On Tuesday this week, a fringe meeting called by Trade Union Friends of Israel (TUFI) and TULIP was held in Brighton at the hotel next door to the conference centre where Unite the union was holding its annual event. Why not in the conference centre itself? Because Unite, unlike sister unions GMB and CWU, refused to allow TUFI to have a stand or hold its meeting in the centre. Pushed to the sidelines, TUFI decided nevertheless to hold a meeting and to distribute its new booklet on the Histadrut.
Speakers included MP John Woodcock, chairman of Labour Friends of Israel; Roger Lyons, former president of the Trades Union Congress and currently chair of TUFI; Professor Alan Johnson, author of the pamphlet; Eric Lee from TULIP; and Alon Roth Snir, deputy ambassador of Israel to the UK.
Participants in the meeting included Unite delegates, local residents in Brighton, and even at least one foreign guest of Unite, from the USA.
There was a lively and frank exchange of views.
Eric Lee of TULIP said: