Norwegian Federation of Trade Unions (LO) reaffirms support for campaigns against occupation profiteers
The Norwegian Federation of Trade Unions (LO) has voted to reaffirm its support for campaigns against companies that profit from Israeli violations of international law and to pressure the Norwegian government to impose a ban on trade with illegal Israeli settlements. The full text of the motion is reproduced below.
The trade union section of the Palestine Committee of Norway has produced a detailed report on trade union activism for Palestine and the recent LO congress which you can download here.
LO Congress 2013: Resolution on Palestine
LO believes Israelis and Palestinians alike have the right to live in peace and security. Israel must bear the responsibility for this not being the case. At the core of the conflict is Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine, which inflicts great suffering on the Palestinian people.
Some three million Palestinians are still refugees in neighbouring countries. Palestinians are treated as second-class citizens in exile, in Israel and in Palestine. Their land is taken from them, their natural resources are usurped and they are subjected to systematic harassment, grave restrictions on their freedom of movement, frequent use of arbitrary detention and are denied the right to a fair trial.
LO demands that Israel end their illegal occupation of Palestine and respect the UN resolutions on than include Palestinian rights. The refugee problem must be solved in line with UN resolution no 194.
Israel’s long-lasting blockade of Gaza, including heavy restrictions on imports and exports, causes great suffering to the population and is an obstacle to economic development. LO demands that the blockade of Gaza be lifted.
The economies of the occupied territories have in great measure become integrated into Israel’s economy. Israel must extricate their economy from that of the occupied territories, or else Israel cannot be part of the OECD. Importing goods from the settlements and industrial parks on the West Bank must be made illegal.
The Norwegian government should launch an initiative to organize an international boycott of these goods.
LO would also encourage Norwegian consumers to buy Palestinian products and thus help to foster economic development in Palestine.
The Norwegian government must ensure that the Government Pension Fund of Norway and Norwegian companies do not aid the occupation through trade with and investment in companies that operate in the occupied territories.
Israel will be hosting the European Football Championship in the summer of 2013 (U21-EM). In LO’s view, it is important that European championships do not take place on fields that are located on Palestinian land. LO calls on the European Football Federation (UEFA) and the Norwegian Football Federation (NFF) to use the championship to draw attention to the situation suffered by Palestinians and to human rights violations committed in the occupied territories. Norway and Norwegian organisations should coordinate work to improve conditions so that Palestinian youth unhindered may train, qualify for and participate, in international sports events. In this context, support to the participation of Palestinians teams in Norway Cup would be a significant step.
When the United Nations General Assembly granted Palestine the status of observer, the building of illegal settlements on the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, gathered speed. Settler violence against Palestinians and their properties has also escalated. LO demands that attacks be investigated and prosecuted. LO further demands that the stealthy annexation of the West Bank cease and that Israel immediately start moving back the illegal settlers pursuant to the Geneva Convention that bans relocating civilian population in occupied territories.
Israel’s demolition of Palestinian buildings is getting more intense and extensive. As Palestinians are almost always denied permission to build in East Jerusalem and the parts of the West Bank that are under Israeli administration (60 per cent), many build their homes without obtaining the necessary permits. UN estimates place almost half of Palestinian buildings in these areas at risk of demolition. The Norwegian government must demand an end to the razing of these buildings and to the gross discrimination of Palestinians.
Israel’s frequent use of administrative custody and remand with no due hearing does not comply with international law. Recently, many Palestinians have publicly signalled their abhorrence of this practice by taking part in dramatic hunger strikes. LO condemns the use of administrative detention and demands that Israel immediately release Palestinians who have not been charged and prosecuted in accordance with international standards for fair trials.
The wall erected by Israel, their settlements and the supporting infrastructure make huge inroads into Palestinian lands. The ongoing fragmentation of the West Bank undermines Palestinian rights to self-determination and impedes a two-State solution. The wall must be demolished.
The Norwegian government must pursue an active policy, not least towards the United States and the European Union, to pressure Israel into respecting the recommendations issued by the International Court in The Hague in respect of the wall and into ending their occupation.
Norway must take a clear stand on the recognition of Palestine as a full-fledged member of the UN and Palestine should be granted the status of an independent State within the borders established in 1967