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Vancouver & District Labour Council BDS Resolution PDF Print E-mail
Jun 18, 2010 at 02:17 AM
VDLC resolution passed on Tuesday, June 15, 2010
 
MSC that the following recommendation of the VDLC Executive Committee be adopted:
 
Subject:  Blockade of Gaza
BECAUSE the state of Israel has been imposing an illegal blockade on the Palestinian people in the Gaza strip for the past three years, and
 
BECAUSE the International Committee of the Red Cross has documented the resulting deterioration in the health and living conditions for the 1.5 million Palestinians resident in Gaza, and
 
BECAUSE a peaceful relief convoy was attacked and boarded by Israeli Defence Forces resulting in the killing of nine civilians on board the relief ships, and
 
BECAUSE the action by Israel is illegal under international law and the blockade itself is tantamount to "collective punishment" which is illegal under the Geneva Conventions, and
 
BECAUSE governments and trade union organizations around the world have condemned Israel for these actions and are calling for a boycott and divestment from Israeli companies until these conditions are lifted,
 
THE VANCOUVER AND DISTRICT LABOUR COUNCIL WILL:
  • condemn the Israeli attack on the Gaza relief ships in international waters on May 31 which resulted in the deaths of nine civilians on board the ships; and
  • call for the total lifting of the illegal blockade of Gaza by Israel; and
  • support the call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel in support of these objectives.
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In Rachel Corrie verdict, Israel deals new blow to international law
The verdict on the 2003 killing of Rachel Corrie absolved Israel of any wrongdoing, essentially blaming the victim for her death. The trial revealed Israel’s approach to the most fundamental principles of international law, and especially to the duty to protect non-combatants.

By Jeff Halper

For those who hoped for a just verdict on the death of Rachel Corrie, the American student and ISM activist killed by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza in 2003 as she was defending a Palestinian home about to be demolished, this is a sad day. Not surprising, but still sad and bitter. The judge who decided the case, Oded Gershon, absolved the army of all blame, despite massive and internally contradictory testimony to the contrary. Moreover, he essentially blamed Rachel for her own death, commenting that a “normal person” would have run away from the bulldozer rather than confront it.

Palestinians and Israel human rights activists have learned that justice cannot be obtained through the Israeli judicial system. The Haifa District Court, in which the trial was held, could not have ruled other than how the state wanted. For the past 45 years of Israeli occupation, the Supreme Court has excluded from its rulings all reference to international humanitarian law and to the Fourth Geneva Convention in particular, which protects civilians living in conflict situations and under occupation. Only Israeli law applies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories – military law and orders – and the courts have restricted even that form of law by declaring that in instances of “security,” they defer to the military. As in Rachel’s case, the IDF thus has carte blanche to commit war crimes with impunity, with no fear of accountability or punishment.

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