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`Intensify pressure!' -- (updated June 8) Call by Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee gains support

By the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC)

Occupied Palestine, June 1, 2010 -- Palestinian civil society calls for intensifying boycott and sanctions as Israel massacres humanitarian relief workers and international solidarity activists.

The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) strongly condemns last night’s fatal attack by the Israeli navy on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip. The BNC conveys Palestinian civil society’s condolences to the families and friends of those killed by the Israeli assault and warmly salutes the principled solidarity and moral commitment of all those involved in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

In response, the BNC calls on international civil society to:

  • Mobilise for an emergency global BDS day of action on Saturday, June 5, 2010 – the 43rd anniversary of the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem
  • Pressure governments to start implementing trade sanctions and arms embargos.

We call specifically on transport and dock workers and unions around the globe to:

The Freedom Flotilla, which was attacked in international waters in violation of international law, was carrying relief supplies that Israel has persistently prevented from entering Gaza, including medical supplies, cement and food. Israel’s siege is considered a form of collective punishment, a war crime under Article 33 of the Geneva Convention. All of the relief workers and activists on board the Gaza Freedom Flotilla ships were unarmed. In legal terms, Israel’s military assault against the Freedom Flotilla is an act of aggression against the countries whose flags the ships were carrying; politically, it is an assault against human decency and all people of conscience around the world who support freedom and justice.

Israel’s impunity is the direct result of the international community’s failure to hold it accountable for its ongoing occupation, colonisation and apartheid against the Palestinian people. Israel’s most recent war crimes committed in Gaza and documented in the Goldstone report as well as crimes committed in 2006 against the Lebanese people did not trigger any UN or official sanctions, entrenching Israel’s feeling of being above the law. In fact, Israel’s grave violation of international law was recently rewarded when the OECD voted unanimously to accept its membership. The BNC urges international civil society to end this deep and fatal complicity.

The BNC also welcomes and affirms the call of the UN expert on human rights Professor Richard Falk who stated, “It is time to insist on the end of the blockade of Gaza. The worldwide campaign of boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel is now a moral and political imperative, and needs to be supported and strengthened everywhere.”[1]

The UN Security Council has, unsurprisingly, failed to hold Israel accountable for its aggression against the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.[2] The BNC calls upon the UN General Assembly, the European Union, the Arab League and their member states to undertake practical measures which will end Israel’s impunity for its massive and systematic violation of international law, including by:

  • Immediately ending all collusion with Israel’s unlawful blockade of the Gaza Strip and pressuring Israel’s to guarantee unrestricted humanitarian access and freedom of movement of people and products into and out of the Gaza Strip;
  • Bringing to justice all Israeli officials and military personnel who took the decision and/or implemented this latest massacre as well as earlier war crimes;
  • Pressuring your government to immediately suspend arms trade with Israel, and to implement trade sanctions and arms embargos against Israel.
  • In particular, we call on the EU to suspend the EU-Israel Association Agreement, the Mercosur to suspend the FTA, India to reverse decision to hold negotiations around an India-Israel FTA and to stop arms deals with Israel, and Turkey to impose an arms embargo on Israel.

The BNC also calls on people of conscience and citizen groups all over the world to intensify BDS campaigns against Israel as the most effective means of holding it accountable to international law and ending its fatal impunity.

For action ideas and updates, please see: http://bdsdayofaction.net/

For more information and coordination of action, please contact:

Ziyaad Lunat (Europe) ziyaad@bdsmovement.net

Michael Deas (Europe) bnc.europe@bdsmovement.net

+4412465822


[1] For the full statement of Prof. Richard Falk, see:

http://www.badil.org/en/press-releases/135-2010/2257-press-en-19

[2] SC/9940 of 31 May 2010, UN Security Council, Presidential Statement S/PRST/2010/9

 

Swedish port workers to block Israeli ships and Israeli goods

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

By Bjorn Borg

The Svenska Hamnarbetarförbundet (Swedish Port Workers Union) has today given notice of the blockade of all Israeli ships and cargo to and from Israel which is managed by the union members. The blockade will be effective at. 00:00 Tuesday, June 15 and lasts until at. 24:00 Thursday, June 24.

The reason for the blockade is the unprecedented criminal attack on the peaceful ship convoy In Gaza. Several peace activists were killed by Israeli commandos and other participants were detained without any reason.

Swedish Port Workers Union, which supports the Ship to Gaza, like the action to protest against the state of Israel of international law perpetrated against a convoy of peace activists and material supplies due to the People also a legal blockade suffering population of Gaza.

Swedish Port Workers Union requires that the assault are brought to justice, that international law is respected by the State of Israel and that the blockade of Gaza immediately lifted.

Swedish Port Workers' Union would urge other unions and other organizations to take similar initiatives and calls for a general blockade of Israeli goods until the Palestinian people's rights have been satisfied in general and in particular the blockade of Gaza lifted.

For further information contact:

Bjorn Borg A. Federal Chairman 070-680 95 48

Peter Annerback member Executive Committee 073-546 38 02

Rolf Axelsson member Executive Committee 070-950 89 09

 

COSATU condemns Israeli state piracy, supports boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign

May 31, 2010 -- The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) is outraged at the murder by Israeli commandos' of at least 20 people -- and injuries to a further 60 -- as a result of their armed attack on a convoy of ships carrying aid to the people of Gaza last night.

COSATU sends its condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives and calls upon the people of the world to condemn this act of Israeli state-sponsored piracy.

The six-ship flotilla, with 750 Palestine solidarity activists from around the world on board and carrying 10,000 tonnes of aid for the people of Gaza, left Cyprus on Sunday and had been due to arrive in Gaza today.

Then, when it was about 64 km out to sea, in international waters, Israeli armed forces boarded the largest vessel and fought with those on board. The activists say Israeli troops came on board shooting. Israel is now reported to be towing the boats to the port of Ashdod and says it will deport the passengers from there.
The ships were bringing the people of Gaza 10,000 tonnes of badly needed concrete, toys, workbooks, chocolate, pasta and substantial medical supplies. It was acting in accordance with international law.

COSATU fully supports the call on the international community to pressure their governments to condemn this brutal deed and hold Israel accountable for the murder of foreign civilians at sea and illegal piracy of civilian vessels carrying humanitarian aid.

The federation welcomes the decision by the government of Spain and Sweden to withdraw their ambassadors from Israel and calls upon the South African government to follow their lead.

The flotilla was an international response to the plight of the people of Gaza, following Israel's closure of the border. Amnesty International in their Annual Human Rights Report concluded that the siege has "deepened the ongoing humanitarian crisis. Mass unemployment, extreme poverty, food insecurity and food price rises caused by shortages left four out of five Gazans dependent on humanitarian aid. The scope of the blockade and statements made by Israeli officials about its purpose showed that it was being imposed as a form of collective punishment of Gazans, a flagrant violation of international law."

