., UAW 2865 — UC San Diego
Nohely Guzman, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
A P, UAW 2110 — NYU GSOC
Sophia Sambrano, UAW 2850 — Los Angeles
Isabel Bartholomew, UAW 2865 — UC Irvine
Paul Werner, UAW 7902 — ACT-UAW NYU
Madison Bowers, UAW 2320
Andrea Lara-Garcia , UAW 2865 — Berkeley
TJ Shin, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Junho Peter Yoon, UAW Local 2110 — NYU-GSOC
Sakura Price, UAW 2865
Burcu Bugu, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Kimberly Soriano, UAW 2865 — UCSB
Magdalena Donea, UAW 2865 — San Diego
David Borgonjon, UAW 2710 — SWC
Ben Berners-Lee, UAW 2865 — UC San Diego
Lucas Koerner, UAW 5118
Sophie Friedman-Pappas, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Calypso Taylor, UAW 2325 — UAW Local 2325 – NDS
Elliot White, UAW 2865
Janel Pineda, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Kelsey Kim, UAW 2865
Toly Rinberg, UAW 5118
Hala Al Shami, UAW 2110 — NYU-GSOC
Miguel Castaneda , UAW 2865 — UC San Diego
Ana Howe Bukowski, UAW-GSWOC — USC
Jonathan V., UAW 2865
Aman Williams, UAW 2110 — NYU-GSOC
Peter Racioppo, UAW 2865 — Los Angeles
Alexia P., UAW 2710 — Student Workers of Columbia

Community Members

Sona, NYU Alumni ’23
Gladys M. Jiménez-Muñoz, UUP Binghamton University Chapter
Cami Dominguez
Diana Filar
Demetrius Tien, UC Irvine
Julie Nguyen
Eric Patel, IWW NYC
John Wellman
Louisa Chang
alexis roberto
Nezar Eltal
Xander Percy, Teamsters Local 449
Colleen Asper
Eirene Tsolidis Noyce, Australian Services Union Victorian Branch
Mudassir Mayet
Sam Karnes, NYU Law Student
Meera Jaffrey, JVP North Jersey
Marco de Laforcade
Rania Kanazi, NYU
Neil Rudis , RN
Francesca Altamura, Former UAW Local 2110 member
Lauren Textor, UAW graduate
Claudia Benincasa, Past UAW 1596 Member
Sarah Chaudhry, ALAA
Jasmin L., Student, 2023
Jonathan Tan, OPEIU Local 153
Lucas kane , Member of NYC Local 30
Ala’ Qadi, Algonquin College Faculty Union, Local 415, Second VP
Ryan C Taylor
Clue Quilala
Clancy Murray, GET-UP UAW
Babatunde Salaam, IBEW Local 24
Elizabeth Tommey , UCLA Alumni
Amelia Baxter
John Hammond, PSC-CUNY/AFT
Evan Sakuma, UC Berkeley TDPS PhD student
Sam Malabre, UC-AFT Los Angeles Chapter and UAW 2865 (retired membership status)
Narmin Jivani, NYU Wagner Grad Student & Tutor
Dave Lindorff, founding editor of
Adil Hussain
Tirthankar Ghosh, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers
Sophie Drukman-Feldstein
Sofya Aptekar, PSC-CUNY
Tiana Reid
Hassan Ahmad
Vick Baker, NPEU
Terra Poirier, Non-Regular & Unifor 3000
Riddhi S. Patel, environmental and labor justice organizer, Kern County, CA
Stephen Sheehi
Farah Khimji, 1199SEIU UHE
Leandra Williams
Danielle Gartenberg, Hunter college, Urban Planning
Claire Glass
Cole Papadopoulos , NPEU, IFPTE 70
Giacomo Bianchino, Professional Staff Congress
Nantina Vgontzas, PSC-CUNY
Jessica Enriquez
Ashleigh Wellman
Mateen Bahai, UCLA SJP
Marina Aina
Alia ElKattan, UAW Local 2110
Baraa Abu Ghalyoun, SJP Operating Board Member
Ru Mehendale
Beezer de Martelly, UAW 2865 alum
Shreya Chowdhary, University of Michigan GEO
Sheila Kulkarni, International Delegate, UAW 2865 Santa Barbara
Lucy Briggs
Jennifer Austiff, HGSU-UAW, Local 5118 (2023)
Nate Landry , East Bay DSA
Hilary Rasch, Training Coordinator, IATSE Local 161
Yaheya Quazi
Paul Rho, Pratt Institute
Mohammad Shafi
Raphe Gilliam
Kyla Mace, GETUP-UAW (pre-certification)
Rachel Besharah, Unifor 2025
Alex Mireles, UAW 2636
Timothy Workman, RAWR CWA Local 9415
Anna Dang
Michaela Telfer
Medha G
Grace Manalo
Laura Martin , Former member of UAW 2865, current member of AFT
Devyn Mañibo
Emily Bleijerveld
Rebekah Woelkers
Olivia Leiter, AFSCME Local 126
M.C. Overholt, GET-UP UPenn
Anthony Lakey
Jaz Brisack, Workers United Upstate NY & VT (in individual capacity)
Kari Litteer, NPEU IFPTE Local 70
Dan Beeton, NPEU
Margaret Barbosa
Sam Jaser, NYU Admin
Nader Salem
David Bragin, Jewish Voice for Peace
Carolina Poveda
Sally Jane Gellert
Yazen Nasr
Jodie Doherty, Labor Advocate
Omar Simjee
ARG, Community
Jacob G.
Sal Tuszynski, OPEIU Local 153
Kelly Tran
Lara Sheehi
Marla Hoffman, NYS Court Clerks Association
Tayler Hall
Prahas Rudraraju
Reno Garcia, UCLA Graduate Student
Breanne Sparta, UCLA
Ferris Tseng, Nava United, OPEIU Local 1010
Tai-Ge Min
Shira , MORE / UFT
Emma Hartung
Saurav Sarkar, NWU
Naima Kalra
Zuri Gordon, NYU
R. M. Aranda
Annie Powers
Jeff Schuhrke, UUP-AFT 2190
Sanaa Sayani
Ghaliah Fakhoury
Liam Maher, AFT Local 6290
Daniella D’Acquisto
Shaye Skiff, FOE Workers United
Ryna Workman, NYU Law 2024
Conner Glynn
Ayman Ahmad, SBCC
A. Ahmed, Communications Workers of America (CWA)
Elizabeth Tang, IFPTE Local 70
Chrysanthemum George, IAMAW Local 4538
Paris VanHoozer
Basma Radwan
Brett Daniels, Amazon Labor Union, Democratic Reform Caucus
Amber Chong

Unions and Community Organizations

National Students for Justice in Palestine
Rank and File for a Democratic Union (UAW 2865)
Pan-Arab Decolonial Feminist Collective
BIPOCanalysis Collective
Nevada County Mutual Aid
The Young Democratic Socialists of America at the University of Michigan
Occupy Bergen County (New Jersey)
UC Berkeley Graduate Students for Justice in Palestine

Last Updated October 31, 2023, at 10:00 PM. Signature Order is randomized.

Stand With Palestinian Workers: Cease the Genocide Now—Stop Arming Israel!

To endorse the following statement please click here.
Full list of signers here.


Stand With Palestinian Workers:
Cease the Genocide NowStop Arming Israel!
Labor for Palestine, October 24, 2023

“We need you to take immediate action—wherever you are in the world—to prevent the arming of the Israeli state and the companies involved in the infrastructure of the blockade.” An Urgent Call from Palestinian Trade Unions: End all Complicity, Stop Arming Israel (October 16, 2023)

The undersigned U.S. workers, trade unionists, and anti-apartheid activists join labor around the world in condemning the Israeli siege on Gaza and sharply escalating settler colonial violence in the West Bank that has killed or maimed thousands of Palestinians—many of them children—and stand with Palestinians’ “right to exist, resist, return, and self-determination.”

The latest Israeli attacks reflect more than a century of ongoing Zionist settler-colonialism, dispossession, ethnic cleansing, racism, genocide, and apartheid—including Israel’s establishment through the uprooting and displacement of over 750,000 Palestinians during the 1947-1948 Nakba. Indeed, eighty percent of the 2.3 million people in Gaza are refugees from other parts of historic Palestine.

Israel’s crimes are only possible because of more than $3.8 billion a year (or $10+ million per day) in bipartisan US military aid that gives Israel the guns, bullets, tanks, ships, jet fighters, missiles, helicopters, white phosphorus and other weapons to kill and maim the Palestinian people. This is the same system of racist state violence that, through shared surveillance technology and police exchange programs, brutalizes BIPOC and working class people in the United States and around the world.

In response, we demand an immediate end to the genocide, and embrace the recent Urgent Call from Palestinian Trade Unions: End all Complicity, Stop Arming Israel:

  1. To refuse to build weapons destined for Israel. 
  2. To refuse to transport weapons to Israel. 
  3. To pass motions in their trade union to this effect. 
  4. To take action against complicit companies involved in implementing Israel’s brutal and illegal siege, especially if they have contracts with your institution. 
  5. Pressure governments to stop all military trade with Israel, and in the case of the U.S., funding to it.

We further reaffirm the call on labor bodies to respect previous Palestinian trade union appeals for solidarity by adopting this statement, and/or the model resolution below to divest from Israel Bonds, sever all ties with the Israel’s racist labor federation, the Histadrut, and its US mouthpiece, the Jewish Labor Committee, and respect the Palestinian picket line for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS), which calls not only for an end to the 1967 Israeli occupation, but an end to Israeli occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall, full equality for Arab-Palestinians inside 1948 Palestine (“Israel”), and implementation of the right of Palestinian refugees to return.. 

