URGENT: Updated Trade Union Call: Stop the War on Gaza: No Arms for Apartheid Israel

25 Jul

To endorse the Labor for Palestine statement below (with 43 initial signers), please email your name, labor affiliation/organization (including local number, if any), union position (if any), and location to laborforpalestine.us

Due to the urgent situation, the deadline for additional signers is Friday, July 25, 2014, 9am EST.

Please also forward this message privately to others (but do not yet post publicly) who may be interested.

Thanks,

Michael Letwin
Labor for Palestine
New York City Labor Against the War

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unnamed

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Trade Unionist Call:
Stop the War on Gaza: No Arms for Apartheid Israel — Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions!
Labor for Palestine (U.S.), July XX, 2014
 
“For the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.”
“We call on the UN and governments across the world to take immediate steps to implement a comprehensive and legally binding military embargo on Israel, similar to that imposed on South Africa during apartheid.”
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As workers and trade unionists, we join with Palestinian trade unions, the South African Congress of Trade UnionsUnite (UK/Ireland), and labor organizations around the world to urgently condemn Israel’s barbaric war on Gaza, which has taken thousands of lives since 2006, including many hundreds in recent days.

With them, we stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people against more than a century of Zionist colonialism, dispossession, ethnic cleaning, racism, apartheid and genocide.
With them, we support Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), which demands an end to Israeli military occupation of the 1967 territories; full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel; and the right of return for Palestinian refugees, as affirmed by UN resolution 194.
Therefore:
• We call on the US government and its allies to end all aid to Israel.
• We call on workers to emulate dockers in South Africa, India, Sweden, Norway, Turkey, the US west coast, and elsewhere, by refusing to handle military or any other cargo destined for Israel.
• We call on labor bodies to divest from Israel Bonds, and cut ties with the Histadrut, Israel’s racist labor federation. (See model resolution, below)
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Initial Signers (affiliation shown for identification only)
Monadel Herzallah, former member, Arab American Union Members Council, San Francisco, CA; co-founder, Labor for Palestine
Michael Letwin, former President, Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW L. 2325; co-founder, Labor for Palestine, Jews for Palestinian Right of Return, NYC Labor Against the War; USACBI
Larry Adams, former President, NPMHU L. 300; co-founder, NYC Labor Against the War; People’s Organization for Progress
Brenda Stokely, former President, AFSCME DC 1707; co-founder, NYC Labor Against the War; Co-Chair, Million Worker March Movement
Judith Ackerman, 1199SEIU, AFT, UFT, AFTRA, SAG, New York NY
Joseph Agonito, former President, L. 1845-NYSUT, AFT
Faiz Ahmed, Chairperson/président Canadian Union of Public Employees, L. 3903 – http://3903.cupe.ca
Anthony Arnove, National Writers Union/UAW L. 1981, Brooklyn NY
Dave Bleakney, National Union Representative, CUPW, Ottowa
Gene Bruskin, founder, US Labor Against the War
Alexandra Bradbury, co-editor, Labor Notes
Richard Deaton, Ph.D., LL.B., Asst. Director of Research, Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)(retired)
Prof. Patrick J. Finn, Ph. D., United University Professionals, State University of New York at Buffalo
Prof. Mary E. Finn, Ph. D., United University Professionals, State University of New York at Buffalo
Prof. Manzar Foroohar, former Chapter President, California Faculty Association-Cal Poly
Sheena Foster, Global Labour University Alumni
Carol Gay, President, NJ State Industrial Union Council
Carl Gentile, National Representative, American Federation of Government Employees (AFL-CIO)
Mike Gimbel, Chairperson, Labor/Community Unity Committee, L. 375, AFSCME
Marty Goodman, former Executive Board member, Transport Workers Union L. 100
David Heap, University of Western Ontario Faculty Association
Stanley Heller, 40-year AFT member, West Haven, CT, now AFT 933 (retired)
Michael Hirsch, National Writers Union/UAW L. 1981
Jim Holstun, UUP Buffalo Center Chapter, NYSUT, AFT
Cherrene Horazuk, President, AFSCME L. 3800
Jonathan House, President (1979-1981), Executive Director (1982-1989), Committee of Interns and Residents, SEIU
Joe Iosbaker, Executive Board, SEIU L. 73
James Jordan, National Co-Coordinator, Alliance for Global Justice
Dan Kaplan, Executive Secretary, AFT L. 1493, San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers
Russell Kilday-Hicks, Vice President, California State Employees Association
Bud Korotzer, Shop Steward, AFSCME District Council 37, L. 371 (retired)
Francine Korotzer, Shop Steward, AFSCME District Council 37, L. 2054 (retired)
Zoe Lawlor, Unite Teacher, University of Limerick, Ireland
Howard Lenow, American Jews For A Just Peace, trade union lawyer
John McColgan, SENA 9158, United Steelworkers of America
Amir M. Maasoumi, Federation des travailleurs du Quebec (FTQ)
Nathaniel Miller, Industrial Workers of the World
Marion Pollack, retiree, Vancouver BC
Peter Rachleff, Labor Educator; UALE
Mimi Rosenberg, ALAA/UAW L. 2325, Brooklyn NY
Keith Rosenthal, AFSCME L. 3650, Somerville MA
Christina Rousseau, CUPE 3903, Toronto ON
Keith Sadler, UAW L. 2, Toledo OH
Helen Scott, United Academics AAUP/AFT L. 4996, Burlington VT
Mary Scully, IUE-CWA L. 201 (retired)
Tyler Shipley, CUPE L. 3903; Toronto ON
Sid Shniad, former Research Director, Telecommunications Workers Union, Canada
Larry Smallwood, former Telecommunications Workers Union of Canada; Volunteer President L. 7; human rights officer; union activist for equity rights
Nancy Snyder, Recording Secretary Emeritus, SEIU L. 1021
Susan Stout, Unifor 2002, Canada (retired)
Peter Waterman, Researcher/writer on labour internationalisms; ABVA-KABO, The Hague, Netherlands
Nancy Welch, delegate, UVM United Academics AFT/AAUP
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Model Labor for Palestine Resolution: Trade Unionists Stand With Gaza