The United Nations has continuously stated that only a fraction of the required aid is entering Gaza due to what it calls "the medieval siege". John Ging, the director of UNRWA in Gaza, has specifically expressed the need for the flotilla to enter Gaza.

The European Union's new foreign affairs minister, Catherine Ashton, has just reiterated its call for, "an immediate, sustained and unconditional opening of crossings for the flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons to and from Gaza".

COSATU also calls for greater support for the international boycott, divestment and sanction campaign against Israel, which is proving again to be violent and ruthless in attacking and murdering those who stand in its way. We urge all South Africans to refuse to buy or handle any goods from Israel or have any dealings with Israeli businesses.

COSATU reaffirms its support of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to national sovereignty and the same human rights as any other people. We demand the immediate end to the Israeli siege and the illegal occupation of the sovereign territory which has been violently seized from the Palestinian nation.

Issued by Patrick Craven (national spokesperson), Congress of South African Trade Unions.

 

South African government's recall of Israeli ambassador welcomed, now cut all economic and trade ties!

Issued by the Coalition for a Free Palestine

June 3, 2010

The Coalition for a Free Palestine, as well as numerous Palestinians and Palestinian civil society organisations that we are in touch with, welcome the announcement by South Africa’s Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Ebrahim Ebrahim of the recall of South Africa’s ambassador from Tel Aviv. The action was taken in protest against Israel’s murderous attack on unarmed civilians in an aid flotilla sailing in international waters.

The recall by the South African government – as well as similar actions by other countries such as Sweden, Spain and Turkey – are an indication to the Apartheid Israeli regime that the world is no longer willing to tolerate its brutal impunity and terrorism. The regime’s repeated violations of international law and United Nations resolutions make a mockery of the notion of international law. That it has not, for the past six decades, been forced to comply with the decisions of the international community in respect of its gross human rights violations, war crimes and crimes against humanity is a serious blight on the members of the United Nations. Even when Israel attacked unarmed civilians in open waters, the United Nations Security Council could only issue a presidential statement which did not even condemn Israel for its piracy.

Deputy Minister Ebrahim’s comments today are the clearest indication that South Africa’s patience with the Israeli regime is running out.  As President Zuma indicated in a radio interview yesterday that if any other country had undertaken action like the attack on the aid flotilla except for Israel it would be regarded as a pariah. We call on local people of Jewish faith not to allow the South African Zionist Federation to speak on their behalf, by attempting to obscure the truth with outright lies and hopeful fables.  No excuses, no lies, no attempts at obscuring the truth will fool the people of the world.

We are appreciative of the actions of our government over the past four days in expressing condemnation of Israel, issuing the Israeli ambassador with a demarche, recalling our ambassador from Israel, and the genuine concern and comfort they have extended to both Khadija Davids and her family. 

Nevertheless, as appreciative as we are, we still remain committed in calling on our government to:

  1. Expel the Israeli ambassador from South Africa;

  2. Break all diplomatic ties with Israel;

  3. Cut all economic and trade ties with Israel, in response to the call for boycotts, divestment and sanctions from over 200 Palestinian organisations;

  4. Shut down Mossad and Shin Bet operations and terminating the business dealings of El Al Airlines in South Africa;

  5. Actively promote an academic boycott of Israel by ensuring that all academic links with Israel by our tertiary institutions and research organisations are severed immediately;

  6. Prosecute all South African citizens who serve in the Israeli armed forces, as is required by the Regulation of Foreign Military Assistance Act, and;

  7. Ensure that Israeli war criminals will be prosecuted if they enter South Africa – as is South Africa’s obligation under the Rome Statute.

South Africans will not be fooled by the lies that are now being told by the South African Zionist Federation on behalf of the Israeli apartheid state and on behalf of the Israeli military which was responsible for the heinous crimes on Monday.  As a country that has experienced the Sharpeville, June 16th, Langa, and many other apartheid massacres, we have heard all these lies and guilt-soothing excuses – heavily armed soldiers fearing for their lives from activists wielding knives, or stones, or slings, etc.  We did not believe the apartheid regime then; South Africans will not believe these recycled lies today.

We demand that the Egyptian government keeps the Rafah Crossing open indefinitely to allow free access to and the Gaza strip.

We commit ourselves to mobilise our trade union members to organise active campaigns to isolate Israel by refusing to handle goods to and from Israel. In this regard, we salute the workers of the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union who today decided that, in the light of Israeli piracy, they will not allow any Israeli ship to unload goods at South African ports.

Activities around the country will continue in protest against Israel and its murderous actions. A mass protest rally will take place in Soweto on Saturday at the well-known protest venue, Uncle Tom’s Hall and the campaign to deepen the South African boycotts, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel will be intensified.

For more information, please call:

Tahir Sema (South African Municipal Workers’ Union): 082 940 3403
Salim Vally (Palestine Solidarity Committee): 082 802 5936
Igsaan Hendricks (Muslim Judicial Council): 083 384 6973
Naazim Adam (Palestine Solidarity Alliance): 082 336 6711
Mercia Andrews (Palestine Solidarity Group): 082 368 3429

This initiative is endorsed by:

COSATU
South African Council of Churches
South African Communist Party
Palestine Solidarity Committee
Palestine Solidarity Group
Palestine Solidarity Alliance
South African Municipal Workers’ Union
Media Review Network
Muslim Judicial Council
Muslim Youth Movement
Open Shuhada Street

 

South African Municipal Workers Union declares, every municipality an apartheid-Israel-free zone!

By the South African Municipal Workers Union

June 4, 2010 -- At its central executive committee (CEC) meeting Friday, SAMWU unanimously endorsed a motion to immediately work towards every municipality in South Africa to become an Apartheid Israel free zone.

As part of the global Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions Campaign (BDS) SAMWU has agreed to engage every single municipality to ensure that there are no commercial, academic, cultural, sporting or other linkages whatsoever with the Israeli regime. Every SAMWU branch will immediately approach municipal and water authorities to become part of the BDS campaign, and to publicly declare their solidarity with the Palestinian people.

This decision was taken in response to the appalling actions of the Israeli regime against the Palestinian people, and especially the recent military intervention against the peace flotilla that aimed to deliver humanitarian aid to the besieged people of Gaza.

The SAMWU CEC congratulated the African National Congress government for exercising diplomatic pressure on the Israeli regime but urged the government to take further steps to isolate the regime until there is a genuine independent democratic state for all the people of Palestine.

SAMWU pledged its active support to the Coalition for a Free Palestine (CFP), and also congratulated its sister union, the South African Transport and Allied Workers' Union (SATAWU), for refusing to handle Israeli goods at the ports.

Finally the CEC urged all unions and civil society organisations to join in this crucial campaign, to take whatever action they can to further isolate Israeli Apartheid, and to be a positive part of the solution to the terrible humanitarian catastrophe that faces the Palestinian people.