Initial Signers on behalf of Labor for Palestine
(organizational affiliations listed for identification only)
Suzanne Adely, Labor for Palestine, US Palestinian Community Network, Arab Workers Resource Center; Food Chain Workers Alliance (staff); President, National Lawyers Guild
Monadel Herzallah, Arab American Union Members Council
Ruth Jennison, Department Rep., Massachusetts Society of Professors, MTA, NEA; Co-Chair, Labor Standing Committee River Valley DSA; Delegate to Western Mass Area Labor Federation
Lara Kiswani, Executive Director, Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC); Block the Boat
Michael Letwin, Former President, Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW Local 2325; Jews for Palestinian Right of Return
Corinna Mullin, PSC-CUNY International Committee; CUNY for Palestine
Clarence Thomas, Co-Chair, Million Worker March; Executive Board, ILWU Local 10 (retired)

Rising Unequivocal U.S. Labor Solidarity With Palestine
Oct. 27, 2023: APWU Pres. Stands Up for Palestine v. AFL-CIO EB: “Mark Dimondstein, the president of the postal union, argued that Israel and the Palestinian territories should be combined into a single state. He called for the A.F.L.-C.I.O. to demand a cease-fire.”

Oct. 27, 2023: UAW BDS Sign-On Letter: “We, rank-and-file members of the UAW and allied community members/organizations, stand unequivocally in solidarity with Palestinians and their resistance against the occupying Zionist state.”

Oct.25, 2023: Natl. Domestic Alliance Workers Staff Union Solidarity With Palestine: “The National Domestic Alliance Workers Staff Union and allied non-union staff stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for freedom and against apartheid.”

Oct. 23, 2023: Petition: NOLSW Must Demand a Ceasefire & an End to the  Occupation of Palestine: “We need as many signatures from NOLSW members as well as unit endorsements as we can get before this upcoming Monday to demonstrate that the NOLSW rank-and-file stands firmly in solidarity with the Palestinian people and will by while Israel continues to commit genocide in Gaza. Free Palestine.”

Oct. 20, 2023: The Bronx Defenders Union-UAW Local 2325 Support of Palestinians: “We do not consent to Israel’s genocidal rhetoric and actions against the Palestinian people and we do not consent to U.S. political support for this genocide.”

Oct. 20, 2023: Starbucks Workers United stands with Palestine: “We condemn the occupation, displacement, state violence, apartheid, and threats of genocide Palestinians face.”

Oct. 19, 2023: Make the Road Union UAW Local 2320 staff: We Stand With Palestine: “Ceasefire now. End US tax dollars used to fund apartheid. Stop the genocide.”

Oct. 16: 2023: U.K. Trade unionists must stand with Palestine: “We urge all trade unions to stand with the Palestinian people in Gaza and beyond.”

Oct. 10, 2023: Amazon and Google Workers with No Tech For Apartheid: “We stand in full solidarity with the Palestinian people as they resist 75 years of occupation and in their fight for life and liberation.”

Oct. 9, 2023: GSOC-UAW 2110 A response to Linda G. Mills’ statement on Israel: “GSOC stands in solidarity with Palestinians fighting to free themselves from Israeli occupation.”

July 22, 2022: UAW 2325 (Association of Legal Aid Attorneys) Votes to Divest From Israel Bonds: “ALAA 2325 supports taking action, both as individual members and as a chapter collectively, in support of Palestinian liberation from Israeli apartheid.”

May 15, 2021: Labor for Palestine: U.S. Labor Must Stand With Palestine!: “An injury to one is an injury to all: From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will Be Free!”

Background and Context 

Bottom-Up Labor Solidarity for Palestine Is Growing: “While still at the margins, this unprecedented and rapidly-expanding worker-based Palestine solidarity has the potential to finally break Zionism’s century-long stranglehold on U.S. labor, and to organize workers’ unparalleled power—in their labor bodies and at the workplace—to help topple apartheid Israel.”

Labor for Palestine: Challenging US Labor Zionism (American Quarterly): “Zionism has long been the default position in US labor. However, there has been another, hidden tradition of postwar labor anti-Zionism that began with Detroit in 1969–73 and has slowly re-emerged after September 11, 2011, from the antiwar, Palestine solidarity, and racial justice movements.”

Labor Zionism and the Histadrut: The Histadrut has used its image as a “progressive” institution to spearhead — and whitewash — racism, apartheid, dispossession and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians since the 1920s. In this, it has been the cornerstone of Labor Zionism, which began in the early 1900s.”

The Jewish Labor Committee and Apartheid Israel: “The Jewish Labor Committee (JLC) presents itself as a model of progressive, socially conscious trade unionism. But as a U.S. mouthpiece for the Histadrut, this false image has been a smokescreen to disguise and promote Apartheid Israel, “AFL-CIA” support of U.S. war and empire, and racism in the labor movement.”

Labor for Palestine Model Resolution: [X union/labor body] 

Stand With Palestinian Workers: 

Cease the Genocide Now, End All Complicity, Stop Arming Israel!

WHEREAS, October 7, 2023 saw the people of Gaza collectively reject the culmination of 16 years of a brutal land, air and sea siege devastating the entirety of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents; and

WHEREAS, the 16-year blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip has devastated the economy, leading to the closure of many companies, factories, and farms, resulting in a high level of unemployment, and reducing the government’s ability to provide basic services to the Palestinian population in Gaza; and

WHEREAS, the siege has deprived Palestinians in Gaza of their basic rights to health care, education, work, and freedom of movement, with 81.5 percent of individuals in Gaza living below the poverty line and 64 percent are food insecure; and

WHEREAS, the latest Israeli attacks reflect more than a century of ongoing Zionist settler-colonialism, dispossession, ethnic cleansing, racism, genocide, and apartheid—including Israel’s establishment through the uprooting and displacement of over 750,000 Palestinians during the 1947-1948 Nakba. Indeed, eighty percent of the 2.3 million people in Gaza are refugees from other parts of historic Palestine; and

WHEREAS, the section of the Gaza border that was bulldozed through on October 7th was the site of the Great March of Return, a 2018-2019 peaceful protest which Israel responded to with deadly force, killing 214 Palestinians, including 46 children, and injuring 28,939 a reminder that all forms of Palestinian resistanceeven peaceful onesare criminalized and crushed by Israel; and

WHEREAS, as in the last 16 days alone at least [update as needed] 4,741 Palestinians have been killed and 15,898 wounded, with over a million of the densely populated enclave’s people displaced; and

WHEREAS, there have been [update as needed] 51 attacks on healthcare facilities in Gaza with these attacks resulting in at least 15 health workers killed, 27 health workers injured, damage to 25 hospitals and other healthcare facilities and three hospitals in northern Gaza evacuated; and

WHEREAS, upon announcing his intention to reduce parts of Gaza to “rubble,” Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu ordered leaflets dropped from the sky telling Palestinians in the Gaza strip, of which 50 percent of the population are children, to “leave now,” knowing full well that there is absolutely nowhere they can go; a public declaration of intent to commit the international crime of forced population transfer; and

WHEREAS, Israel has consolidated all these tactics of extermination in the current attack on Gaza, including the prohibited use of white phosphorus weapons in densely populated urban areas. In addition, Israel is arming settlers with an additional 10,000 assault rifles, which has already further galvanized attacks on Palestinian communities in the West Bank; and

WHEREAS, Israel justified its decision to suspend all entry of food, water and fuel into Gaza by claiming that it was fighting “human animals”; As we have seen with past examples of US led wars on Iraq and Afghanistan , such dehumanizing language is used to manufacture consent for genocidal violence; and

WHEREAS, a majority of media, politicians and employers have demonstrated an inconsistent valuation of human life, with calculated omissions effectively endorsing Israel’s ongoing perpetration of ethnic cleansing, war crimes, and genocide against the 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza; and

WHEREAS, the tired trope of “religious conflict” has been used often to mask the reality of settler colonial violence and dispossession, essentializing and racializing both Jewish and Muslim communities and those critical of Israeli settler colonial violence have been falsely accused of anti-semitism; and

WHEREAS, the Union of Professors and Employees at Birzeit University in the West Bank, calls on all trade unions around the globe to reject the “criminalization of resistance… where all blood that is shed is blamed on the oppressed and all crimes of settler colonial invasion and dispossession are ignored entirely”; and

WHEREAS, all over the world and including our [city/workplace], workers of all faiths and backgrounds are united in their opposition to apartheid, occupation, genocide and settler colonialism; and

WHEREAS, the Palestinian struggle against settler colonialism as a structure of power designed to accumulate wealth through dispossession and maintain racial hierarchy links it organically to the struggles of Indigenous, Black and Puerto Rican peoples, as well as other oppressed peoples in the United States; and 

WHEREAS, the institutions of organized violence that oppress working class, Black and Brown communities in the US train and share tactics of repression with Israeli institutions of organized violence, for example through the deadly exchange program; and

WHEREAS, since World War II, Israel has been the largest overall recipient of U.S. foreign aid, with over $150 billion since 1946 and U.S. President Joe Biden has just announced another $14.3 billion in aid for Israel as part of a broader “defense” spending package that is a boon for the military-industrial-complex and is being claimed as a job promotion program for US workers who are allegedly “building the arsenal of democracy”; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. began moving warships and aircraft to the region “to be ready to provide Israel with whatever it needed to respond,” including sending two U.S. aircraft carriers as well as special operations forces to “assist Israel’s military in planning and intelligence”; and

WHEREAS, Palestinian trade unions call for workers around the globe to stand in solidarity to “end all forms of complicity with Israel’s crimes” and to “pass motions in their trade union to this effect”; therefore be it

RESOLVED, that our [union or other labor body] condemns Israel’s ongoing genocide against the Palestinian people and calls for an immediate end to the bombings and destruction in Gaza as well as an end to all US military and economic aid to the settler colonial state of Israel; and

RESOLVED, that we endorse the October 16, 2023 Palestinian trade union call:

  1. To refuse to build weapons destined for Israel. 
  2. To refuse to transport weapons to Israel. 
  3. To pass motions in their trade union to this effect. 
  4. To take action against complicit companies involved in implementing Israel’s brutal and illegal siege, especially if they have contracts with your institution. 
  5. Pressure governments to stop all military trade with Israel, and in the case of the U.S., funding to it.

