dinsdag 18 november 2014

ABVV: Stop associatie met de Israelische bezetting!

13 november : Stop associatie met de Israelische bezetting!

Meer dan 300 vakbonden, NGO’s en andere maatschappelijke organisaties uit heel Europa hebben een beroep gedaan op de EU om haar steun voor Israëls misdaden te beëindigen, onder andere door opschorting van het Associatieverdrag tussen de EU en Israël.

Het verdrag tussen de EU en Israël is het belangrijkste kader voor de zeer nauwe relatie tussen beiden. Het verleent Israël preferentiële toegang tot de Europese markten, maakt het mogelijk voor Israëlische ministeries en wapenfirma’s om EU-financiering te ontvangen en biedt Israël de politieke steun die het nodig heeft voor voortzetting van zijn misdadige beleid.

Zolang de EU haar overeenkomst met Israel in stand houdt, niettegenstaande Israëls aanhoudende oorlogsmisdaden, gaat hiervan voor Israel de onacceptabele boodschap uit dat de bloedbaden onder de Palestijnen zullen worden getolereerd.

De Algemene Centrale-ABVV is één van de 300 ondertekenaars.

Kijk hier voor de volledige lijst


En  http://www.eccpalestine.org/call-for-action-no-association-with-occupation/ maakt het mogelijk mee te doen.

Uit de VS: Unionizing solidarity with Palestine - Support grows for BDS among grassroots labor movement

Uit http://laborforpalestine.net/ bericht uit en over de VS:


Unionizing solidarity with Palestine: Support grows for BDS among grassroots labor movement

“We, representatives of Palestinian civil society, call upon international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel.” This call for solidarity was issued in July 2005 by hundreds of Palestinian organizations, including all major trade unions. Systematic land confiscation, mass incarceration, house demolition, and routine attacks that leave hundreds of civilians dead have become part and parcel of daily life in Israel-occupied Palestine. The US-sponsored “peace talks” merely readjusted Israel’s occupation strategy: instead of deploying its army inside Palestinian cities and towns, Israel now surrounds them with checkpoints and walls; hinders Palestinians’ ability to work, study, and travel; and ensures that Palestine remains economically dependent on Israel. Recognizing that Israel has used negotiations to normalize and sustain the occupation, Palestinian civil society adopted the non-violent strategy of Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) against its oppressor.

Compared to its international counterparts, the U.S. labor movement has been slow to embrace BDS. Michael Letwin, co-founder of the solidarity group Labor for Palestine, suggests this is the product of the American labor movement’s historical and continuing institutional support for Israel. The major US trade unions, Letwin says, have hundreds of millions of dollars in pension funds that are invested in Israel. Senior union leaders, in fear of alienating the Democratic Party and other political allies, frequently denounce BDS and criticize their counterparts around the world who support it.

On the grassroots level, however, things look different. This summer, hundreds of US labor leaders and organizers signed on to Labor for Palestine’s BDS statement. To add to these inspiring developments, on December 4th, UAW 2865, a union that represents 13,000 student workers across nine University of California campuses, will become the first U.S. union to hold a membership vote on joining the BDS movement. Similarly encouraging are recent solidarity actions in the San Francisco Bay Area, which show that, despite the ambivalence among some union leadership, rank-and-filers do not hesitate to stand in solidarity with the oppressed.

This August, during five days and four nights of demonstrations at the Port of Oakland, a diverse group of pro-Palestine and social justice activists under the banner of the Block the Boat coalition picketed several berths where the Israeli cargo ship Zim Piraeus attempted to dock. Activists returned to the port whenever workers were dispatched to unload it—in some cases in the middle of the night. Their numbers, which fluctuated between dozens and thousands, were not always sufficient to physically block all entrances to the vessel. Yet the action succeeded due to the support of Oakland’s longshoremen, members of the International Longshore Workers Union (ILWU) Local 10, who refused to cross the community picket lines. Even when police surrounded and split protestors on multiple occasions, workers refused to proceed and unload the ship. The ship eventually left port, unable to unload most of its cargo.

Israel’s massacre of more than 2,000 Palestinians this summer enraged Samantha Levens, an ILWU marine division rank-and-file member. Upon hearing that community members were organizing to block the Israeli liner, she prepared information fliers and distributed them to the longshoremen. “We weren’t saying ‘don’t handle the cargo,’” Levens says. “We were just giving information about the issue: what happened during the South African apartheid, the history of ILWU honoring community picket lines, and the position of international unions on the situation in Gaza.” The longshoremen’s reaction was positive. Even on the third and fourth days of picketing, she says, when members were eager to go back to work, “I mostly saw people becoming more supportive.”