For further comment contact Steve Faulkner, SAMWU’s International and Equality Officer on 0828175455.

 

South African Transport and Allied Workers' Union calls for escalation of union boycotts of Israeli goods

By Zenzo Mahlangu, SATAWU general secretary

June 3, 2010 -- The South African Transport and Allied Workers' Union (SATAWU) has condemned the attack on aid ships launched by the Israeli state. This last act of Israeli state sponsored murder left nine people dead and many others injured.

The attack which took place in international waters is nothing less than an act of international piracy. The ships were carrying aid to the beleaguered peoples of in Gaza. This attack and Israel’s continued closure of the border has worsened the appalling conditions that those who live in Gaza are forced to endure.

SATAWU salutes the Swedish dock workers for their blockade of all Israeli ships. 

The union calls for an escalation of the boycott of Israeli goods and call upon our fellow trade unionists not to handle them.

We call upon our members not to allow any Israeli ship to dock or unload in any South African port.

While welcoming the recall of the South African ambassador to Israel we demand that our government now cut all diplomatic ties with this murderous regime.

We welcome the worldwide condemnation of this act of piracy but note with alarm the failure of the US government once again to take decisive action against Israel. We condemn and reject their call for an internal enquiry into the events and call upon the US government to take this opportunity to reverse its support for Israel all other repressive regimes in the Middle East.

We reaffirm our support for Palestinian national sovereignty and demand the immediate withdrawal of Israel from all occupied territory.

 

Australia: CFMEU speaks out in favour of boycotts, divestment and sanctions

 

Andrew Ferguson, the NSW secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Mining & Energy Union (CFMEU) addresses the Sydney Gaza solidarity rally on June 5, 2010, and talks of growing support from Australian trade unions for the boycotts, divestment and sanctions campaign. He is introduced by Pip Hinman of the Stop The War Coalition.

Australia: South Coast Labour Council backs Israel boycott

June 3, 2010 -- The South Coast Labour Council has backed unions, including the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), calling for a boycott of products and goods produced by Israel in illegal settlements of occupied Palestinian territories and will be urging the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) and all trades and labour councils to follow suit. The South Coast Labour Council has also endorsed the rally in Wollongong this Saturday [June 5] to protest the murder of activists forming part of the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza.

South Coast Labour Council secretary, Arthur Rorris, said:

“We need to call this for what it is, murder on the high seas.

“Now is the time for a strong concerted effort on the part of the international community to let the Israeli leadership know that they have completely isolated themselves with their ongoing persecution and suppression of the Palestinian people.

“A boycott of Israeli goods produced in the illegal settlements is a good way for the international community to send a strong message to the Israeli leadership that humanity will not turn a blind eye to the injustice that is being inflicted on the Palestinian people.

“South Coast unions have reaffirmed the South Coast Labour Council’s long-standing policy supporting the creation of a permanent and secure Palestinian state as a necessary condition for longer term ‘peace with justice’ in the region.

“In Wollongong an urgent protest will be held on Saturday to give our community an opportunity to peacefully express their anger and send a message to Israel’s leaders."

Wollongong protest 

When: 12 noon, Saturday, June 5, 2010.

Where: Outside Telstra Building , cnr Kembla & Crown streets.

Speakers: Turkish & Palestinian community, No War Group, unions and community reps.

 

Australian Services Union NSW and ACT branch supports BDS campaign

ASU NSW and ACT Branch executive resolution

June 4, 2010 -- This Executive condemns violence in all its forms. We also condemn racism, including anti-Semitism and discrimination against individuals or people because of their race or religion. We also believe in the importance of international law and that all countries should abide by and uphold international law to ensure the human rights of all peoples are protected and not abused or undermined.  

We believe that Israel and Palestine have the right to exist as states within the borders of the 1967 UN resolution and that both states should have the right to security within their borders.

We have heard the report from the secretary on the current situation in the occupied Palestinian territories and in Gaza. We express our deep concern at the Israeli government’s actions which contravene international law, violate the human rights of Palestinians and work against the securing of a long-term peace.

We condemn the building of illegal settlements and a wall that goes beyond the 1967 borders. We also condemn the use of checkpoints within the occupied territories which humiliate and severely disrupt the economic and day to day life of Palestinians. The situation for Palestinian refugees is unacceptable and we support their right of return or just compensation.

Finally, we condemn the siege on Gaza which is having extremely serious humanitarian consequences for the 1.5 million people living in the Gaza Strip. 

As we believe that international law should be upheld, we resolve to support consumer boycotts of products made in the illegal settlements, as well as consumer boycotts of companies who assist in, or profit from, the occupation of Palestinian territories. In addition, we resolve to review our investments and divest from such companies. We believe that it is immoral for companies to profit from the violation of international law and that no support, including economic support, should be given to the illegal settlements.

We resolve to continue to participate in these boycotts and our divestment under the banner of the international BDS movement until Israel abides by international law as detailed above.

 

Labor for Palestine (USA) condemns flotilla massacre, supports worker action to boycott Israel

By Labor for Palestine

June 7, 2010

“Gaza today has become the test of our universal morality and our common humanity. During the South African anti-apartheid struggle, the world was inspired by the brave and principled actions of dockworkers unions who refused to handle South African cargo, contributing significantly to the ultimate fall of apartheid. Today, we call on you, dockworkers unions of the world, to do the same against Israel’s occupation and apartheid. This is the most effective form of solidarity to end injustice and uphold universal human rights.” – Palestinian Trade Union Movement Calls on International Dockworkers Unions to Block Loading/Offloading Israeli Ships Until Israel Complies Fully with International Law and Ends its Illegal Siege of Gaza, June 7, 2010[1]

As trade unionists in the United States, we join with labor bodies around the world to condemn Israel’s May 31 armed assault on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

To date, these include the South African Congress of Trade Unions; National Union of Mineworkers (South Africa), Irish Congress Of Trade Unions; Maritime Union of Australia; New Zealand Council of Trade Unions; International Dockworkers Council; Confederation of Revolutionary Workers’ Unions (Turkey); GSEE (Greek TUC); ADEDY (Greek public sector union federation); Trades Union International of Workers in the Building, Wood, Building Materials and Allied Industries; International Federation of Journalists; World Federation of Trade Unions; International Trade Union Confederation; International Transport Workers’ Federation; Public Services International; Unite (U.K.); Canadian Union of Postal Workers; Canadian Union of Public Employees; Education International; and US Labor Against the War.

Notwithstanding Israeli propaganda — abetted by the corporate media — the Flotilla Massacre was a premeditated act of state terrorism.

Taking place in international waters under cover of darkness, it targeted 750 unarmed volunteers from 40 countries seeking to relieve the humanitarian crisis caused by Israel’s illegal and immoral collective punishment against the 1.5 million people in Gaza. This criminal assault killed and wounded scores of aid workers, while abducting, jailing and deporting hundreds of survivors.

