Labour for Palestine: Stop the War on Gaza, Ceasefire Now
Palestinian trade unions released an urgent call for international trade unions to call for a ceasefire in Gaza and take action to halt the arms trade to Israel.
The call comes amidst a genocidal bombing campaign on the 2 million people of Gaza that has followed on Hamas’ October 7 counter-offensive to the occupation into Israel. Israel has since been preparing for a full ground invasion into the territory, while launching thousands of bombs completely devastating the infrastructure and killing thousands. Israel has also stepped up its arming of settlers in the West Bank and backing them up with deployments of the IDF in a further effort at ethnic-cleansing of Palestinian villages. The far right elements in the Israeli government are using the most brutal and racist language to describe and justify the assaults on Palestinians.
Governments in Canada, the US and Britain have done nothing but encourage the brutal Israeli assault on Gaza, with the most feeble calls for a ‘humanitarian corridor’ to bring minimal supplies into Gaza. The protection and support of the Israeli state while it continues the dispossessions of Palestinians remains the foreign and military policies of these three states, dragging the rest of the west along with them.
We print below recent statements by labour unions and activists in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle. More unions should take such actions, stop building and transporting weapons going into Israel, and take actions against companies supporting the apartheid regime.
CUPE Resolution No. 804
1. Demand the Canadian government call for an immediate ceasefire in Israel-Palestine, an end of its sale of arms to Israel, an end to diplomatic immunity for the state of Israel, and for an end to Israel’s blockade of Gaza and the restoration of aid and the basic necessities of life;
2. Conduct member education about the history of Israel’s occupation and colonization of Palestine, Canada’s complicity and what trade unions can do to support a just peace.
- Thousands of people have been killed since the most recent violence began in historic Palestine on October 7, 2023;
- Collective punishment of the people of Gaza is a clear violation of Article 53 of the
Fourth Geneva Convention;
- The Canadian government has publicly and consistently supported the state of Israel as it indiscriminately and intensively bombarded Gaza, and cut off fuel, electricity, water, food, and medical supplies to the entire population, with impunity;
- Palestinian trade unions are urgently calling on global trade unions to act to end all complicity, and to stop governments from arming Israel; and
- The precondition for peace is for Israel to end the occupation and adhere to international law. •
PSI Resolution No. 32: For A Free and Sovereign Palestine State
The 31st World Congress of Public Services International (PSI) Meeting in Geneva on 14 – 18 October 2023
Is committed to the principles of justice, human rights, and self-determination for all people;
The people of Palestine have been denied their basic rights, including the right to self -determination, freedom of movement, and equality under the law;
The ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine has resulted in numerous human rights violations against the Palestinian people. These crimes, which include forced displacement, extrajudicial killings, and the restriction of access to basic services such as healthcare and education, have had a devastating impact on Palestinian communities and individuals.
According to UN Reports, 2022 is the sixth year of consecutive annual increase in the number of Israeli settler attacks in the occupied West Bank, despite a 2016 UN Security Council resolution specifically intended to halt settlement activity.
One of the major human rights violations committed against Palestinians is extrajudicial killings; Israel has repeatedly been accused of using excessive force against Palestinian civilians, including the killing of unarmed protesters. This practice has been condemned by human rights organisations and is a clear violation of the right to life as recognised by international law.
According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, Israeli forces killed at least 170 Palestinians in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem in 2022, including more than 30 children. At least 9,000 others have been injured. The UN called 2022 the deadliest year for Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank in 16 years.
Access to basic services such as healthcare and education is also a major issue for Palestinians living under occupation. Israel has imposed restrictions on the movement of Palestinians, making it difficult for them to access essential services. This has had a particularly devastating impact on vulnerable groups, such as children and the elderly. This practice is a violation of the right to health as recognised by international law.
- EXPRESSES its strong support for the freedom and self-determination of the Palestinian people, and for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine;
- CALLS ON the international community to take immediate and effective action to bring an end to the Israeli occupation and to support the rights of the Palestinian people, including through the imposition of economic sanctions and other measures to hold Israel accountable for its actions;
- ENCOURAGES members to educate themselves about the situation in Palestine and to take action to support the Palestinian cause, including through activism and advocacy;
- PLEDGES TO work with other organisations and groups to raise awareness about the situation in Palestine and to support the rights of the Palestinian people, including through campaigns and other initiatives;
- URGES all Member Unions to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people, and to support their struggle for freedom and self-determination;
- FURTHER CALLS UPON the leadership of PSI to establish a mission to Palestine and Israel for the purpose of exploring these issues and to make recommendations for programmes to strengthen public employee trade unionism throughout the region. •
Submitted by: All Municipal and Public Service Workers Trade Union (HIZMET-IS Trade Union), Türkiye.
More Than Ever We Need to be in Solidarity with Palestinian Resistance
As Israeli colonial violence escalates in Gaza, Labour for Palestine – Canada demands that the Canadian government call for an immediate ceasefire and an end to the Israeli occupation and apartheid in Palestine.
We offer our condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives in recent days, and throughout the decades of forcible dispossession and occupation, no matter where they live.
