Labor Video
News Archives
About LaborNet
The Trade Union Committee for Justice in the Middle East presents:

Trade Unionists & The Palestinian Crisis

ISRAEL HAS OCCUPIED Palestinian territory in the West Bank and Gaza since 1967.

The Israelis have created 145 settlements in these Occupied Territories, housing 400,000 Israelis. The occupation and the settlements contravene both international law and United Nations Resolutions 242 and 338.

The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights (Bıtselem), an Israeli non-governmental organization, says: "Israel has created in the Occupied Territories a regime of separation based on discrimination, applying two separate systems of law in the same area and basing the rights of individuals on their nationality. This regime is the only one of its kind in the world, and is reminiscent of distasteful regimes from the past, such as the Apartheid regime in South Africa."

Ronnie Kasrils, South Africaıs Minister of Water Affairs, a long-time activist in the African National Congress and a Jewish South African, said in the March 28 - April 3, 2002,edition of Al Ahram, an Arabic weekly, that "the South African Apartheid regime never engaged in the sort of repression Israel is inflicting on the Palestinians."

Hanan Ashrawi, the well-known Palestinian parliamentarian, has said: "Sisters and brothers, I appeal to you today. You are the only source of empowerment for a people who feel abandoned and disempowered, but who have never lost faith in human solidarity and a shared vision of emancipation. I appeal to you not to adopt the stance of cowardly neutralityı for in the struggle against oppression, injustice, racism, intolerance, colonialism and exclusion there can be no neutrality."

Many activists and trade unionists are taking up Ashrawiıs call. The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) BC Region, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), the British Columbia Government Employees Union (BCGEU), the Vancouver and District Labour Council and many other labour organizations have passed resolutions calling for an end to the occupation.

But much is left to be done.

Union members are constantly bombarded with pro-Israeli messages in the Vancouver Sun, the National Post, the Globe and Mail as well as on American and Canadian television stations. Critics of Israel are attacked as "anti-Semites." The Canadian government takes no action against Israelıs illegal occupation, echoing the blind support that the United States provides Israel as that countryıs major sponsor.

Today, world governments preoccupied with Iraq are ignoring the growing crisis that is being generated by Israelıs occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and its continuing breach of countless UN resolutions.

When the people of South Africa waged their struggle against the scourge of Apartheid, trade unionists and other community activists enthusiastically supported their struggle. We should do no less in the struggle against Israelıs brutal occupation of Palestine.

The Trade Union Committee for Justice in the Middle East presents:

Deborah Bourque
President, Canadian Union of Postal Workers,
on the recent CLC delegation to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza

Sid Shniad
Research Director, Telecommunications Workers Union,*
on Zionism and its critics - Labour, the left and Anti-Semitism
Thursday, February 27 - 7:30 p.m. BCGEU Building 3030 East Broadway, Vancouver
Co-sponsors: Canadian Union of Postal Workers, Vancouver and District Labour Council


* Organization listed for identification purposes only

contact LaborNet

copyright 2003 © LaborNet