This crime against humanity only symbolizes a regime rooted in more than six decades of piracy, ethnic cleansing, racism, and apartheid against Palestinians and other indigenous people of the region.

Most immediately, it is a direct extension of the 2008/2009 Gaza massacre that killed 1400 people, most of them civilians, which has been condemned by the UN, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other human rights organizations, including those that are Israeli.

That Israel’s crimes nonetheless continue unabated is due entirely to support from its international sponsors. In the past ten years alone, the US government — with overwhelming bipartisan support — has given Israel $17 billion in military aid; over the next decade, it will give another $30 billion.

Thus, this attack, like Israel’s entire war on Palestine, was carried out with US-supplied naval vessels, Apache helicopters and other weapons. Once again, through its not-so-silent complicity, the Obama administration is letting Israel get away with murder.

Workers in this country pay a staggering human and financial price for US-Israeli war and occupation from Palestine to Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Iran.

Yet, top US labor officials — often without the knowledge or consent of union members — collaborate with the Histadrut, the segregated Zionist labor federation that defends every attack on Palestinian rights,[2] including the Flotilla Massacre. These same leaders invest billions from our union pension and retirement funds in State of Israel Bonds.

US labor officials’ policies directly violate the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against apartheid Israel, initiated in 2005 by Palestinian civil society — including its entire labor movement.

Inspired by the international boycott that helped topple apartheid South Africa, the campaign demands Palestinian self-determination, including an end to Israeli military occupation, the right of refugees to return, and equal rights for all throughout historic Palestine.

BDS has been endorsed by labor bodies around the world, including the trade union congresses of South Africa, Ireland, Scotland and the UK, and labor bodies in Australia, France, Canada, Norway, Catalunya, and Italy.

Just one day before the Gaza Flotilla Massacre, the University and College Union (UK) voted to “sever all relations with Histadrut, and to urge other trade unions and bodies to do likewise.”[3]

South African workers play a leading role in the BDS movement because they remember that Israel was apartheid South Africa’s closest ally, and they agree with the observation of numerous South African freedom fighters that Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is “worse than apartheid.”[4]

In February 2009, South African and Australian dockworkers refused to handle Israeli goods and the South African Congress of Trade Unions (COSATU) “call[ed] on other workers and unions to . . . do all that is necessary to ensure that they boycott all goods to and from Israel until Palestine is free.”[5]

In response to the Gaza Flotilla Massacre, the Swedish Port Workers Union has announced it will blockade Israeli ships and cargo from June 15-24. The South African dockers (SAWATU) have “salute[d] the Swedish dock workers for their blockade of all Israeli ships” and “call[ed] for an escalation of the boycott of Israeli goods and call upon our fellow trade unionists not to handle them.”[6]

Now, the entire Palestinian trade union movement, “calls on dockworkers’ unions worldwide to block Israeli maritime trade in response to Israel’s massacre of humanitarian relief workers and activists aboard the Freedom Flotilla, until Israel complies with international law and ends its illegal blockade of Gaza.”[7]

Israel deliberately carried out the Gaza Freedom Flotilla Massacre in order to silence opposition to its strangulation of Gaza. But just as the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre and the 1976 Soweto Massacre spelled the ultimate doom of South African apartheid, Israel’s attack has already had the opposite effect.

New waves of volunteers are coming forward to break the siege, which is already beginning to crack. The BDS movement is exploding. Already, it is clear that the Flotilla martyrs did not die in vain.

Just as labor solidarity played a critical role in toppling South African apartheid, it now has the potential to cripple Israeli apartheid. Therefore, we urge trade unionists in the US to call on our unions, the AFL-CIO and Change to Win to condemn the Gaza Flotilla Massacre and support the international labor BDS campaign to:

1. End US military and economic aid for, and ties with, Israel.

2. Divest from State of Israel Bonds.

3. Refuse to handle Israeli goods and cargo.

4. Break ties with all Israeli state institutions, including the Histadrut.

Notes

[1] http://www.bdsmovement.net/?q=node/712

[2] http://www.itfglobal.org/news-online/index.cfm/newsdetail/4557

[3] http://www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=1249

[4] http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/03/israel-and-apartheid-is-it-a-fair-comparison/

[5] http://links.org.au/node/888

[6] http://www.cosatu.org.za/show.php?include=docs/pr/2010/pr0604d.html&ID=3434&cat=COSATU%20Today

[7] http://www.bdsmovement.net/?q=node/712

—————–

[US trade uinionists can sign on to this statement HERE.]

Initial signers
(List in formation — ALL UNIONS LISTED FOR IDENTIFICATION ONLY. Sign on to letter)

Monadel Herzallah, President, Arab American Union Members Council, California

Larry Adams, Co-Convener, New York City Labor Against the War; Former President, NPMHU L. 300

Michael Letwin, Co-Convener, New York City Labor Against the War; Former President, UAW L. 2325/ALAA; Al-Awda NY; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network/Labor

Brenda Stokely, Co-Convener, New York City Labor Against the War; Former President, AFSCME DC 1707; Co-Chair, Million Worker March Movement

Stanley Heller, AFT L. 1547, Delegate, CT Central Labor Council

Marty Goodman, Former Executive Board Member, TWU L. 100

Steve Zeltzer, Producer, Labor Video Project

Joe Iosbaker, Executive Board, SEIU L. 73

Larry Bradshaw, Third Vice President SEIU L. 1021

Antonia Codling, Former Executive Bd. Member, UAW L. 2325/ALAA

Azalia Torres, Former Executive Bd. Member, UAW L. 2325/ALAA

Noha Arafa, ALAA/UAW L. 2325

Keith B. Sadler, UAW L. 12

Andy Griggs, United Teachers Los Angeles/AFT L. 1021; Co-Chair, California Teachers Association, Peace and Justice Caucus

Carol Gay, Convenor, NJ Labor Against War; EVP, NJ Industrial Union Council

Anthony Arnove, National Writers Union/UAW L. 1981

Dr. Simona Sharoni, Associate Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies, UUP, SUNY, Plattsburgh, NY

Michael Yates, AFT; Adjunct Professor, UMass-Amherst Labor Studies

Manzar Foroohar, Local Board, San Luis Obispo Chapter, California Faculty Association

Mary Scully, IUE L. 201, Lynn, MA (ret.)