RESOLVED, that our employer(s) publicly declare and divest from all financial ties with “the State of Israel and all Israeli and international companies that sustain Israeli apartheid”; and

RESOLVED, that our union pledge to respect previous Palestinian trade union appeals for solidarity by divesting from Israel Bonds, severing all ties with the Israel’s racist labor federation, the Histadrut, and its US mouthpiece, the Jewish Labor Committee, and respecting the Palestinian picket line for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS); and 

RESOLVED, that our employer defend its workers [and students] who are routinely doxxed and attacked when voicing support for Palestine, including those who take part in the BDS campaign, and/or who otherwise oppose Israeli settler colonialism.

GEO Calls for AFT/IFT Solidarity with Palestine

GEO Calls for AFT/IFT Solidarity with Palestine


19 June 2018

GEO Calls for AFT/IFT Solidarity with Palestine

We, the Graduate Employees Organization at UIUC, AFT/IFT 6300 have watched in outrage, sadness, and horror as Israeli snipers have maimed and murdered Palestinian children, young adults, journalists, and medical first responders in Gaza over the past month. Much of this violence was committed simultaneously with the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem: as a Christian extremist anti-Semitic U.S. pastorgave the prayer for the opening ceremony, as a virulently anti-Black rabbi blessed Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, as ordinary Israeli citizens cheered and chanted for IDF soldiers to “burn them, shoot them, kill them” in reference to non-violent Palestinian protesters, and as wealthy politicians sipped champagne and celebrated.

How many people in the U.S. labor movement are aware that Palestinian workers held a general strike on May 15, Nakba Day, in protest of incrementally-genocidal Israeli settler colonization? How many U.S. labor leaders have declared solidarity with Palestinian workers? How many U.S. labor unions have followed in the great tradition of transnational anti-colonial labor solidarity by standing with Palestine against a genocidal process currently led by anti-labor extremists such as Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu? How many U.S. labor unions have followed the example of labor unions globally by declaring support for the non-violent BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement?

We are saddened and disappointed that our own AFT/IFT leadership have a history not only of silence on these matters, but complicity with the racist and genocidal regime that guns down unarmed Palestinians in the open air prison that is Gaza.

We are saddened and disappointed in the hostility that AFT leaders such as Randi Weingarten have expressed to the internationally-respected and non-violent tactic of BDS. Such leaders are out of touch and out of step with the rank and file of our union. We, the GEO, proudly endorsed a Divestment campaign led by Palestinian students on our campus this academic year (2017-2018), and we plan to do likewise next year. We call on AFT/IFT leadership to unequivocally, and in an unqualified manner, condemn Israel’s murderous aggression and blatant human rights abuses against Palestinians, and to act in substantive solidarity with the Palestinian people who are struggling against racism, apartheid, and colonization—struggling for freedom. A labor movement that does not fight for justice against the bullies of the world is no labor movement at all.

Palestine must be free!

The Graduate Employees’ Organization (GEO), IFT/AFT local 6300, AFL-CIO, is a member-run labor union and represents Teaching and Graduate Assistants (TAs and GAs) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In November 2009, and more recently, earlier this year in February 2018, GEO members and allies participated in a strike to secure a fair contract and more accessible UIUC. With an active presence in the community, the GEO continues to work for high-quality and accessible public education in Illinois.

For more information, please contact us More information can also be found on our website at

Twitter: @geo_uiuc Facebook: @uigeo @geosolcomm Instagram:@geo_uiuc

Emad Khalil’s story as a Gazan worker in Israel (Mondoweiss)


Emad Khalil’s story as a Gazan worker in Israel


Skin tanned and hands calloused from working forty-two years under the sun, Emad Khalil, a sixty-one year old retired laborer, sits in front of me. For thirty of those years, he worked in Israel. His story documents a tremendous change in attitude and policy towards Palestinian freedom of movement, employment opportunities, healthcare, and relations between Palestinians and Israelis.

After Egypt lost control of Gaza following the 1967 war, work opportunities in the latter were limited by poor infrastructure and a collapsing economy. The closest opportunity for work was in Israel, as it was prior to the First Intifada; only then, unlike now, ports and crossings did not restrict movement. Emad describes:

“I started working at the age of sixteen as a builder’s assistant. Work was available for everybody back then. You just registered at the work office and either they called you or you checked every couple of days. You would most likely have a job in building or farming. You gave them your ID and they did the rest. They would contact your company for the legal work and get your health insurance in case any medical assistance was needed.”

Emad worked for an Israeli company under an Arab Jewish supervisor. Poverty, lack of education, and inadequate infrastructure strategically paved the way for Palestinian labour demand across the border. Most of the employees were Palestinians of similar socio-economic background. Like Emad, they were illiterate. Education was considered unimportant compared to more immediate financial concerns. Few went to university though workers were encouraged and even rewarded for learning Hebrew.

Emad describes a forgotten period where Palestinians and Israelis, in the wake of growing prosperity, recognized their similarities, and even socially engaged outside the workplace. His relationship with his first boss was such that he attended Emad’s brother’s wedding.

“For once I thought that we could live in peace and a better economy,” Emad reflected. “People coexisted somehow. The politicians, however, did not like that.”

Emad worked for his first boss for five years. In 1976, the business was sold and Emad picked up work where he could. For a short period of time, he worked as a fruit picker for a farm that had Arabic inscription at the entrance. When he told his father and uncle about this peculiarity, they informed him that the farm had originally belonged to his great grandfather. Such experiences were not uncommon.

Life after the Paris Protocol

During the First Intifada in 1987, a large-scale boycott campaign began in response to clashes between Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) and Palestinian protesters in the West Bank. The impact of the Boycott was dampened by the collapsing economy in Gaza. Workers grew reluctant to leave Israel.

The changes imposed on the Palestinian economy by the Paris Protocol on Economic Relations, an agreement signed by Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) in 1994 and included in the Oslo II Accord in September 1995, led to irrevocable decline in Gaza. The protocol included Israeli regulation of customs, value-added taxes, purchase taxes, integration of the Palestinian and Israeli economies, and the besiegement of Gaza’s borders. Palestinian workers were no longer able to cross the borders without being subjected to manual checks by armed border patrol officers and long waits at checkpoints. A journey that had taken Emad thirty minutes became an unpredictable wait of up to eight hours. Exhausted and demoralised workers began to lose work as the relations between the workers and their Israeli employers deteriorated.

The changes imposed by the Paris Protocol led to an approximate36.1 % decline in economic output from Gaza between 1992 and 1996. Workers faced increasing levels of unemployment, returning to Gaza with few job prospects.

Robbed of sight

Despite the difficulties in obtaining a job and the barriers imposed by checkpoints, Emad continued to work in Israel until 2000 when his thirty-year career came to a devastating end.

“I was on a construction site in the late winter of 2000. We were building a wedding hall near Jerusalem. My job was to nail the wooden boards in order for the other workers to use them. The nail gun was malfunctioning , so I had to do it manually with a hammer. The rain from the night before had wet the boards, which weakened them. I picked up a nail, grabbed the hammer and hit it, but the nail was too thin and snapped. The fine tip of the nail flipped into my eye and suddenly everything turned dark. I started shouting to the others. One worker heard me shouting and saw blood coming from my eye. He called an ambulance and escorted me to the hospital.”

Upon arrival to the hospital, Emad was required to show his identification card to check he had adequate medical insurance prior to treatment. He was then taken for surgery to remove the nail from his eye. Sadly, the operation was unsuccessful and Emad lost the majority of his sight in that eye. He was told that he needed to schedule another operation but could go home in the interim. He called the work office to arrange the surgery through his employer, who was legally responsible for the provision of his health insurance.

“The employer avoided covering my surgery because the costs were too high, so I had to call a lawyer and file a case to get my rights. I could only attend the first court session as I was deemed a security risk and subsequently denied permission to travel to Israel. I worked in Israel for thirty years and suddenly my life was made insecure. Now I am in Gaza, jobless, blind and denied medical treatment.”

The lack of access to the medical care, to which he was entitled, has left Emad permanently disabled, unemployed and unable to afford university tuition fees for his four children. Denying him permission to attend court in Israel was in direct violation of the Universal Declaration of Human rights (article 13) which states the right of freedom of movement within states.

The human rights group B’Tselem also argues that the restrictions on ill, wounded and pregnant Palestinians seeking acute medical care is in contravention of international law which states that medical professionals and medical patients must be granted open passage.

A future towards permanent disengagement?

