OPINIONS

Tue 19 Sep 2023 9:16 am - Jerusalem Time

Trade unions in many countries support a boycott of the occupation

The efforts of human rights, professional and labor unions continue in various countries of the world to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people and support their legitimate national struggle, in order to liberate their homeland from the Israeli occupation, and to extract their national rights to return, independence and the right to self-determination, and in order to impose a boycott on the Israeli occupying state and the separation regime. Racism and apartheid, which it works to embody in the occupied Palestinian territories.


In this context, the Trade Union Confederation (TUC) in England and Wales, which includes 5.5 million members from 48 unions, last Thursday 9/14/2023, issued a resolution confirming its commitment to supporting the Palestinian struggle for freedom, including supporting the right to boycott. . The resolution stressed the necessity of rejecting any attempt to delegitimize the Palestinian call to boycott Israel, withdraw investments from it, and impose sanctions on it (BDS), and deprive the Palestinians of the right to appeal to people of conscience around the world for support.


The trade unions in Britain and Wales announced their support for the boycott of Israel, through a proposal submitted by the National Education Union at the Trade Union Conference in Liverpool condemning the occupation’s oppression of the Palestinian people and calling for support for the “Right to Boycott” coalition. The proposal called for political opposition to the anti-boycott draft law on economic activity for public bodies that had begun to be scrutinized for approval, and in that the proposal noted that “if the law is passed in Parliament, it will make it difficult to boycott Israel.”


The British government had submitted a draft law last June, prohibiting state institutions and bodies from boycotting the Israeli occupation in any way under the pretext of “inciting societal tensions and anti-Semitism,” which sparked the anger of British activists and organizations supporting the Palestinian cause. Under the draft law, “publicly funded state institutions will be subject to legal accountability and will face large fines if they respond to boycott and divestment campaigns against foreign countries and territories,” including the Israeli occupation.


The justifications for the resolution issued by the Trade Union Confederation (TUC) stated: “We do not accept violence against innocent civilians or other human rights violations by one of the parties to the conflict. The resolution calls on the union to support the use of BDS methods in order to strike the economic sectors from which Israel benefits. It will also support a boycott This is the case until Israel stops building settlements in the occupied territories and enters into negotiations in a good atmosphere with the Palestinians with the aim of achieving the establishment of a Palestinian state with regional contiguity and true sovereignty.”


The union said, "Despite the success of Canada and other countries in ensuring respect for human rights in the past by imposing economic and political sanctions, as happened against the apartheid regime in South Africa, the Liberal and Conservative parties have recently approved a draft condemning Canadians' attempts to promote the movement." Boycott Israel.


The largest labor union in Canada, which has more than 310,000 members from various sectors, and is one of the most influential unions in Canadian political life, adopted a decision to boycott Israel in September 2017 at the “Unifor” conference, which was held under the slogan “Solidarity for a better world, at its annual conference held in the province of Manitoba. The union’s decision stipulated its support for the “Boycott Israel Movement” (BDS) until Israel stops its colonial-settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian territories that began in 1967.” It also The resolution stated opposition to all efforts aimed at criminalizing, prohibiting, or undermining forms of expression and support for the BDS movement.


The success of the Federation of British and Welsh Trade Unions, and before it the Federation of Trade Unions in Canada, in issuing decisions to support a boycott of the Israeli occupation state, despite the attempts made by the official and governmental institutions in the two countries to issue laws and legislation that prevent this, is considered a great success for the movement. The boycott and its right to express democratic expression in demanding the imposition of the boycott on the occupying state, and this means supporting the struggle of the Palestinian people against the occupation and the apartheid system that it seeks to embody in the occupied Palestinian territories.


Also, the support of Unifor in Canada to boycott the Israeli occupation is “the best evidence of the failure of the efforts of the occupation government and its supporters to undermine the boycott movement, as the movement continues to expand and achieve distinguished successes around the world.” This important support from Canada “strengthens the steadfastness of our workers and confirms that solidarity With Palestinian workers, it means primarily boycotting the occupying state and its economy, which is based on destroying and besieging the Palestinian economy and depriving Palestinians of job opportunities in their homeland.”


It is noteworthy that global union solidarity was and remains one of the most important forms of support for the BDS movement. Many unions and national union federations around the world have announced their support for the boycott movement, including: the South African Trade Union Congress, the Central Trade Union Confederation in Brazil, the Irish Trade Union Congress, the United Kingdom Trade Union Congress, the Belgian General Confederation of Trade Unions, and the French trade unions. The General Federation of Trade Unions in Norway, the Canadian Postal Workers Union and others, and this in itself constitutes support for the Palestinian cause and the struggle of the Palestinian people against the occupation and the Israeli apartheid system in the occupied Palestinian territories.

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Trade unions in many countries support a boycott of the occupation

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