American unions raise millions for the Rabin Center in Tel Aviv

Some unions talk about boycotts and sanctions and disinvestment.  Others engage — get involved with constructive efforts to build peace between Israelis and Palestinians.  American unions have played just such a constructive role for many years and according to this article from JTA, they still do.

“Members of U.S. labor unions raised $1.4 million for the Yitzhak Rabin Center in Tel Aviv last year, 45 percent of the center’s total 2012 fundraising. Since 2005, American unions have raised $12 million for the center.

“Labor leaders say programs at the center, which celebrates the slain Labor Party prime minister who signed the 1993 Oslo Accords and promotes dialogue among Israel’s cultural groups, meshes with their core values.

“Rabin’s ‘commitment to peace in not just Israel but the world is amazing,’ said J. David Cox, national president of the American Federation of Government Employees. ‘He was criticized for his willingness to make compromises, but life is full of compromises. That’s how you arrive at a solution.'”

The article goes on to note that “organized labor, particularly in Europe, has overwhelmingly shifted its sympathies to the Palestinians, routinely voting in favor of boycotting Israeli goods or divesting from Israeli companies. But American union leaders say they remain committed to Israel, supportive of what they see as a perseverant Western country with an ethic of social justice.”