Australian union CFMEU passes resolution to support boycott divestment and sanctions against Israel 12May10 May 23, 2010

In July 2005 a huge coalition of Palestinian groups called on “people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the Apartheid era”.

The CFMEU believes it is incumbent on unions, governments, educational and religious institutions and all people of good conscience to call upon Israel to cease its aggression against the Palestinian people.

We also call upon Palestinians to cease using civilians as targets in their struggle.

Whilst we have always supported Palestinian territorial rights, it is now necessary, in the name of humanity, to finally and meaningfully support efforts to resolve the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

We recognise that the Palestinian struggle is at that defining moment where international efforts are increasingly being coordinated and focused and as part of this, there is around the world, a growing Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

We stand with all peace activists in bringing about peace for Palestine.

Joining others in this non-violent global movement to defend the human rights of the Palestinian people is a natural continuation of our internationalism and our tradition of standing with other oppressed peoples of the world.

The CFMEU vehemently opposed Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War. The CFMEU also supported the anti-colonial struggle in East Timor and took part in the international anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa.

The CFMEU supports the Palestinian people in their struggle to return to their homelands.

The CFMEU supports the objectives of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement to bring about a lasting peace.

The CFMEU actively joins the international network of unions to transform worker’s solidarity into direct action to stop the denial of fundamental human rights and injustice.

The international support for Israel must stop. You can do your part, join the international campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. Visit www.bdsmovement.net or www.bigcampaign.org

Pip Hinman
9690 1230
0412 139 968
www.greenleft.org.au

STATEMENT

Palestinian Resolution of the CFMEU National Executive Committee  12 May 2010

The CFMEU National Executive in October 2009 discussed the latest state of affairs regarding the longstanding Israeli/Palestinian conflict and considered information regarding the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) approach being adopted by some national trade union centres.

The CFMEU Executive resolved to invite the Palestinian Ambassador to Australia to address the CFMEU’s NEC and then consider our union’s approach to this matter further.

The NEC heard from Izzat Abdulhadi at its February meeting and considered the arguments for a boycott of products and goods produced in illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Since that time further provocations have been forthcoming from the current aggressive Netanyahu regime including the announcement of the construction of fresh settlements during the visit of US Vice President Biden and the use of false passports (including forged Australian documents) in the Dubai killing of a Hamas official.

Most recently following the debate at the UK TUC Congress, the TUC have joined with the call for a selective consumer boycott of goods produced by Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories under the general banner of the global ‘BDS’ campaign. This has been assisted by recent UK Government moves to clearly label such goods as coming from occupied Palestine.

With comrades Mal Tulloch and David Forde who have just returned from a tour of the Occupied Territories during the recent APHEDA visit to Israel and Palestine furnishing us with detailed information on the Palestinian situation, the CFMEU is now in a position to adopt a considered approach on a union wide level.

In all the circumstances the CFMEU believes that a boycott of products made in the illegal settlements is justified and is the kind of solidarity action that can send a message loud and clear to the Netanyahu government.

The CFMEU further resolves that we will argue for this approach in the forums of the labour movement in Australia including the ACTU and the ALP and that we will also argue for it in international forums as appropriate.

The approach recommended on the BDS question remains one aspect of the broad solidarity and support that should be rendered to the long suffering Palestinian people until a just and lasting peace is secured with a durable two state solution.

*CFMEU Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union


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