On July 4th, the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU) has passed a motion at its biennial conference in support of a customer boycott against Apartheid Israel. Following in the footsteps of other unions around the world who have taken up the boycott, the biggest general union in the UK, with over 800,000 members, also vowed to take part in the lobby of British parliament on November 2nd and demanding the UK government take a stronger stand against Israel. It condemned Israeli violence against the Palestinian people.
Ireland Palestinian Solidarity Campaign has warmly welcomed the strong Palestinian solidarity motion passed at the biennial Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) conference last weekend. This resolution called for boycott and divestment from Israel and companies such as CRH who are building Israel's apartheid Wall, and for support for beleaguered Palestinian trade unions. The motion authorized the leadership of the Irish trade union movement to undertake a wide range of measures to oppose Israel?s oppressive actions and to show solidarity with Palestinians.
The largest civil society organization in Ireland, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, is the latest union to pass a boycott, divestment and sanction motion against Apartheid Israel.
Activists from Campaign Against Israeli Apartheid confronted majority shareholders at Reisman and Schwartz about Israeli military links at Indigo Books and Music Inc, on June 21 2007. Indigo Books and Music Inc shareholders' Heather Reisman and Gerry Schwarz's founding and support for Heseg – Foundation for Lone Soldiers. Heseg, founded in 2005, provides financial support to former Israeli “Lone Soldiers” in the form of scholarships. On Heseg's board sit several retired Israeli military officers, including Doron Almog, who narrowly avoided arrest in 2005 in London, UK, for war crimes.
PACBI and its partners wish to express their gratitude to all the artists and arts groups that withdrew from the festival after learning the truth about the organizing group’s political program. In particular, we thank Jamil as-Sayeh, Ilham Madfa’i, DAM and Asayel. We also thank everyone who helped spread the word and raise awareness about the event and its sponsors.
According to the widely accepted boycott criteria advocated by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), the event falls under the category of normalization projects and violates the call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), endorsed by over 170 Palestinian civil society organizations, trade unions, political parties, and grassroots movements, for the following reasons:
The publication of Towards a Global Movement: A framework for today’s anti-apartheid activism has provoked a storm of media attention. The full report is available on the BDSMovement website. A summary of the report, by Stop the Wall (The Palestinian Grassroots Anti Apartheid Wall Campaign)
was published in the UK by War on Want.
We shall continue to pursue other avenues to make our case heard in the academic community in the UK, and shall not be deterred by the cancellation of the invitation extended to us by the UCU. While we do not have the resources of the Israel lobby in the UK, we do think that fair-minded British academics will be willing to listen to our case and give it thoughtful consideration. Truth is stronger than power, and we trust in the integrity of British academics to know that instinctively.
Upholding Debate as a Necessary Component of Academic Freedom
While British colleagues prepare to discuss the Palestinian boycott call and consider the implications of normal academic links with the Israeli academy during the coming academic year, a disturbing development has been noted in the United States and Canada. No sooner had the UCU motion been passed than dozens of American and Canadian university presidents and
The Right to Education (R2E) Student Committee in Birzeit University welcomes the motion passed by UNISON, the biggest trade union of public workers in the UK, and calls for student-wide mobilisation on boycotting Israel as a means to defend the right to education of Palestinians and end the occupation.
To read the full text and for links to relevant UNISON webpages, click here.
“that the United Nations, and especially the General Assembly and the Security Council, should consider what further action is required to bring to an end the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the Wall and the associated régime, taking due account of the present advisory opinion.”