Since the imposition of the Israeli siege on Gaza in 2007, there have been three major assaults and numerous smaller indiscriminate attacks, with the last in 2014 claiming the lives of over 2,250 Palestinians and displacing over 500,000. According to a United Nations report in 2015, it is predicted that with the on-going economic crisis, Gaza may be uninhabitable by 2020. Israel’s long term strategy for permanent disengagement from Gaza seems entirely plausible given the growing trends of economic restrictions, cyclical warfare, and severe cuts on fuel provisions and infrastructure. Emad Khalil’s story is a sample of history in which, outside the domain of political maneuvering, there may have been an alternative road of shared social and economic prosperity for Palestinian and Israeli citizens.

About Mohammed Saleem

Mohammed Saleem is a Palestinian writer living in Gaza.

Other posts by .

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Gaza laborers suffer few rights, little pay (Electronic Intifada)

Electronic Intifada

Gaza laborers suffer few rights, little pay

Gaza Workers
Gaza construction workers can barely scrape by after nearly a decade of Israeli blockade.

Ashraf AmraAPA images

Hani Abu Talal is a man on a mission.

The 34-year-old laborer spends his days pounding the streets of the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip for any new construction projects to which he might lend his body and time.

His is the lot of a day laborer. His luck lies in the hands of the rare on-site foreman with something to offer. His mission is near impossible. This is Gaza: it has the world’s highest unemployment rate.

“Landing a job happens only once in a blue moon,” Abu Talal said. “I just look for any chance to get some work and make some money.”

The odd day’s work also does not guarantee respite from grinding poverty. A father of five, Abu Talal says he is lucky if a full day’s hard physical labor earns him more than 30 shekels (just under $8).

“Construction is hard work,” Abu Talal told The Electronic Intifada. “But instead of being fairly paid, we are blackmailed; we are told that wages cannot be higher because of the lack of stability in the local economy.”

From time to time, Israel allows through a shipment of construction materials, causing a mini-spike in activity. But the wages remain the same, and Abu Talal worries that should a situation ever arise where construction enjoys a sustained boom, employers will simply keep wages low.

“If any worker dares to ask for an increase, he can be fired. So we continue to work without complaint. But that does not mean to leave us alone. We have rights. We need them respected.”

Wages besieged

What few shekels Abu Talal makes at the end of a day are barely sufficient to pay the owner of his local grocery store from where his family get their essentials. As for the future? There are no savings. There is only constant, nagging fear, he said, that one of his children should one day need urgent medical care.

Awad Baker is a contractor and one of those from whom Abu Talal would seek work. Most of his construction projects are in the central Gaza Strip, the same area where Abu Talal ekes out his living. He lays the blame for low wages and the lack of job opportunities squarely on the economic blockade that Israel has imposed on Gaza since 2007.

“We have sustained so many losses due to the siege that we are all heavily in debt,” Baker told The Electronic Intifada. “These have to be repaid.”

Where construction materials are rare, they become more expensive. The balance is borne by labor. Contractors rely heavily on cheap, unskilled labor, which in turn affects quality. And the longer that continues, the less skilled the workers, said Baker.

After nearly 10 years under siege, Baker added, “our workers’ skills have plummeted to the extent that it affects the quality of our work. Our sector is devastated.”

The combination of the blockade and successive Israeli military assaults saw construction output in 2014, year of the last major Israeli offensive, fall by a staggering 83 percent, according to the World Bank.

Government failures

Economist Maher al-Tabaa, head of Gaza’s Chamber of Commerce, put it in stark terms: “When we have a very restricted number of jobs for hundreds of thousands of workers, wages decrease. The blockade has denied the local economy access to many jobs and options are limited for our workers.”

With this oversupply of labor, al-Tabaa said, workers are more likely to accept work that doesn’t pay a fair wage.

But Sami al-Amasi, head of the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions in Gaza, says the siege is not the only factor responsible for the desperate situation of local workers.

He also fingered the policies of the now defunct Palestinian unity government which, he said, early in its tenure in 2014, canceled training and employment programs that could have helped people back to work.

The unity government was formed after an agreement between Hamas and Fatah in June 2014, but was beset by mutual suspicions from the start. A year later, it resigned, and since then Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority leader, has twice unilaterally reshuffled the cabinet. Though Hamas rejected both reshuffles, the government is still called a consensus government.

Temporary employment and professional training programs had in the past helped mitigate the unemployment crisis, al-Amasi said, and were intended to serve workers in all sectors, including construction.

Their cancellation, he said, marked not only a failure of policy — which continues under the present Palestinian Authority administration — but also showed a “disregard” for Gaza and its population.

Al-Amasi also said there had been a failure to implement existing laws on workers’ rights, citing legislation for a minimum monthly wage of 1,450 shekels (approximately $380).

Not just the money

Construction worker Adham Abdelrahman, 39, receives less than 800 shekels per month. He works a grueling 12-hour day on average. He also had no idea that the law set a minimum wage of almost twice the amount he earns.

“I have never been paid this much. What’s the point of laws if they are not implemented?”

He said he was skeptical that officials have his interests or rights at heart.

And pay is not the only issue facing construction workers. Safety regulations are rarely implemented, workers have no health insurance and they are unlikely to receive any compensation in case of on-site accidents.

Salem al-Bashiti, 44, suffered a workplace accident four years ago that left one arm partially paralyzed.

“I was lucky that my contractor was a kind man who helped me cover some of the costs of treatment. But I know many who were abandoned without even some words of consolation after their accidents,” he said.

He looks forward to a day, he said, when construction workers could enjoy not only rights enshrined in law and enforced on site, but more general recognition.

“We work hard to serve and build our country. We deserve to be honored and treated well,” he said.

Isra Saleh el-Namey is a journalist in Gaza.

How Israel makes money from blockading Gaza (Electronic Intifada)

Electronic Intifada

How Israel makes money from blockading Gaza

Gaza Workers
A Palestinian farmer harvests strawberries from a field in Beit Lahiya, in the northern Gaza Strip, on 10 December 2015.

Mohammed AsadAPA images

Palestinians whose livelihoods are forcibly enmeshed in Israel’s economic system are often used as human shields against the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

The frequent accusation made by critics is that boycotts of Israeli businesses, especially settlement businesses, will hurt the very Palestinians that BDS activists say they support.

At times, settlement advocates even deploy Palestinian spokespersons to speak positively about the higher wages they receive working for settlement businesses.

A new report released by UK-based Corporate Watch brings the voices of the Palestinian farmers and agricultural workers to the debate over how the BDS movement can best resist Israeli exploitation of their land and labor.

Corporate Watch’s report, titled, “Apartheid in the Fields: From Occupied Palestine to UK Supermarkets,” focuses on two of the most vulnerable segments of Palestinian society: residents of the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank’s Jordan Valley.

Farming under siege

Anyone entering Gaza through the Erez checkpoint on the northern boundary with present-day Israel, traverses a long, fenced corridor running through the so-called “buffer zone” enforced by the Israeli military.

This poorly defined area ranges from 300 to 500 meters along the inside perimeter of Gaza.

Since 2008, the report states, more than 50 Palestinians have been killed in this zone. Four Palestinian civilians have been killed and more than 60 injured so far this year.

According to the UN monitoring group OCHA, this zone also takes up 17 percent of Gaza’s total area, making up to one third of its farmland unsafe for cultivation. Areas that once held olive and citrus trees have now been bulldozed by Israeli forces.

Corporate Watch says that even though Palestinians are routinely shot at from distances greater than 300 meters, farmers whose land lies near the border have no choice but to cultivate these areas despite the danger.

Economic warfare

In addition to the lethal violence routinely inflicted on Gaza, Israeli authorities enforce what they have called“economic warfare” – a de facto boycott of almost all agriculture originating in Gaza.

Virtually no produce from the enclave is allowed into Israeli or West Bank markets, traditionally Gaza’s biggest customers.

From the time Israel imposed its blockade on Gaza in 2007 up until November 2014, a monthly average of 13.5 trucks left Gaza carrying exports – just one percent of the monthly average of goods shipped out just prior to the closure.

By contrast, already this year more than 22,000 trucks have entered Gaza, many carrying Israeli produce considered unsuitable for international export.

Dumping it on the captive market in Gaza further undermines local farmers.

The trickle of exports that Israel permits from Gaza go primarily to European markets, but this is only allowed through Israeli export companies that profit from the situation by taking commissions and selling Gaza products for far higher prices than they pay the producers.

“The Israelis export Palestinian produce and export it with an Israeli label,” Taghrid Jooma of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees told Corporate Watch. “For example, they export roses from Gaza for nickels and dimes and sell them for a lot of money.”

Muhammad Zwaid of Gaza’s only export company, Palestine Crops, told Corporate Watch that part of the problem is that Palestine lacks its own bar code and so any produce exported through Israel carries an Israeli one.

“We have our own stickers,” said Zwaid, “but [Israeli export company] Arava has asked for them to be smaller and often Arava stickers are put on top of ours. Our produce is taken inside Israel by the Israeli company and then taken to a packing station where it is repackaged.”

Supporting BDS

Corporate Watch reports that while many of the farmers they interviewed support BDS, they also want the opportunity to export their produce and make a living.

This presents a quandary because a boycott of Israeli export companies like Arava will include Palestinian products as well.

Even so, the farmers interviewed maintained their support for BDS as a long-term strategy that outweighs the limited benefits of current export levels.

“What we need is people to stand with us against the occupation,” said one farmer from al-Zaytoun. “By supporting BDS you support the farmers, both directly and indirectly and this is a good thing for people here in Gaza.”

