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British firefighters call for boycott of Israel PDF Print E-mail
Aug 22, 2009 at 12:00 AM

Green Left Weekly (Australia)                                

22 August 2009
Chris Latham

The British Fire Brigades Union (FBU), which represents 85% of firefighters and support staff in Britain, plans to move motions at the Trade Union Congress’s (TUC) annual congress in September for the British trade union to work to increase Israel’s international isolation.

The FBU’s motions reflect growing support for the Palestinian struggle among unions internationally, resulting in Israel and its supporters in the labour movement becoming increasingly isolated.

The FBU has submitted a range of motions, including that the general  council of the TUC pressure the British government to place trade sanctions on Israel, including ending arms sales; that the TUC developed an effective boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign; that the TUC review its ties with Israel’s racist Histadrut union federation and seek to build solidarity with Palestinian General Confederation of Labour; and that the TUC affiliate to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
 
Economic retaliation against Tel Aviv PDF Print E-mail
Sep 13, 2009 at 12:09 PM

Le Monde Diplomatique                                                                               

September 2009

Can we enforce international law?

Economic retaliation against Tel Aviv

This month the UN will publish the findings of its inquiry into Israel’s possible war crimes in Gaza in 2008-9. These are unlikely to lead to legal proceedings, so there are calls for boycott, divestment and sanctions to force Israel to comply with international law

by Willy Jackson

The boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel (1) has gained momentum after four years of near silence. It was launched on 9 July 2005 by a group of Palestinian organisations, a year after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled, in an advisory opinion, that the wall built in the occupied Palestinian territories was illegal (2). It is a protest against Israel’s failure to honour its international obligations.

The Israeli army’s latest operation in the Gaza Strip (27 December 2008-18 January 2009), which aimed to annihilate the military potential of the Islamist movement Hamas and end the firing of rockets at Israeli civilian targets, was important to this resurgence. Media images created the impression that this war was meant to annihilate an entire people. Palestinian solidarity organisations, and many others around the world, immediately felt a moral obligation to take action and make up for the failings of the international community. A huge civil movement grew up around the Palestinian cause. Its weapon was the boycott, which had helped to dismantle the structures of racial discrimination in South Africa (3). Political figures and opinion leaders such as Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter have compared the plight of the Palestinian people to that of black South Africans under apartheid.

On 30 March 2008 the BDS movement organised a global day of action, a move decided a few weeks earlier at the World Social Forum in Belém, Brazil. Calls to support this day of action were heard from Jewish communities everywhere and even from within Israel.

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Irish Public Sector Union Passes Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) Motion PDF Print E-mail
Jul 20, 2008 at 06:40 PM

Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign

 

Press Release

29 May 2008

 

ICTU-TUFP Press Release on IMPACT Boycott Motion

 

IRISH CONGRESS OF TRADE UNIONS

 

TRADE UNION FRIENDS OF PALESTINE

 

Campaigning in solidarity with the Palestinian people

 

*************** PRESS STATEMENT ***************

 

At its Biennial Delegate Conference in May 2008 the public sector union IMPACT passed two motions criticising Israeli suppression of the Palestinian people and calling for a boycott of Israeli goods and services. The motions also called for divestment from those companies engaged in or profiting from the occupation as well as an education campaign to raise awareness of the plight of the Palestinian people. Conference furthermore called on the Irish Government to take a stand on Palestine independent of EU foreign policy, demanded the restoration of EU funding, and also called for the suspension of the preferential trading status enjoyed under the Euro-Med Agreement.

 

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First Palestinian Conference for the Boycott of Israel (BDS) PDF Print E-mail
Nov 22, 2007 at 12:00 AM

22 November 2007
Al-Bireh, Ramallah
Summary Report

"The Campaign for the Boycott of Israel will re-vitalize popular resistance and restore dignity to the Palestinian people"

An important mile-stone in building the global BDS campaign was achieved in Ramallah on 22 November 2007. Some 300 activists, members of unions, associations and NGOs in towns, villages and refugee camps of the occupied West Bank, with monitors from the global solidarity movement in Britain, Canada, Norway, Spain and South Africa, convened for a day of discussion and debate about ways to promote all forms of boycott against Israel among Palestinian community organizations, unions, as well as political, academic and cultural institutions. Organizers and participants left the conference with a sense of accomplishment: practical recommendations are in place for building the popular Palestinian BDS campaign as a strategic form of civil resistance in the long struggle ahead against Israel's regime of apartheid over the Palestinian people.

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Toward the Establishment of a Palestinian Civil Society Defragmentation Strategy PDF Print E-mail
Nov 02, 2007 at 12:45 AM

Final Statement of the Palestinian Civil Society Conference,
Cyprus, 16–18 October 2007

As part of the effort by the Palestinian civil society organizations to overcome the state of forced Palestinian fragmentation and consolidate the national role of the Palestinian NGOs in all their places of residence, a conference titled "Toward the Establishment of a Palestinian Civil Society Defragmentation Strategy" was held in Agros, Cyprus, between 16 and 18 October 2007 at the initiative of Ittijah-The Union of Arab Community Based Associations. Forty-four participants representing a broad sector of Palestinian civil society networks, coalitions, and associations in Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Kuwait, in addition to a number of international partner organizations supporting Palestinian rights, attended the conference. The Israeli occupation authorities banned the travel of a delegation representing civil society organizations in Gaza.

The conference discussed a number of issues, notably: The Palestinian situation and Palestinian, regional, and international developments, including the Annapolis conference; the collective Palestinian strategy against the forced fragmentation; the endeavors to rebuild terms of reference and assert the constant Palestinian principles; the strategy of collective Palestinian advocacy; Palestinian media strategies; and local and international coordination on the Palestinian question.

The participants in the conference set bases that would help strengthen the overall Palestinian struggle for liberation in all its contexts: the occupation, the displacement and uprooting, and the assault on Palestinian existence in the 1948 areas.

A draft of a collective organizational structure and an action plan were also devised, and a follow-up committee to implement this plan and lead the agreed process was set up.

 

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Discussing Hamas with Gazan Expatriate Samah Sabawi

I caught up with Samah Sabawi on August 1st, 26 days into the Israeli assault on Gaza. Samah is a Canadian Palestinian with family roots in Gaza. I wanted to ask her views on the current situation in Gaza and particularly on the role Hamas is playing. She is a playwright, a policy advisor to AlShabaka and is former public advocate for Australians for Palestine. She was for many years a media spokesperson for National Council for Canada Arab Relations (NCCAR) and moved in 2009 to Australia where her parents and many other members of her Palestinian family have found refuge.

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