Scottish TUC calls for a boycott of Israel

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The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) overwhelmingly endorsed a recommendation to boycott Israeli goods and produce as well as “review” its relationship with the Histadrut ) yesterday at its annual congress, reports Trade Union Friends of Israel.

This follows a two-year “consultation” process by the STUC into the merits of a boycott, sanctions and disinvestment (BDS) campaign against Israel.

Commenting on the STUC’s decision, Roger Lyons, Chair of Trade Union Friends of Israel (TUFI), said:

“It’s a sad day when fellow trade unionists take such a one-sided, totally unproductive approach to the Israeli-Palestinian situation. Instead of calling for disruptive boycotts, we believe that the British trade union movement should be aiding their Israeli and Palestinian counterparts in lending practical solidarity and support for positive co-operation. All this boycott will do is divide the two communities further.”

“We, at TUFI, will continue to work with progressive unions across the world who are endeavoring to work for trade union values with both Israelis and Palestinians”.

A new global movement is born

TULIP's launch at New York's City Hall, May 2009.  Pictured: AWU President Paul Howes, RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum, and NYC City Council Members Melinda Katz and Eric Goia

TULIP's launch at New York's City Hall, May 2009. Pictured: AWU President Paul Howes, RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum, and NYC City Council Members Melinda Katz and Eric Goia

Trade union leaders from three continents have announced the launch of a new global movement “to challenge the apologists for Hamas and Hizbollah in the labour movement” and to fight for a two-state solution to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

The movement is called TULIP – Trade Unions Linking Israel and Palestine.

The leaders are Paul Howes, national secretary of the Australian Workers Union, Stuart Appelbaum,  President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (USA), and Michael J. Leahy, OBE, General Secretary of Community (United Kingdom).

A major article published today in The Australian sets out the case for the launch of TULIP.  Read it in full here.

They have issued a founding statement and invite those who agree with it to join TULIP online.

Global online campaign launched to support East Jerusalem workers

LabourStart has launched a global online campaign in support of 21 East Jerusalem workers who have been mistreated by the Israeli Antiquities Authority.  The campaign was initiated by the Workers Advice Center and full details – including the ability to send off messages of protest – is here.

COSATU: Powerful Jewish lobby bullied US into boycotting Durban II

cosatu“Many governments and people are intimidated into perpetual silence by a powerful Zionist lobby all over the world” says the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).  Repeating a number of classical anti-Jewish themes, the COSATU statement goes on to say that “it is extremely disappointing that we still have our global institutions held hostage by those who refuse to acknowledge apartheid and seek to legitimise racist occupation of other people’s lands.

Scottish TUC delegation reports on visit to Israel and Palestine

Not good news. From the conclusion of the 36 page report:

“In the light of what we witnessed and heard in our meetings in Israel and the Occupied Territories, it is the delegation’s view that the General Council should recommend to the Annual Congress the need to take a position of supporting boycott and disinvestments, and calling for sanctions against Israel because of the Israeli state’s violation of human rights.”

ITUC: Unions should take part in anti-Israel conference

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), representing 168 million workers in 155 countries and territories, with 311 national affiliates, is calling on trade unions to participate in the “Durban II” conference which is being boycotted by a number of democratic countries because of its anti-Israel character.

AFT Reiterates Opposition to Academic Boycott of Israel

In the aftermath of the war in Gaza, a number of Canadian and American professors and organizers have called for an academic boycott of Israel. These initiatives are similar to efforts by a group of British academics earlier this decade intended to block Israeli universities and professors from participating in academic conferences and other forums outside of Israel. (An article from Inside Higher Education provides some background and history on the movement to boycott Israeli academic institutions.)