“Farmers all over the Gaza Strip were particularly keen on getting the right to label their produce as Palestinian, ideally with its own country code, even if they have to export through Israel,” the report states. “Country of origin labels for Gaza goods is something the solidarity movement could lobby for.”

Mohsen Abu Ramadan, from the Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network, suggested to Corporate Watch that one strategy could be to engage farming unions around the world to urge them to endorse BDS in solidarity with Palestinian farmers.

Bulldozing the Jordan Valley

While Israel’s siege and deadly assaults have rightly focused international attention on Gaza, Israel’s actions in the Jordan Valley have generated far less outrage.

Yet well before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s current extreme right-wing government made clear its opposition to a viable Palestinian state, he had pledged to never give up control of this agriculturally rich region under any two-state configuration.

Occupation authorities refuse virtually all Palestinian requests to build or improve infrastructure in the region. Residents face severe restrictions on access to electricity and water as well as other basic infrastructure.

Demolitions of Palestinian homes have increased in recent months, and in February, Israel carried out thelargest demolition in a decade.

Routine violations

In the Jordan Valley, settlement agriculture often relies on Palestinian labor – including child labor – to do hazardous jobs for a fraction of what would be paid to Israeli citizens.

Though entitled to the Israeli minimum wage according to a high court ruling, many workers are routinely paid as little as half that.

Palestinians Zaid and Rashid are employed in Beqa’ot, a settlement built on land seized from Palestinians. They receive wages of $20 per day, about a quarter of which goes for daily transport.

They receive no paid holidays despite the fact that the Israeli government advises that workers are entitled to 14 days paid holiday and must receive a written contract and payslips from their employer.

Although they are members of a Palestinian trade union, their settler employers do not recognize any collective bargaining rights.

Workers are moreover frequently pressured into signing documents in Hebrew — which they cannot read — stating that they are being treated according to law. Workers fear being fired if they do not sign.

While Palestinians working in settlements are also required to obtain work permits from the military occupation authorities, several of those interviewed for the report had no such permits, leading to suspicions that employers may be attempting to further circumvent Israeli labor laws by using undocumented workers.

Both Zaid and Rashid told Corporate Watch they back the call for a boycott of Israeli agricultural companies.

“We support the boycott even if we lose our work,” Zaid said. “We might lose our jobs but we will get back our land. We will be able to work without being treated as slaves.”

Label games

Corporate Watch profiles the five main Israeli export companies: Arava, Mehadrin, Hadiklaim, Edom and the now defunct Carmel Agrexco.

A common practice by these companies is mislabeling goods as “Produce of Israel” even when they are grown and packed in West Bank settlements that are illegal under international law.

Corporate Watch also documents the varying degrees of success that BDS activists have had in targeting these companies.

Since 2009, following pressure from activists, the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs issued guidelines stating it is an “offense” to mislabel settlement goods as “Produce of Israel.”

Similar guidelines approved by the European Union late last year outraged Israeli politicians, despite the fact that the same practice has been United States policy since the mid-1990s.

Despite the guidelines, however, UK stores continue to stock Israeli products with misleading labels.

As recently as 2013, Corporate Watch found labels from the Israeli settlement of Tomer for the Morrisons store brand of Medjoul dates.

In another example, the Aldi chain was caught selling grapefruits from Carmel Agrexco labeled as products of Cyprus.

Beyond settlement boycotts

Of the supermarket chains targeted by BDS campaigns, only one, The Co-operative, has pledged to “no longer engage with any supplier of produce known to be sourcing from the Israeli settlements.”

This means that not only would the Co-op not stock settlement produce, but that it would not buy produce grown in present-day Israel from companies that also have settlement operations.

This made it the first major European chain to take such a step.

Corporate Watch points out that while not directly supporting the settlement economy, those Israeli companies without settlement operations still pay taxes to the Israeli government, which supports its ongoing occupation, colonization and oppression of Palestinians.

It notes that the Co-op took a much stronger stance regarding apartheid-era South Africa, when it boycotted all South African products.

In accordance with the 2005 BDS call from Palestinian civil society, Corporate Watch advocates a full boycott of all Israeli goods.

Video: Did Israel target Gaza’s ambulances? (Electronic Intifada)

Electronic Intifada

Video: Did Israel target Gaza’s ambulances?

A new documentary shows the devastation Israel’s 2014 bombardment of Gaza caused to medical and rescue teams.

In the documentary, which can be viewed at the top of this page, three medics recall incidents during which their colleagues came under attack.

In total, 11 ambulance drivers and civil defense workers were killed during Israel’s 51 days of aerial bombing and ground invasion.

Twenty-four ambulances and 70 medical facilities were damaged or destroyed.

In many cases, ambulances and facilities appear to have been directly targeted despite having provided their coordinates to the Israeli army.

The documentary was produced by Al Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza.

Ambulances targeted

According to Mahmoud Abu Rahma, an Al Mezan representative, ambulances were targeted after Israel’s ground invasion began on 17 July.

“International law is crystal clear concerning its inviolable protection of health facilities and workers, including ambulances,” Abu Rahma says in the documentary, noting that Palestinian ambulances are well marked in colors agreed with Israel.

Al Mezan submitted complaints to the Israeli authorities demanding a credible investigation into what appear to be targeted attacks on medical facilities and personnel.

The Israeli military has opened two investigations into the killing of ambulance drivers in separate attacks on 25 July 2014.

However, to date only one instance of an apparent direct attack on a medical facility has prompted the military to open a criminal file. That case was only opened after media reports exposed the deliberate shellingof a clinic in the Shujaiya neighborhood of Gaza City.

A senior military officer ordered the shelling to avenge the killing of an Israeli soldier the previous day.

“Totally burned”

Mohammed Hessi, a medic with the Palestine Red Crescent Society, says in the documentary that his team was not prepared for the “intensity of the war.”

In some of the cases described in the documentary, medics say they had been given a green light by humanitarian aid coordinators to enter an area following an attack by Israel. Yet when they arrived near the scene of the attack, they found that it was still surrounded by Israeli troops.

This suggests that Israel deliberately tried to frustrate the work of and endanger the lives of rescue and aid teams.

Rami al-Haj Ali, a Red Crescent medic, recalls trying to rescue a colleague named Aed in the Beit Hanounarea of northern Gaza. As Ali approached al-Masri street in Beit Hanoun, he saw an ambulance that “was so destroyed that you could barely say it was an ambulance,” he says.

Because he came under Israeli fire and was wounded in one of his feet, Ali was unable to reach his colleague.

Jaber Drabiah, a medic with the Palestinian health ministry, had to place the remains of a colleague named Atef in a body bag. Atef had been “totally burned” in an attack on an ambulance.

Afterwards, Jaber headed to al-Najjar hospital in Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost city. He was exhausted and sat down in a yard.

It was there that he was told that his son Yousef, a volunteer at the hospital, had been killed in the same attack. As a photograph of Yousef appears on the screen, Jaber says: “The staff all loved him.”

Open Letter to UAW Leadership: Respect Union Democracy, Solidarity, and the BDS Picket Line

To join 170+ initial trade union signers, please click here.


Open Letter to UAW Leadership: Respect Union Democracy, Solidarity, and the BDS Picket Line
Labor for Palestine
January 28, 2016

As workers, trade unionists, and anti-apartheid activists, we call on the United Auto Workers International Executive Board to rescind its undemocratic and arbitrary “nullification” of UAW 2865’s respect for the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions (BDS) picket line, which was overwhelmingly adopted by the 13,000 teaching assistants and student-workers at the University of California in 2014. 


Unfounded Interference

The IEB concedes that it could “find no evidence that the local union engaged in any improper actions that may have prohibited a fair and democratic vote.”

Nonetheless, it sides with anti-labor corporate lawyers to defend the profits of military contractors who arm apartheid Israel. Enlisting in a well-funded witch-hunt designed to silence those who speak up for Palestinian rights, it falsely calls BDS “anti-Semitic.”

In doing so, the IEB disregards more than a century of colonialism, ethnic cleansing, and genocide, including Israel’s establishment through the dispossession of more than 750,000 Palestinians during the 1947-1948 Nakba (Catastrophe), a regime that veteran South African freedom fighters call “worse than apartheid.”

It turns a blind eye to $3.1 billion a year in U.S. military aid, with which Israel massacred 2200 Palestinians (including 500 children) in Gaza in 2014, and inflicted a 10-year high in Palestinian casualties in the West Bank in 2015.

It refuses to acknowledge more than fifty laws that discriminate against Palestinians with Israeli citizenship.

It is deaf to urgent Palestinian trade union appeals for solidarity in the form of support for BDS.

It omits the stated goals of BDS, which demands an end to Israeli occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall; full equality for Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel; and implementation of the right of Palestinian refugees to return.

It ignores the endorsement of BDS by Black Lives Matter activists, Jewish members of UAW 2865, and trade unions around the world.

It fails to recognize that BDS is entirely consistent with past UAW support for boycotts organized by the Civil Rights Movement, United Farm Workers, and South African anti-apartheid movement.

Lacking any semblance of fairness, the IEB’s decision has been appealed to the UAW’s Public Review Board.

UAW Leaders’ Complicity with Apartheid

In contrast to UAW 2865’s highly-transparent support for BDS, the IEB’s biased ruling reflects UAW top leaders’ longstanding and unaccountable complicity with the racist ideology of Labor Zionism.

In the 1940s, UAW and other top U.S. labor leaders actively supported the Nakba. UAW president Walter Reuther was closely allied with future Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, who later infamously pronounced, “[t]here were no such things as Palestinians.”