Dr. Nagesh Rao, TCNJ Federation of Teachers, AFT L. 2364

Sherna Berger Gluck, Former Vice President, CFA-SEIU L. 1983

Dave Welsh, Delegate, San Francisco Labor Council

Dennis Kortheuer, California Faculty Association

Howard Lenow, Union Attorney; American Jews for a Just Peace

Dan Kaplan, Executive Secretary, AFT L. 1493, the San Mateo (CA) Community College Federation of Teachers

Jerry Silberman, Senior Staff Representative, Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals, AFL-CIO

Mike Gimbel, Chairperson, Labor-Community Unity Committee, AFSCME DC 37 L. 375

James Holstun, UB Center Chapter, United University Professions, NYSUT, AFT

Wren Osborn, Associate Member, United Steelworkers of America

Bill Bachmann, APWU L. 10

Eric Robson, Steward, AFSCME L. 171

Elizabeth Hauser, North Thurston Education Association

Mark S. Clinton, Massachusetts Community College Council, NEA

Donald Dinelli, NEA-CTA-OEA

Sam Weinstein, Former President, UWUA L. 132; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network/Labor

Roland Sheppard, Retired BA, Painters L. 4

Steve Ongerth, IWW Bay Area General Membership Branch and Executive Board Member, San Francisco Bay Area IBU-ILWU

Charles Smith, AFSCME L. 444; Delegate, Alameda Central Labor Council

Janice Rothstein, AFSCME L. 3299

Tiffany Yee, Steward, UAW L. 2322

Carole Seligman, South San Francisco Classroom Teachers Association

Sameerah Ahmad, UAW L. 2322, Graduate Employee Organization (GEO), UMass-Amherst

Jen Bills, Region 67, IEA-NEA

Lee Sustar, National Writers Union/UAW L. 1981

Lorrie Beth Slonsky, Retired Paramedic, San Francisoco Fire Department, SEIU L. 1021 retiree

Frank Couget, National Association of Letter Carriers

Sabina Virgo, Founding and Past President, AFSCME L. 2620

Carl Gentile, National Representative, American Federation of Government Employees (AFL-CIO)

Alex Kantrowitz, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, L. 700

Blanche Bebb, Retired SEIU L. 250 Executive Board and Vice President SF

Robert Price, AFT L. 2121

Steve Terry, ALAA/UAW L. 2325

Moises Montoya, IFPTE L. 21

Nancy Reiko Kato UPTC-CWA 9119, L. 1

Toni Mendicino, CUE L. 3, UC Berkeley

Judy Greenspan, United Teachers Of Richmond UTR

Jon Sternberg, CNA

Donna Carter, CNA

Joe Blum, Retired Business Agent, Boilermakers L. 6

Matthew Klein, Bricklayers L. 3

Edith M Hallberg, Berkeley Federation Of Teachers BFT, Retired

Mark Airgood, OEA

Bill Preston, President, American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), L. 17, AFL-CIO

Shelley Ettinger, AFT L. 3882; former delegate, New York City Central Labor Council

Kate Zaidan, Industrial Workers of the World

Don DeBar, WBAI Unpaid Staff Organizing Committee

George dePue, former organizer, District 65/UAW

International endorsers

Mike Treen, National Director, Unite Union, New Zealand

Tyler Shipley, Dept. of Political Science, York University, Toronto, Canada; CUPE L. 3903

David Heap, University of Western Ontario Faculty Association; Labour For Palestine, Canada

Sally Elabasery, Teaching Assistant; CUPE L. 3903

Brian Kelly, UCU Committee Member, Belfast, Northern Ireland; formerly Int’l Brotherhood of Carpenters L. 33, Boston and IUMSWA L. 25, East Boston

Ross Ashley, SEIU L. 1, Canada

 

 

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Britain’s largest academic union cuts ties with Histadrut

By JONNY PAUL

02/06/2010

Jerusalem Post

UCU conference also passes motion in support of Palestinian academic trade unionists.

LONDON – Britain’s largest trade union for academics and academic-related staff in higher education voted to support the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel and sever ties with the Histadrut, at its annual conference in Manchester on Sunday.

The University and College Union (UCU), which has around 120,000 members, voted to support a motion to sever all relations with the Histadrut and to urge other trade unions and bodies to follow suit. The union also rejected a motion condemning the UCU for inviting a South African trade unionist charged with inciting hatred against the Jewish community to speak at a union event last year.

The initiator of the motion, pro-Palestinian activist and Brighton University lecturer Tom Hickey, said that the Histadrut had supported “the Israeli assault on civilians in Gaza” in January 2009, and “did not deserve the name of a trade union organization.”

An amendment to this motion, proposed by an Academic Friends of Israel member, sought to “form a committee which represents all views within UCU to review relations with the Histadrut” and report back in a year. However, the amendment was resoundingly defeated.

“I am very disappointed that my amendment, which would have ensured a comprehensive review of the links with the Histadrut, was defeated, but since congress has been ‘ethnically cleaned’ in recent years of delegates opposed to boycotts, it was to be expected,” Academic Friends of Israel director Ronnie Fraser said.

The boycott motion invokes a “call from the Palestinian Boycott National Committee” for “an isolation of Israel while it continues to act in breach of international law” and calls to “campaign actively” against Israel’s trade agreement with the European Union – the EU-Israel Association Agreement.

The union also passed a motion, raised by its National Executive Committee, to give practical support for Palestinian academic trade unionists. The motion condemns the failure of the international community to confront the Israeli government “over the humanitarian disaster it is continuing to perpetrate in Gaza, and the continued development of illegal settlements in the West Bank.”

As a result, the union will work closely with the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees and other organizations that support a boycott of Israel. This includes the Scottish Trade Union Congress, which at its annual conference in April voted to reaffirm its support of the BDS campaign and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), a major player in the BDS campaign and advocate of a one-state solution.

In December, the UCU invited Bongani Masuku, international secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), to a forum to discuss the BDS campaign against Israel.

In the weeks prior to his invitation, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) found Masuku guilty of using inflammatory, threatening and insulting statements against the South African Jewish community, following threats he issued against Jewish businesses and supporters of Israel, and his pronouncements that Jews who supported Israel must leave the country.

Asked at the time whether it was acceptable for the UCU to give Masuku a platform, the union said the sources were “not credible,” suggesting the allegations were unsubstantiated.

“We don’t comment on stuff doing the rounds on the Internet and in the blogosphere, and never will,” a UCU spokesman told The Jerusalem Post at the time.

Reporting from the conference, anti-Israel activist Mike Cushman said, “[We] squashed Zionist smears on COSATU representative Bongani Masoko. The Zionists tried to... attack Bongani and failed miserably.”

Cushman, a UCU member from the London School of Economics and a leading supporter of an Israel boycott, has previously sailed to Gaza and met with Hamas. He had applied for a place on the flotilla that went to Gaza, but did not make the final cut.

He said the union would also debate an emergency motion on Monday’s flotilla raid, referring to it as “Israeli piracy and murder.”

“We will call for an end to the moves to limit universal jurisdiction so that Israeli ministers, generals and admirals would still not be able to travel freely without answering for their crimes,” Cushman said.

Another motion committed the UCU to starting the investigatory process associated with imposing a boycott on the Ariel University Center.