It is a heartbreaking truth that the daily violence and terror experienced by the Palestinians, at the hands of the Israeli occupation forces and with the support of the international community, requires relentless and sustained resistance. A population cannot live under siege and apartheid with the daily threat of harassment, humiliation, violence, home demolitions and murder without responding.
The UN claims 2023 has already been the deadliest year for Palestinians since it started counting deaths in 2006. More than 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the start of this year, according to the health ministry. Western world leaders, including Canada, have shamefully turned a blind eye as far right Israeli ministers publicly provoke violence, as land grabbing became official government policy, and unspeakable war crimes are a regular occurrence.
After more than 16 years of living under economic and military siege by Israel, of being confined to the world’s largest open air-prison, Gaza has finally broken free and Palestinians are demonstrating their determination to liberate themselves and their land from 75 years of settler-colonization, apartheid and occupation. The current Palestinian violence must be understood within the context that it is taking place in order for genuine peace and justice to be realized.
Now, after such prolonged and shameful silence, Canada and its political parties have jumped to condemn Palestinians for resisting their own annihilation. Yet they refuse to even mention that Israel, a military superpower, has now declared war on Palestinians for daring to resist.
As members of the labour movement in Canada, we call for an end to the Israeli occupation and apartheid in Palestine. We further call on the Canadian Government to recognize and condemn the incessant violence perpetrated and provoked by Israel.
We commend Palestinians for their heroic resistance and their indomitable will. We recognize the right of all people to resist their own occupation, including through armed struggle. This right, first protected by the Geneva Conventions in 1949, has been reaffirmed numerous times by the United Nations general assembly. We refuse to be divided or to fall into the colonial trap of condemning certain Palestinian groups or certain forms of resistance. Canadians should not attempt to dictate how an oppressed indigenous population fights for their own liberation.
We call on all trade unions and labour leaders to be in solidarity with Palestinian resistance by educating their members, pressuring politicians, and championing boycott, divestment, and sanctions against apartheid Israel. The labour movement must use its power and influence to end Canada’s support for Israel’s racist colonial regime. We encourage trade unionists to contact Labour for Palestine for resources and support toward that end. •
Stand With Palestinian Workers: Cease the Genocide Now – Stop Arming Israel!
“We need you to take immediate action – wherever you are in the world – to prevent the arming of the Israeli state and the companies involved in the infrastructure of the blockade.” An Urgent Call from Palestinian Trade Unions: End all Complicity, Stop Arming Israel (October 16, 2023)
The undersigned US workers, trade unionists, and anti-apartheid activists join labor around the world in condemning the Israeli siege on Gaza and sharply escalating settler colonial violence in the West Bank that has killed or maimed thousands of Palestinians – many of them children – and stand with Palestinians’ “right to exist, resist, return, and self-determination.”
The latest Israeli attacks reflect more than a century of ongoing Zionist settler-colonialism, dispossession, ethnic cleansing, racism, genocide, and apartheid – including Israel’s establishment through the uprooting and displacement of over 750,000 Palestinians during the 1947-1948 Nakba. Indeed, eighty percent of the 2.3 million people in Gaza are refugees from other parts of historic Palestine.
Israel’s crimes are only possible because of more than $3.8-billion a year (or $10+ million per day) in bipartisan US military aid that gives Israel the guns, bullets, tanks, ships, jet fighters, missiles, helicopters, white phosphorus and other weapons to kill and maim the Palestinian people. This is the same system of racist state violence that, through shared surveillance technology and police exchange programs, brutalizes BIPOC and working class people in the United States and around the world.
In response, we demand an immediate end to the genocide, and embrace the recent Urgent Call from Palestinian Trade Unions: End all Complicity, Stop Arming Israel:
- To refuse to build weapons destined for Israel.
- To refuse to transport weapons to Israel.
- To pass motions in their trade union to this effect.
- To take action against complicit companies involved in implementing Israel’s brutal and illegal siege, especially if they have contracts with your institution.
- Pressure governments to stop all military trade with Israel, and in the case of the US, funding to it.
We further reaffirm the call on labor bodies to respect previous Palestinian trade union appeals for solidarity by adopting this statement, and/or the model resolution below to divest from Israel Bonds, sever all ties with the Israel’s racist labor federation, the Histadrut, and its US mouthpiece, the Jewish Labor Committee, and respect the Palestinian picket line for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS).
Initial Signers on behalf of Labor for Palestine
(organizational affiliations listed for identification only)
- Suzanne Adely, Labor for Palestine, US Palestinian Community Network, Arab Workers Resource Center; Food Chain Workers Alliance (staff); President, National Lawyers Guild
- Monadel Herzallah, Arab American Union Members Council
- Ruth Jennison, Department Rep., Massachusetts Society of Professors, MTA, NEA; Co-Chair, Labor Standing Committee River Valley DSA; Delegate to Western Mass Area Labor Federation
- Lara Kiswani, Executive Director, Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC); Block the Boat
- Michael Letwin, Former President, Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW Local 2325; Jews for Palestinian Right of Return
- Corinna Mullin, PSC-CUNY International Committee; CUNY for Palestine
- Clarence Thomas, Co-Chair, Million Worker March; Executive Board, ILWU Local 10 (retired)