In the 1950s, UAW conventions passed pro-Israel resolutions and raised funds for the Histadrut, the Zionist labor federation. Reuther’s brother, Victor, served as U.S. spokesperson for the Jewish National Fund, which remains at the forefront of seizing Palestinian lands. In subsequent years, “the UAW may have been the largest institutional purchaser of Israel Bonds,” which fund dispossession of the Palestinian people.

In 2007, International UAW leaders signed a statement drafted by the Jewish Labor Committee that attacked unions in the UK for endorsing BDS.

Now they seek to disenfranchise UAW 2865 members, muzzle free speech, and demonize the surging BDS movement.

Rank-and-File Resistance

Rank-and-file UAW members have a history of challenging this pro-apartheid stance.

In January 1969, the Detroit-based League of Revolutionary Black Workers publicly condemned Israeli colonialism. On October 14, 1973, three thousand Arab autoworkers in Detroit held a wildcat strike to protest UAW Local 600’s purchase—without membership approval—of $300,000 in Israel Bonds. On November 28, 1973, Arab, Black and other autoworkers struck to protest UAW International President Leonard Woodcock’ acceptance of the B’nai B’rith’s “Humanitarian Award.”

UAW 2865’s BDS resolution reclaims and revives this proud tradition of solidarity and social justice. When Palestinian trade unions, the Congress of South African Trade Unions, and Labor for Palestine issued renewed BDS calls in response to Israel’s 2014 Gaza massacre, UAW 2865’s Joint Council openly informed the entire membership:

“We intend to throw our weight behind the BDS movement to add to the international pressure against Israel to respect the human rights of the Palestinian people. As workers, students, and as a labor union, we stand in solidarity with Palestinians in their struggle for self-determination from a settler-colonial power.”

On December 4, 2014, UAW 2865 members adopted this non-binding resolution by a landslide sixty-five percent, thereby becoming the first major U.S. union to endorse BDS.

Growing U.S. Labor Support for BDS

UAW 2865’s courageous vote was paralleled by LFPILWU Local 10 members who refused to handle Israeli Zim Line cargo in 2014, and has been followed by adoption of BDS resolutions by the United Electrical Workers and Connecticut AFL-CIO in 2015.

Attempts to silence this growing solidarity movement are doomed to failure, as reflected in the National Labor Relations Board’s recent dismissal of a challenge to the UE’s BDS resolution.

As the 2865 BDS Caucus explains:

“No letter from the IEB can erase the educational and organizational work we have done over the past year, work we will continue to do, energized no doubt by the IEB’s undemocratic, business­-friendly attempt to nullify this vote. . . .

“We are part of a growing movement for union solidarity with the people of Palestine and for a democratic and visionary U.S. labor movement. As workers, educators, and students, we know together we can prevail over these forms of repression and continue striving for justice for all peoples.”

Sharing that vision, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with UAW 2865 in respecting the BDS picket line.


Please also sign:
Support Student Workers’ Historic BDS Vote (US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation)
Stand with UAW Local 2865 (Jewish Voice for Peace)

INITIAL SIGNERS (List in formation)
(Affiliation shown for identification only // *Labor for Palestine co-conveners)

*Suzanne Adely, Global Workers Solidarity Network; Former Staff, Global Organizing Institute, UAW (NYC)

*Michael Letwin, Former President, ALAA/UAW L. 2325 (NYC)

*Clarence Thomas, Co-Chair, Million Worker March; ILWU L. 10 (retired)(Oakland CA)

*Jaime Veve, Transport Workers Union L. 100 (retired)(NYC)

Rabab Abdulhadi, California Faculty Association-San Francisco State University

Judith Ackerman, 1199SEIU, AFT, UFT, AFTRA, SAG (NYC)

Larry Adams, Former President, NPMHU L. 300; People’s Organization for Progress (NJ)

Bina Ahmad, ALAA/UAW L. 2325 (NYC)

Sameerah Ahmad, Former Diversity Coordinator, GEO/UAW L. 2322 (Chicago, IL)

Tanya Akel, Regional Director, IBT L. 2010

Greg Albo, YUFA, York University (Toronto, ON)

Tania Aparicio, Organizing Committee, SENS-UAW (NYC)

Noha Arafa, ALAA/UAW L. 2325 (Brooklyn, NY)

B. Ross Ashley, Former Shop Steward and Executive Council member, SEIU L. 204, then L. 1 (Toronto, ON)

Shahar Azoulay, ALAA/UAW L. 2325 (NYC)

Lejla Bajrami, 1199SEIU (Brooklyn, NY)

John Becker, IBT L. 814 (Detroit, MI)

Marie Bellavia, NEA/Portland Association of Teachers (OR)

Zarina Bhatia, GMB, TUC (retired) (Birmingham, UK)

Michael Billeaux, Recording Secretary, WITAA-AFT 3220 (Madison, WI)

Walter Birdwell, Retired Shop Steward, NALC Br. 283 (Laguna Vista, TX)

Dana Blanchard, Executive Board, Berkeley Federation of Teachers, AFT L. 1078

Dave Bleakney, 2nd National VP, CUPW (Ottawa, ON)

Donna Blythe-McColgan, Staff Rep., USW (Boston, MA)

Deena Brazy, AFSCME L. 6000 (Madison, WI)

Richard Blum, ALAA/UAW L. 2325 (Brooklyn, NY)

Ray Bush, UCU Leeds Branch (UK)

Claudia Carrera, Shop Steward, GSOC-UAW L. 2110 (NYC)

Joshua Carrin, Delegate, ALAA/UAW L. 2325 (Brooklyn, NY)

Sara Catalinotto, Former Delegate, UFT/AFT L. 2 (NYC)

Joe Catron, NWU/UAW L. 1981 (NYC)

Nora Carroll, ALAA/UAW L. 2325 (Brooklyn, NY)

Jan Clausen, President, Goddard College Faculty Union, UAW L. 2322

Frank Couget, NALC Br. 36 (NYC)

CUNY Law School Labor Coalition (NYC)

Amy Cross, ALAA/UAW L. 2325 (Brooklyn, NY)

Mike Cushman, Former Secretary, LSE Branch, UCU (London, UK)

Denise D’Anne, SEIU L. 1021 (San Francisco, CA)

Ziad Dallal, Steward, UAW L. 2110 (NYC)

Buzz Davis, Executive Board, AFT-W Retiree Council (Stoughton, WI)

Dominic DeSiata, IBEW L. 103 (Boston, MA)

John Dudley, SEIU-CT State Retirees Chapter

Lisa Edwards, Alternate Delegate, ALAA/UAW L. 2325 (NYC)

Arla S. Ertz, SEIU L. 1021 (San Francisco, CA)

John Estes, NALC (Birmingham, AL)

Shelley Ettinger, AFT L. 3882 (NYC)

Jessica Feldman, Shop Steward, UAW L. 2110 (NYC)

Sarah S. Forth, NWU/UAW L. 1981 (Los Angeles, CA)

Josh Fraidstern, TWU L. 100 (Brooklyn, NY)

Cynthia Franklin, UHPA (Honolulu, HI)

Jeremy Fredericksen, Alternate VP and Delegate, ALAA/UAW L. 2325 (Brooklyn, NY)

Carol Gay, President, NJ State Industrial Union Council

Nick Giannone, Trustee, Boilermakers L. 29 (Weymouth, MA)

Steve Gillis, Financial Secretary, USWA L. 8751 (Boston School Bus Drivers’ Union)

Mike Gimbel, Executive Board, AFSCME L. 375 AFSCME (retired)(NYC)

Brian Glennie, IUEC L. 82 (Parkville, BC)

Sherna Gluck, Former VP, CFA/SEIU L. 1983

Sam Grainger, SENS-UAW (NYC)

Martha Grevatt, Civil and Human Rights Committee, UAW L. 869 (Ferndale, MI)

Ira Grupper, Delegate (retired), Greater Louisville (KY) Central Labor Council, BCTGM L. 16T

Gabriel Haaland, Steward, CWA L. 9404 (Vallejo, CA)

Jesse Hagopian, Association Rep., Seattle Education Association/NEA

Frank Hammer, UAW-GM international Rep.; UAW L. 909 (retired)(Detroit, MI)

Denise N. Hammond, Unifor 591g (Toronto, ON)

Lenora Hanson, Member, Executive Board, AFT L. 3220, Teaching Assistants’ Association (Madison, WI)

Abdul-Basit Haqq, Staff Rep., CWA L. 1037 (Piscataway, NJ)

Janet Harmon, Local Trustee, AFSCME DC 37 L. 436 (NYC)

Shafeka Hashash, Steward, GSOC-UAW L. 2110 (NYC)

David Heap, University of Western Ontario Faculty Association

Win Heimer, VP, Greater Hartford Central Labor Council; AFT L. 4200R and CSEA Council 400, L. 2001, SEIU, CTW

Lucy Herschel, Delegate, 1199SEIU (Queens, NY)

Monadel Herzallah, SEIU (San Francisco, CA)

Jack Heyman, ILWU L. 10 (retired); Chair, TWSC; Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal (Oakland, CA)

Molly Hogan, ILWU/IBU (retired)(CA)

Jey Iyadurai, Human Rights Rep., CUPW 626 (Toronto, ON)

Ruth Jennison, Departmental Rep., Massachusetts Society of Professors, MTA, NEA

Dan Kaplan, Executive Secretary, San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers-AFT L. 1493

Daniel J. Kelly, Shop Steward and Albany Labor Council Delegate, CSEA L. 1000 and L. 690