“By reaffirming its divisive boycott policies, it is clear that [the UCU] BDS campaign’s first target is severing links with the Histadrut, which the boycotters see as a close ally of the Israeli government,” the Academic Friends of Israel’s Fraser said.

“We can only hope that any meetings the Histadrut will have with the TUC [the UK’s major trade union] over the next few months will have a positive outcome, and the TUC will then be able to reaffirm its links with the Histadrut when it reports to its annual congress in September,” he added.

“The UCU also approved resolutions to start their process to boycott Ariel University College and also to ensure that any action taken will be within the constraints of the law,” Fraser continued. “How they propose to implement a boycott and remain within the law is not clear, as the union legal advice they received two years ago... clearly
stated that any boycott of Israeli academics was discriminatory.”

Meanwhile, Ramallah-based campaign group the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel expressed its “profound appreciation for the courageous positions in support of Palestinian rights” taken by UCU.

“The UCU has again firmly and decisively established its unwavering commitment to the Palestinian civil society’s campaign for BDS against Israel until it complies with its obligations under international law and recognizes the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people,” the group said in a statement on its Web site.

“The UCU has today confirmed its established position that it is legitimate to denounce Israel’s oppressive policies and to hold the state and its complicit institutions accountable for human rights abuses, war crimes and ethnic cleansing,” it added.

Other UK unions and federations have voted to support the BDS campaign against Israel as well. In April, both the Scottish Trade Union Congress and Irish Congress of Trade Unions reaffirmed their commitment to the campaign. In September, the British TUC launched a campaign with the PSC to implement a boycott of Israel’s products and services as a first step toward a more comprehensive boycott campaign.

Britain's largest union Unite votes to boycott Israel

Britain's largest union, Unite, has unanimously passed a motion to boycott Israeli companies at its first policy conference in Manchester on Wednesday.

The motion, which passed unanimously, called the union "to vigorously promote a policy of divestment from Israeli companies", while a boycott of Israeli goods and services will be "similar to the boycott of South African goods during the era of apartheid".

Reflecting the University and College Union's call at their Manchester conference earlier in the week, Unite will similarly host a "Palestine conference" to support trade union action against Israel.

But at odds with the UCU's call to sever links with Israel's trade union movement Histadrut, Unite delegates voted to keep solidarity links. Stephen Scott, director of Trade Union Friends of Israel, said that indicates a split within the pro-boycott movement, many of whom realise such a call "is all very dangerous stuff.

"It would be huge for another trade union movement to expel them even when they are a democratic organisation and pass all the criteria of being a member of the international trade unions."

Nevertheless, Mr Scott added: "All round, you now have a major player supporting the boycott and the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, and there is no resistance."

Irish union solidarity with Palestine (before flotilla attack)

April 18, 2010

Irish Trade Union solidarity with Palestine

From Jews sans Frontieres

On Friday there was one of the most significant events yet in Palestinian solidarity work in Ireland. The Irish Congress of Trade Unions held a conference on Palestine/Israel and on how to build solidarity links. It was reported and attacked in the media and, in a nutshell, it was a very successful conference – one that will lay the basis of future union campaigning on Palestine. The purpose of the conference was to discuss the implementation of the 2009 ICTU resolution which called for a comprehensive boycott, divestment and sanctions on Israel

The main success lay in it being held the way it was – with senior leaders from all major Irish unions present, and the fact it took place in Dublin Castle, a venue which was donated by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs for the event. All of this signalled the seriousness with which this boycott campaign is held by ICTU and associated unions and their determination to place it centre stage. This display of unity was no mean feat. After 20 years of partnership arrangements with the government, Irish unions are in turmoil. The recent economic collapse has led to the government and private sector implementing brutal wage cuts, recruitment freezes and job losses. While there is considerable disagreements among union leaders on how to respond to this attack on working people, there were no serious disagreements in Dublin Castle on Friday – Palestine is clearly an issue on which Irish trade unionists can unite.

The morning session was opened by Jack O’Connor, president of ICTU, followed by Micheál Martin, our minister of Foreign Affairs. While Martin expressed (very politely) his disagreement with boycott, he did say that he also opposed upgrading Israel’s relationship with the EU. This of course raises Ireland’s position with regard to Israel acceding to the OECD, with many speakers saying that the trade unions should use their position to persuade our government to veto Israeli membership of the OECD.

The highlight of the morning session was Patricia McKeown, previous president of ICTU. In her speech she outline the reasons for boycotting Israel, talked of the ICTU trip to Palestine and sharply criticised the Histadrut – a speech which received a standing ovation. We also had Michael Letwin of US Labor for Palestine (and IJAN) effectively rebutting the US Jewish Labour Committee who gave an anti-boycott position.

The highlight of the afternoon was undoubtedly the speech by the Histadrut representative– Avital Shapira-Shabirow. While the IPSC fully supports the BNC and PGFTU position of boycotting the Histadrut, I have to admit that we were delighted with Avital and her speech. She perfectly encapsulated the arrogance and contempt with which Israelis hold those that they disagree with. Within the first two minutes she raised the accusation of anti-Semitism and after that, in a speech that parroted the Israeli embassy’s statement on the conference, it was all downhill for her, uphill for us.

In fact she accused ICTU of being linked in with that notoriously radical group – the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign – an attack that immediately made us the most popular people in the room. She then advised everybody to look at our website – (www.ipsc.ie by the way). I have to admit I felt a bit nervous here, wondering what we’d be accused of. Well she accused us of… (drumroll)… supporting the right of return for Palestinians. Seriously, this was her accusation – supporting the right of return. She then went on to claim that supporting this basic human right for Palestinians meant supporting Hamas. This smear might wash in the US but was greeted with incredulity and frank derision by the conference. It got better – to prove how justified the Israelis were in massacring Gazans in 2009, she showed a video of a British general who praised Israel’s conduct – a general who as part of his credentials proudly boasted of having served in Northern Ireland. This to a room, about a third of whom came from the North. You couldn’t make it up.

The Histadrut was followed by Omar Barghouti of PACBI and Raed Sadeq of the Democracy and Worker’s Right Center in Palestine, both of whom spoke effectively about boycott, and shredded the Histadrut argument that they are ‘the best friend of the Palestinian people’. While it was a shame that all the international trade union representatives from PGFTU, COSATU, Scottish TUC and TUC couldn’t come as a result of the volcano (and an aside – why is there no conspiracy theorising about the Icelandic volcano yet – don’t these people care any more?), the Palestinian speakers who made it were very happy with the conference. When I was speaking at one stage to Raed Sadeq there were literally tears of joy in his eyes because of the level of solidarity for Palestine expressed in the conference. The task of course is to move beyond expressing solidarity to practicing it, and from what I saw yesterday, there is a serious intention in ICTU to do it.