Whereas, Israel is committing yet another series of massacres in Gaza, many victims of which include workers, children, entire families the elderly, and the disabled; and

Whereas, Palestinian workers and their families continue to be killed and maimed by naval vessels, jet fighters, Apache helicopters, white phosphorous and other weapons supplied by the US and its allies; and
Whereas, Israel claims of “self-defense” are a thinly disguised pretext for more than a century of Zionist colonialism, dispossession, ethnic cleaning, racism, and genocide against the Palestinian people; andWhereas, veteran South African freedom fighters have observed that Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is “worse than apartheid”; and

Whereas, on July 12, 2014, Gaza civil society issued an urgent appeal for solidarity, calling for an arms embargo and full Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against apartheid Israel, which demands an end to Israeli military occupation of the 1967 territories; full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel; and the right of return for Palestinian refugees, as affirmed by UN resolution 194; and
Whereas, on July 10, 2014, the Congress of South African Trade Unions denounced the latest Israeli massacres in Gaza, and called “on the international trade union movement, various civil society organisations, international religious bodies and even business to speak out against savagery and barbarism against fellow human beings”; and
Whereas, on July 11, 2014, Unite, the biggest union in the UK and Ireland, stated that it “unreservedly condemns the continuing Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people and calls for the military strikes and the military build up to be halted immediately,” and reiterated its support for BDS; and
Whereas, the campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against apartheid Israel has been endorsed by numerous labor bodies around the world, including the trade union congresses of South Africa, Egypt, Brazil, Ireland, Scotland and the UK, and labor bodies in Australia, France, Canada, Norway, Catalunya, Italy, Spain and Turkey; andWhereas, top U.S. labor officials nonetheless continues to invest billions of from union members’ pension funds in State of Israel Bonds, a pillar of apartheid that enjoys tax-exempt status from the U.S. government; and

Whereas, in opposing the Vietnam War, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. declared: “For the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent”; and
Whereas, Nelson Mandela declared: “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians”; 
 
Therefore:
• We call on the US government and its allies to end all aid to Israel.
• We call on workers to emulate dockers in South Africa, India, Sweden, Norway, Turkey, the US west coast, and elsewhere, by refusing to handle military or any other cargo destined for Israel.
• We call on labor bodies to divest from Israel Bonds, and cut ties with the Histadrut, Israel’s racist labor federation.
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