Ed Kinchley, SEIU L. 1021 Delegate, San Francisco Labor Council

John Kirkland, Carpenters L. 1462 (Bucks County, PA)

David Klein, California Faculty Association (Los Angeles, CA)

Jeff Klein, Retired President, NAGE/SEIU L. R1-168 (Boston, MA)

Cindy Klumb, Chief Shop Steward, OPEIU L. 153 (Brooklyn, NY)

Dennis Kortheuer, California Faculty Association

Daniella Korotzer, Former VP and former Health and Safety Officer, ALAA/UAW 2325 (Brooklyn, NY)

Dennis Kosuth, Steward, NNU (Chicago, IL)

Pooja Kothari, ALAA/UAW 2325 (Brooklyn, NY)

Rebecca Kurti, 1199SEIU (Queens, NY)

David Laibman, PSC-CUNY/AFT L. 2334 retirees’ chapter (NYC)

Carol Lang, AFSCME DC 37 and PSC-CUNY/AFT L. 2334 (Bronx, NY)

Patrick Langhenry, ALAA/UAW L. 2325 (Queens, NY)

Angaza Laughinghouse, VP, NC Public Service Workers Union-UE L. 150

Raymond Leduc, Boilermakers L. 29 (retired)(Orleans, MA)

David Letwin, AAUP (Brooklyn, NY)

Eli Lichtenstein, Organizing Committee, SENS-UAW (NYC)

Michael Louw, Organizer/Educator, Congress of South African Trade Unions

Eamon McMahon, Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (NIPSA); UNISON; Secretary, Trade Union Friends of Palestine

Ying-Ying Ma, ALAA/UAW 2325 (Brooklyn, NY)

Mone Makkawi, GSOC-UAW L. 2110 (NYC)

Leah Martin, ALAA/UAW 2325 (Brooklyn, NY)

Riddhi Mehta-Neugebauer, UAW L. 4121 (Seattle, WA)

Mark S. Mendoza, Cincinnati Worker Center

Kevin Moloney, CUPE 3903 (ON)

Susan Morris, Former Alternate VP, ALAA/UAW 2325 (Brooklyn, NY)

Roslyn R. Morrison, ALAA/UAW 2325 (Brooklyn, NY)

Eli Nadeau, Organizing Committee, SENS-UAW (NYC)

Yasaman Naraghi, UAW L. 4121 (Seattle, WI)

Chris Nickell, Shop Steward and Unit Rep., GSOC-UAW L. 2110 (NYC)

Michelle O’Brien, Steward, GSOC/UAW L. 2110 (NYC)

Jose A. Ortega, IBEW L. 145 (Rock Island, IL)

Rod Palmquist, UAW L. 4121 (Seattle, WA)

Anne Pasek, Steward, GSOC-UAW L. 2110 (NYC)

Joe Piette, NALC Br 157 (retired)(Philadelphia, PA)

Daniel Pines, CSEA L. 0828 (Rochester, NY)

Kristin Plys, GESO/Yale (Göttingen, Germany)

Andrew Pollack, Former Shop Steward, District 65-UAW (Brooklyn, NY)

Stephanie Pope, ALAA/UAW L. 2325 (Staten Island, NY)

Tom Potter, AFSCME L. 3650, HUCTW; Socialist Alternative (Cambridge, MA)

Minnie Bruce Pratt, NWU/UAW L. 1981 (Syracuse, NY)

Nathaniel Preus, GSOC-UAW L. 2110, (NYC)

James Prothero, IBT L. 155 (Mission, BC)

Linda Ray, Co-chair, Peace & Solidarity Committee, SEIU L. 1021 (San Francisco, CA)

Eric Robson, Steward and Trustee, AFSCME L. 171 (Madison, WI)

Laurence S. Romsted, AAUP-AFT Rutgers University (Highland Park, NJ)

Marco Antonio Rosales, UAW L. 2865 Unit Chair (Davis, CA)

Sandra Rosen, Former Solidarity Committee Co-chair, HUCTW/AFSCME (retired), (Cambridge, MA)

Mimi Rosenberg, ALAA/UAW L. 2325 (Brooklyn, NY)

Susan Rosenthal, NWU/UAW L. 1981 (Canada)

Andrew Ross, President, NYU-AAUP (NYC)

Gillian Russom, Area Chair, Board of Directors, UTLA/AFT L. 1021 (Los Angeles, CA)

James W. Ryder, Collective Bargaining Director (retired), CNA/NNU (Oakland, CA)

Carl Sack, Membership Secretary, AFT L. 3220 (UW-Madison Teaching Assistants’ Association)

Rodrigo Santelices, ALAA/UAW 2325 (NYC)

Heike Schotten, Faculty Staff Union at University of Massachusetts Boston; Executive Committee, MTA

Gerry Scoppettuol, Co-founder, Pride at Work, Boston AFL-CIO; past member, District 65/UAW

Mary Scully, Women’s, Safety, and Education committees, IUE-CWA L. 201 (retired), (McAllen, TX)

Richard Seaford, UCU (Exeter, UK)

Kim Scipes, Former Chair, Chicago Chapter, NWU/UAW L. 1981

Snehal Shingavi, TSEU/CWA L. 6186 (Austin, TX)

Tyler Shipley, CUPE 3903 (Toronto, ON)

Sid Shniad, Research Director, Telecommunications Workers Union (retired)(Vancouver, BC)

Alexandra Smith, ALAA/UAW 2325 (Brooklyn, NY)

Linda Sneed, Campus Rep., AFT 2279 (Sacramento, CA)

Nancy Snyder, Recording Secretary Emeritus, SEIU L. 1021 (Los Angeles, CA)

Edward Stiel, IBEW L. 302 (San Francisco, CA)

Susan Stout, Retirees Secretary, Unifor L. 2002 (N. Vancouver, BC)

Garrett Strain, UAW L. 4121 (Seattle, WA)

Uri Strauss, Steward, UAW L. 2320 (Springfield, MA)

Brenda Stokely, Former President, AFSCME DC 1707, Co-Chair, Million Worker March Movement (Brooklyn, NY)

Cynthia Taylor, ALAA/UAW L. 2325 (NYC)

Steve Terry, ALAA/UAW L. 2325 (Brooklyn, NY)

Will Thomas, NEA (NH)

Miriam Thompson, UAW L. 259 (retired)(Chapel Hill, NC)

Joanne Tien, Steward, UAW L. 2865 (Oakland, CA)

Azalia Torres, ALAA/UAW L. 2325 (Brooklyn, NY)

Transport Workers Solidarity Committee (Oakland, CA)

Burnis E. Tuck, AFGE L. 3172 (retired); IWW (Fresno, CA)

Mar Velez, Former President, UAW 2865 (Oakland, CA)

Karen Walker, Postings Officer, CUPE 3903 (ON)

Dr. Peter Waterman, ABVA-KABO, FNV (retired)(The Hague, Netherlands)

Barry Weisleder, OSSTF (Toronto, ON)

Dave Welsh, NALC Br. 214; Delegate, San Francisco Labor Council

Nancy Welch, United Academics, VTAFT/AAUP (Burlington, VT)

Paul Werner, Former member, ACT-UAW L. 7902 (Vienna, Austria)

Edwina White, SEIU L. 1000 (retired)(Sacramento, CA)

Rand Wilson, SEIU L. 888 (Somerville, MA)

Ella Wind, Unit Rep., NYU GSOC-UAW L. 2110; Academic Workers for a Democratic Union

Sherry Wolf, Lead Organizer, Rutgers AAUP-AFT; CWA L. 1032

Marc Wutschke, House of Rep.s, AFT L. 1021 (Los Angeles, CA)

Nantina Vgontzas, GSOC-UAW L. 2110 (NYC)

Sabina Virgo, Past and Founding President, AFSCME L. 2620 (retired)(Los Angeles, CA)

John Yanno, Delegate, UFT/AFT L. 2 (Brooklyn, NY)


Mark Matthews, CAW (retired)(Vancouver, BC), Canada
Max Rosen-Long, Bldg. rep., PFT L. 3 (Philadelphia, PA), and a building representative
Chris Butters, Chapter Chair, L. 1070, DC 37, AFSCME (retired)(NYC)
Brooks Ballenger, Organizer/Representative, UAW L. 2322 (Amherst, MA)
Larry Hendel, CFA (Berkeley, CA)
Catherine Orozco, NOLSW/UAW (retired)(San Francisco, CA)
George McAnanama, TWU L. 100 (retired)(Bronx, NY)
Russell Weiss-Irwin, SEIU L. 175 (NYC)
Robert Kosuth, MEA (retired)(Duluth, MN)
David Riehle, Chairman Emeritus, UTU L. 650 (St. Paul, MN)
Robert Pfefferman, DC 37, AFSCME retirees (NYC)
Vincent Calvetti, UAW L. 4121 (Seattle, WA)
Mercedes Martinez, President, FMPR (Federación de Maestros de Puerto Rico)
Julia Wallace, SEIU L. 721 (Los Angeles, CA)
Aaron Amaral, Esq., DC 37, AFSCME (Jackson Heights, NY)
Michael Haire, 1199SEIU East (Saten Island, NY)
Adrienne Pine Washington, Former Recording Secretary and and statewide bargaining team member, UAW 2865 (UC Berkeley)
Hannah Roditi, CWA (Bloomfield, CT)
Nathan Pensler, Unit Representative, GSOC-UAW L. 2110 (NYC)
Elisabeth Fiekowsky, former member UAW; Labor rep., IFPTE, ESC L. 20 (Sebastopol, CA)
Frances Agnew Crieff, National Federation of Post Office and British Telecom Pensioners, (UK)
Peter King Churchill, UCU (Oxford, UK)
Blair Bertaccini, AFSCME retirees Chapter 4; AFSCME Council 4 PEOPLE Committee (Waterbury, CT)


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UAW Overrules Academic Workers BDS Vote Against Israel Despite Finding Strong Turnout, No Misconduct (In These Times)

In These Times

ITT 2865
(Adrien Fauth / Flickr)

On December 15, 2015, the United Auto Workers (UAW) International Executive Board (IEB) nullified the resolution passed last year by members of UAW Local 2865, the 13,000 teaching assistants and student-workers at the University of California system, that called on the International to endorse the Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel by withholding their financial investments in companies “complicit in severe and ongoing human rights violations as part of the Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people.