The real value of the conference lay in the networking and liaising outside the conference room. The IPSC line is that unions should first and foremost inform and divest - inform their members of the boycott line, and divest from Israeli companies, CRH and Veolia. The trade unionists received this message very positively, and it is our intention to follow up on this. Everyone who made this conference happen – especially Trade Union Friends of Palestine who helped drive the process – deserves the highest praise. It's rare that we can be so unequivocally positive about something when talking about Palestine, but this conference has helped move Palestine solidarity to a new level in the unions.

Electronic Intifada: Global boycotts of Israel intensify

Global boycotts of Israel intensify after bloody Flotilla attack

Adri Nieuwhof, The Electronic Intifada, 4 June 2010

Protesters take to the streets in Philadelphia, US.

Israel's bloody attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla on 31 May killing at least nine and injuring dozens of activists carrying humanitarian aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip, has already intensified global actions for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it respects international law and human rights, including endorsement by major trade unions in several countries.

The Gaza Freedom Flotilla was on an honorable, peaceful mission in solidarity with the Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip, challenging the Israeli-imposed blockade that has deprived them of basic necessities and the ability to travel outside their densely populated enclave for four years.

In response to the attack, civil society movements around the world organized protests in dozens of cities. In the Arab world, 285 civil society organizations united around a statement condemning the crime committed against the relief convoy, demanding an end to the blockade and the turning over of Israeli war criminals to international justice. In Palestine, the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) declared 5 June 2010 an emergency Global BDS Day of Action, the 43rd anniversary of the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

The BNC called for increased pressure on governments to start implementing trade sanctions and arms embargoes, and asking trade unions to refuse to handle Israeli goods. The Swedish Port Workers Union decided to blockade all Israeli ships and cargo to and from Israel effective from midnight 15 June to 24 June. The union's chairman Bjorn Borg told media that it is unclear how many vessels would be affected, but that the most frequent cargos coming from Israel were fruit, while those going to Israel were often industrial products from Sweden.

The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) also responded immediately. The union appealed for "an escalation of the boycott of Israeli goods and call[ed] upon our fellow trade unionists not to handle them." And, citing the lead of Swedish dockworkers, called on its own members "not to allow any Israeli ship to dock or unload in any South African port."

Also in South Africa, the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) decided, by a unanimous vote of its Central Executive Committee on 4 June, to "immediately work towards" making every municipality in South Africa "an Apartheid Israel free zone" by ensuring "that there are no commercial, academic, cultural, sporting or other linkages whatsoever with the Israeli regime." ("SAMWU Declares, Every Municipality an Apartheid Israel Free Zone!," 4 June 2010). UNITE the largest union in the United Kingdom voted unanimously at its conference in Manchester "to vigorously promote a policy of divestment from Israeli companies" and promote boycott of Israeli goods and services "similar to the boycott of South African goods during the era of apartheid" ("Unite votes to boycott Israel," The Jewish Chronicle, 4 June 2010).

The UN Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Richard Falk, also expressed his support for BDS against Israel for its "murderous behavior."

Roar Flathen, chairman of the largest Norwegian trade union federation (LO) responded to Israel's Flotilla massacre by calling on the Norwegian State Pension Fund, the third largest in the world, to divest from all Israeli companies, and demanded the recall of the Norwegian ambassador to Israel. Norwegian pension funds had previously announced divestment from certain Israeli arms companies.

Following the attacks opinion polls in Norway show a major increase in support for BDS. The number respondents planning to boycott Israeli products had increased from 9.5 to 43 percent. Norwegian minister of education and leader of the Socialist Left Party, Kristin Halvorsen, called for an international boycott of arms trade with Israel following Norway's existing policy.

There is also an intensification of the sporting boycott as Swedish young footballers refused to play in Israel, following a similar decision of the Turkish youth football team who were in Israel at the time of the Flotilla attack but canceled their planned match and returned home.

The Swedish Football Association (SFA) formally requested that European soccer's governing body UEFA cancel Sweden's under-21 match, because they felt morally compelled to do so. However, UEFA did not give in to the request, because there are no UN sanctions in place. SFA chairman, Lars-Ake Lagrell, told Swedish radio that he is not worried about reactions or demonstrations against Israeli players in the return match fixed at Old Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg on 3 September 2010. But if precedent is a guide their could be large protests: thousands of Swedes protested the Davis Cup tennis match against Israel in Malmo in March 2009.

The civil society response has been accompanied by an unusually strong reaction from governments as well, which may indicate that public pressure is starting to force a change of policy. Denmark, France, Greece, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Egypt, and South Africa among others summoned Israeli ambassadors to express their condemnation of the attack. Due to "unforeseen circumstances," Israel's ambassador to Ireland postponed a planned appearance before the parliamentary foreign affairs committee which wanted not only answers about the Israeli actions, but also to question him about Israel's intentions concerning the Irish-owned ship the Rachel Corrie which is still en route to Gaza with humanitarian aid and several prominent peace activists aboard, including Irish Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire.

Meanwhile, Greece suspended joint military exercises with Israel and postponed a visit by Israel's air force chief. Turkey withdrew its ambassador from Tel Aviv, and its deputy minister, Bulent Arinc, canceled three joint military drills. On 3 June, the energy minister announced that Turkey had suspended all energy and water projects with Israel.

Nicaragua responded to the attack with the suspension of diplomatic relations with Israel. The country reiterated its support for the Palestinian people and urged an end to the blockade on the Gaza Strip. South African president Jacob Zuma said in radio interview that if any other country had undertaken action like the attack on the aid flotilla it would be regarded as a pariah. On 3 June, South Africa recalled its ambassador from Israel to demonstrate its strongest condemnation of the attack.

All these actions indicate growing support for the sentiment expressed by Scottish writer Iain Banks who emphasized the need for academic and cultural boycott of Israel. Writing in The Guardian the renowned science fiction author argued that the best way for international artists, writers and academics to "convince Israel of its moral degradation and ethical isolation" is "simply by having nothing more to do with this outlaw state."

Adri Nieuwhof is a consultant and human rights advocate based in Switzerland.

Photo credit: Ahd Child.

Unison bans Trade Union Friends of Israel from conference

Union breaks pledge over banning Israelis
By Robyn Rosen
Created 27 May 2010 - 3:16pm

* UK news
* Israel boycott

The trade union Unison has refused the Trade Union Friends of Israel (TUFI) a stall at its annual conference, despite assurances that last year's ban would be lifted.

TUFI, which aims to improve trade union relationships between Israel and Palestine, has run a stall at the conference previously, but last year was refused due to a "security threat" following the Gaza conflict.

After the conference, TUFI was assured it would be considered this year.

Stephen Scott, director of TUFI, said: "We are disappointed that for the second year running we have not been allowed to exhibit.

"We have always striven to put across a moderate trade union case for Israeli unions and their willingness to work with the Palestinian trade unions.

"We are also exhibiting at other unions this year and have had a good reception."

But a Unison spokeswoman said that there was only space at the conference for 20 out of its 80 affiliated organisations.

"We're not affiliated to TUFI, nor are we doing any work with them, so priority goes to those we are currently working with," she said.
Source
URL: http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/32226/union-breaks-pledge-over-banning...

Zionists whine over UCU bans on apartheid Israel

Call for UCU chief to quit over boycott
By Jonathan Kalmus
Created 3 Jun 2010 - 3:04pm

* UK news
* Israel boycott
* Manchester
* University and College Union

The Stop the Boycott campaign has called for the general secretary of the University and College Union, Sally Hunt, to resign from her TUC position after the UCU passed a string of anti-Israel resolutions at its Manchester conference last weekend.

Jeremy Newmark, joint head of the Stop the Boycott campaign, said: "Sally Hunt still holds the international portfolio on the Trades Union Congress's General Council. She cannot hold this post, which requires her to work closely with the Histadrut, while her union is working to undermine them. If she has any honour, Sally Hunt must resign her TUC portfolio immediately."

In three separate motions, UCU showed its support for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. Delegates voted for a dedicated annual conference on BDS and the creation of a website and research centre to investigate "commercial, cultural and academic complicity with Israeli breaches of international law".

A boycott of the West Bank Ariel College will be investigated. Relations with Israeli trade union body, the Histadrut, are to be severed.

The leading motion, proposed by UCU executive member Tom Hickey, said any action would be carried out "within the constraints of the existing law". But the hour-long heated debate confirmed fears that campaigners are still seeking a blanket boycott on Israelis, a strategy deemed unlawful in 2008.

Ronnie Fraser, of Academic Friends of Israel, told delegates: "If you think the UCU should sever links with the Histadrut just because it is an Israeli organisation, then shame on you."

Oxford's Professor Michael Yudkin's motion to condemn the UCU's invitation to Bongani Masuku - who spoke at a conference UCU organised last year to discuss Israel boycotts - failed. Mr Masuku is fighting claims by the South African Human Rights Commission that he made antisemitic remarks and incited violence against Jews.
Source
URL: http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/32537/call-ucu-chief-quit-over-boycott

WFTU calls 3-day ban of Israeli ships

WORLD FEDERATION OF TRADE UNIONS
Athens, June 8th 2010

Solidarity with the Palestinian People
Three-day Strike for Israel commercial vessels

Dear colleagues, trade unionists and workers,

The Secretariat of the World Federation of Trade Unions has today decided to call a strike for three days at all ports of the world against Israel commercial vessels to or from Israel.

We call on all naval workers, dock workers and all workers and all unions in the ports to refuse to load or unload ships coming or heading for Israel.

The TUI Transport of the WFTU is at the forefront of this strike.
This action is a practical demonstration of the militant solidarity with the Palestinian People. This is a proof of militant solidarity against the blockade of the Gaza Strip.

In this way we express our demand for an independent and democratic Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. Furthermore, we demand the immediate lifting of the blockade on the Gaza Strip.

We condemn the killings of nine Turkish activists and once again we express our sincere condolences to their families.

The world working class watches with dismay the tactics of the UN and the hypocrisy of the European Union. At the same time, we are aware of the inter-capitalist competition and the dangers it creates for the peace in the region of Southeast Mediterranean.

Moreover, it is clear that the Israeli government could not carry out these crimes with impunity without the support and encourage of the U.S. and its allies.

Colleagues, trade union leaders at the ports of the world,

No one must remain silent! No one must remain neutral!
We must act now because we are all Palestinians!

You decide the dates in the month of June for the three days of strike-boycott against the Israel policy. You choose the best way to react, the best way of showing solidarity with the heroic struggle of the Palestinian People. Let´s all act now.

3-DAY STRIKE IN ALL PORTS
- Stop the blockade of Gaza now
- free, independent and democratic Palestinian Sate

THE SECRETARIAT

Messages of solidarity: General Union of Palestinian Workers e-mail: mohammed_yahya2007@yahoo.c
om
Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs : feedback@mfa.gov.il
TUI Transport e-mail: info@tui-transport.org
WFTU e-mail: info@wftucentral.org
European Union e-mail: COMM-SPP-HRVP-ASHTON@ec.europa.eu
UN e-mail: nationalinstitutions@ohchr.org

40, Zan Moreas street, Athens 11745 GREECE
Tel. +302109214417, +302109236700, Fax +30210 9214517
www.wftucentral.org E-mails : info@wftucentral.org, international@wftucentral.org

40% of Norwegians: 'Ban Israeli products'

Fri, 04 Jun 2010 04:36:11 GMT

http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=128989

Following the bloody attack on the Freedom Flotilla, a survey shows that 40% of Norwegians want Israeli products to be boycotted.

According to the survey conducted by the InFact Institute and published Wednesday, 9.5 percent of Norwegians are already boycotting Israeli products, AFP reported.

The news comes a day after the Norwegian Health Minister and leader of the country's Socialist party, Kristin Halvorsen, called on the international community to ban arms trade with Israel.

On Monday, Norway summoned the Israeli ambassador to Oslo and slammed Israel's deadly attack on the Freedom Flotilla as an unacceptable act. Norway has also called for an immediate and independent international inquiry.

Three Norwegians were among the international activists in the flotilla and are now held in custody by Israel.

The Gaza Freedom Flotilla, which was carrying food and medical supplies to Gaza, came under fire early Monday morning by Israeli naval forces in international waters more than 150km off the coast of Gaza.

Twenty international activists are reported to have been killed and 50 others injured in the incident.

ASH/JG//MSA

Norwegian Port Union Boycotts Israeli Ships

Sunday June 13, 2010 02:20 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies
Responding to calls by the Palestinian Workers Union and other calls by different workers unions and organizations around the world, the Norwegian Ports Union decided to join its Swedish counterpart in boycotting all Israeli ships starting on June 15.

The workers will not be loading or unloading Israeli ships docking in their ports.
The decision came coherent with the stances of ports workers, while polls in Norway revealed that nearly half of the Norwegians support this act.

The Port Workers Union in Norway said that the boycott would be for two weeks, while the Swedish boycott would continue until June 24.

The Palestinian Workers Union voiced appeals to Arab, regional and international workers union to take serious stances against the Israeli violations, and its deadly attack against the Freedom Flotilla leading to dozens of casualties among nonviolent international activists transporting aid supplies to the besieged Gaza Strip.

Furthermore, workers unions in South Africa, which is an affiliate with the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), also joined the calls for boycotting Israel but, so far, did not declare an actual boycott of Israel.

Workers Unions in Palestine welcomed the stances of Norwegian, Swedish, Greek, British, Canadian and South African unions in rejection and denouncing the Israeli attack against the Palestinians and the activists, and the ongoing illegal Israeli siege on Gaza.

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