The decision to nullify the BDS resolution, which had made Local 2865 the first American local union to endorse a boycott, was the outcome of an appeal filed by a member of Informed Grads, a group of local union members who opposed BDS. Stephen Brumbaugh, a Local 2865 member at UC Los Angeles, took his case up with the International’s executive board after Local 2865 had previously dismissed it in May 2015, failing to find merit in its claims.

The IEB went through a period of fact-finding, gathering testimony and evidence from Informed Grads and Local 2865 before issuing the decision. While UAW IEB admitted that the December 2014 vote on the BDS measure was democratic and free of any misconduct, producing a turnout higher than previous elections held by the local, the IEB concluded that in its view the resolution violated the International’s constitution by “lead[ing] to a direct economic deprivation for members of the UAW, as well as other organized members by, categorically interfering with the flow of commerce to and from earmarked companies” at Boeing, Caterpillar, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, ITT, Northrop-Grumman and Raytheon, the firms targeted by BDS advocates.

Brumbaugh’s attorneys on the appeal are associated with Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher, a global law firm known for providing for big business, including Walmart in a 2011 landmark civil action discrimination suit. “We are very pleased by [the UAW] International Union’s forceful rejection of BDS, which sets a powerful precedent for other labor unions and national organizations,” said Scott Edelman, a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, in a statement by Informed Grads.

At one August hearing, Brumbaugh and his attorneys introduced several letters sent by “prominent labor union advocates” to UAW International to condemn BDS, including Randy Cammack and Rome A. Aloise, both International Vice Presidents with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and J. David Cox, Sr., National President of the American Federation of Government Employees.

“We would find it difficult to ask our members to support your union in a labor dispute with the University of California so long as you are engaged in activities that are fundamentally hostile to their interests,” Cammack and Aloise say in their letter. “Unlike the members of your union, who are graduate students and therefore union members for a short period of time, our members are working in jobs that must support them for a lifetime and it is our job to protect them for all of their working lives.”

Another letter submitted by Brumbaugh came from Jonathan D. Ginzel, the Director of Labor & Employment Relations at Caterpillar (one of the corporations targeted by BDS resolutions for its alleged role in the demolition of Palestinian villages), who tells a UAW International executive that the company “outright rejects any suggestion that Caterpillar is engaged in or complicit in any human rights violations anywhere in the world” and asks the International to “void this Resolution and take whatever additional steps are necessary to confirm that the UAW does not support an effort to divest from Caterpillar or Israel.”

Kumars Salehi, a UAW 2865 member and BDS caucus member at UC Berkeley, calls the IEB’s claims of potential economic deprivation a “model of business unionism,” the union model that eschews engagement with broader social issues beyond its members’ day-to-day needs.

“This is clearly an argument that is from the perspective of the employers rather than of workers. This is the sort of argument that could be used against any boycott,” Salehi says. “There are people within UAW and the labor movement in general that critique the assumption that the interests of employers and ‘the flow of commerce’ are the same as the interests of workers.”

The IEB uses these letters later in their report to support their conclusion that by passing the BDS resolution, Local 2865 broke its constitutional obligation to work together with other unions for the “solidification” of the labor movement. But UAW members claim that their local began organizing around BDS after a call for boycott was made by Palestinian trade union confederations in July 2014 in the midst of the 50-day assault waged by the Israeli military that left 2,100 Palestinians dead.


“Citing ‘the solidification of the labor movement’ in order to justify negating the will of our members is pretty sinister and hypocritical,” says Salehi, adding that in the eyes of the IEB, it seems the rule is that Palestinian trade unions are not a part of the labor movement.

The IEB also ruled in favor of Informed Grads on the charge that the BDS resolution violated the union constitution’s ethical code, saying the resolution was “suggestive of discriminatory labeling and a disparagement” of its Israeli and Jewish members.

“The local union’s attempt to address the predicament of the Palestinian people appears to be accomplished through biased targeting of Israeli/Jewish UAW members, and the scorning of the state of Israel and all alleged entities complicit in actions against Palestine,” the IEB said in report of the decision.

David McCleary, UAW 2865 Northern Vice President, speaking on behalf of UAW 2865 Executive Board, told In These Times, “We firmly reject accusations of antisemitism, and the evidence presented during the appeal process clearly supports this view. As one of many Jewish members of UAW 2865 who supported this divestment campaign, I can say that the accusation is personally hurtful and I expected better of our International Executive Board.”

“While this decision nullifies our non-binding resolution, it does not erase the voices and efforts of the countless rank-and-file members of our union, passionate about equality and justice for Palestinians,” McCleary added.

Unted Electrical Workers (UE) and the Connecticut AFL-CIOhave followed Local 2865’s lead on a BDS endorsement over the course of the past year but have met opposition. UE’s resolution has been challenged through the National Labor Relations Board by an Israeli non-governmental organization on the grounds that it amounts to illegal secondary boycotts (aproduct of the Taft-Hartley Act). In California, as Glenn Greenwald has written for the Intercept, UC administrators and state lawmakers have been vocally supportive of expanding hate speech definitions to include criticism or “demonization” of Israel, which would conceivably limit BDS activism at least in theory.

“No letter from the IEB can erase the educational and organizational work we have done over the past year—work we will continue to do, energized no doubt by the IEB’s undemocratic, business-friendly attempt to nullify this vote,” the BDS caucus says in a statement. “We are part of a growing movement for union solidarity with the people of Palestine and for a democratic and visionary U.S. labor movement.”

At New York University, graduate worker and UAW member David Klassen, says he was “excited” about the BDS campaign in California because it was everything he felt was missing in the UAW: “a long period of education, open debate” followed by “an open referendum in which members can actually decide what the policy of their union will be.”

Klassen is a member of the Academic Workers for a Democratic Union within UAW, a new wave of graduate student workers who say they aim to reform the International in more progressive directions, and says he is invested in ensuring that UAW has “venues in which people can forward their voices and have open debate” rather than important union decisions being made “quietly, in backrooms.” Klassen says that the nullification decision is the “perfect example” of closed-door decision-making that the International needs to break from.

While the IEB may have halted the BDS resolution from Local 2865 for the moment, Klassen says that AWDU members have learned from the effort in California and have launched their own BDS campaign at NYU. While he admits the common assumption is that members would want to shy away from a “controversial” or “divisive” issue, he says members have seemed to prefer democratic debate over the issue.

“People want to know that their union is a place where they can have debates about the world that they live in—that collectively, they can negotiate not just for [their] narrow, material interests at work, but also the world in which they live.” he says.

Mario Vasquez is a writer from Santa Barbara, California. You can reach him at

More information about Mario Vasquez

US Labor and the Boycott of Israel (SWANA Region Radio, September 14, 2015)


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9/14/2015 SWANA REGION RADIO 3:30-4:00pm: US Labor and the Boycott of Israel


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US Labor and the Boycott of Israel

At its its national convention in Baltimore this August, UE, the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers endorsed the worldwide BDS movement – Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions – to pressure Israel to end its apartheid over the Palestinians just as similar tactics helped to end South African apartheid in the 1980s. UE represents more than 30,000 workers across the country in a range of private and public sector occupations.and is now the first U.S. national union to endorse BDS.  Today we talk to Michael Letwin, co-founder of Labor for Palestine, about this remarkable victory for the BDS movement.  We also discuss the progress being made on the cultural boycott and the current campaign to persuade Kanye West to respect the Palestinian call for a cultural boycott of Israel by canceling his planned September 30 concert in Israel.

Guest: Michael Letwin is a public defender in Brooklyn, New York; and a veteran Vietnam antiwar, South Africa anti-apartheid, and racial justice activist since the 1960s. He is former president of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW Local 2325(1990-2002); and a co-founder of New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW)(2001), Labor for Palestine(2004) and Jews for Palestinian Right of Return(2013). He is affiliated with Al-Awda NY, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, and MENA Solidarity Network US; and a member of the Organizing Collective of the U.S. Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel.

Letwin was a member of an attorney/activist delegation to the West Bank and 1948 Palestine (2007),and  a featured speaker at a Palestine solidarity conference of the Irish Confederation of Trade Unions (2010).

He helped launch the successful campaign for Stevie Wonder to withdraw from a Los Angeles fundraiser for the Israeli military (2012), and was active in both UAW 2865’s adoption of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)and Block the Boat’s campaign to prevent Israeli Zim Line ships from docking at U.S. ports(2014).  His writing on Palestine includes “Labor Zionism and the Histadrut” (2010) and “The Jewish Labor Committee and Apartheid Israel” (2010).

Click on the link below to view peition from Jews for Palestinian Right of Return:

Hosted  by David Lloyd 


SWANA (South and West Asia and North Africa) Collective, KPFK.