Isn’t it ironic that ships can go as they please into ports in Israel, but can’t come into Gaza?”Lifelong longshoreman, ILWU member, and activist Clarence Thomas explains: “I can’t be silent on these issues. I’m sure that there are longshoremen in Gaza who haven’t been doing work in decades. Solidarity, Thomas says, is a key value in labor activism: “Politics is one thing, but the aspiration and the communality of the working class is something else,” he says, citing numerous solidarity actions ILWU has taken since the 1930s against oppressive regimes throughout the world. “As an African American man, I don’t have any difficulty relating to the plight of the Palestinian people,” he says. “I know what it means to be racially profiled and to be targeted by a militarized police. I’ve been pulled over many times. I had police guns pointed at me. I understand this phenomenon.”

The strong parallels between state and racial oppression in Palestine and the US, respectively, are at the foundation of ILWU Local 10’s policy of not crossing community picket lines. “We will not work under armed police escort—not with our experience with the police in this community,” said Local 10 president Melvin MacKay, referring to the police’s violent dispersal of anti-Iraq war pickets in 2003. “This action was always about building worker-community solidarity,” assesses Reem Assil, one of the organizers of the port actions. “We hope to use it as an impetus for us to deepen work in educating workers about the issue and connecting it to their personal conditions.”

Following the successful pickets in August, a second ship, the Zim Shanghai, again encountered community picket lines when it docked at the Port of Oakland on October 25. Once again, ILWU longshoremen stood down. As the first shifts to unload the Zim Shanghai were being met with pickets, all but one longshoremen refused to even take a job working the ship. The Shanghai left port without loading or unloading any cargo, thanks to the decision of ILWU rank-and-file members to once more respect a community picket line. When the Zim Beijing, a third ship scheduled to unload at the Port of Oakland, faced similar plans by the Block The Boat coalition in October, the ship diverted to avoid another humiliating defeat at the hands of a determined coalition of social justice activists and rank-and-file union members. With Block the Boat actions now spreading to other ports, it’s difficult to see how Israel will weather the growing storm of BDS.

Palestine solidarity is gaining traction among academic workers too. This July, UAW Local 2865, which represents over 13,000 University of California student workers, took an important step towards joining the international BDS movement. In a public letter posted on the union’s website, the UAW 2865 Joint Council (which includes 83 elected officers) declared its commitment “to support our Palestinian counterparts.” The joint council pledged to bring a comprehensive BDS proposal to a general membership vote this year, a proposal that would include a call for academic boycott of institutions profiting from Israeli occupation and human rights abuses. In addition to soliciting its members’ commitment to cut contact with such institutions, the union would also call on the UC system and UAW International to divest from companies complicit in the occupation.

This endorsement comes as no surprise: in the past few years, UAW 2865 has joined numerous struggles against oppression, including Occupy protests, UC student protests against fee-hikes, and last year’s strike by UC custodians. Recently, it negotiated unprecedented protections for its undocumented immigrant members, queer and trans members, parents, and others.

In the midst of Israel’s bombing of Gaza, the union’s social justice committee carefully worded the call for BDS, outlining in detail the different dimensions of the Israeli occupation. They cited Israel’s refusal to recognize Palestinian refugees’ rights as indigenous people (specifically, their right to return to their land), the system of apartheid that Israel enforces in the West Bank and Gaza, and the second-class status of Israel’s Palestinian citizens. The letter also mentions the connection between Israel’s military industry and ethnic cleansing, the suppression of popular movements, and the oppression and criminalization of people all over the world. Concluding by quoting Desmond Tutu’s “hope for a time when there are universal rights for all humans regardless of ethnicity, gender, or national, origin,” the letter emphasizes that BDS does not target the Jewish people but instead targets Israel as “a colonial-apartheid state.” The letter further highlights the unequivocal support BDS receives from Jewish organizations such as Jewish Voice for Peace and the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network. In fact, a few days after the letter’s publication, more than forty current and former Jewish UAW 2865 members publicly endorsed this BDS call.

The date for the general UAW 2865 membership vote has been set for December 4th. The official ballot language adopted by the Joint Council includes a single yes or no vote on whether the union should call on the US government to end military aid to Israel, and call on the University of California and UAW International to “divest…from Israeli state institutions and international companies complicit in severe and ongoing human rights violations as part of the Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people”. The ballot also includes a checkbox where members can pledge to refuse to “take part in any research, conferences, events, exchange programs, or other activities that are sponsored by Israeli universities complicit in the occupation of Palestine and the settler-colonial policies of the state of Israel”. The Joint Council also adopted several documents to educate members about the issues and explain the rationale for the vote; these include a BDS FAQ page, an academic boycott fact sheet, and a labor movement statement.

As in other social justice struggles, mobilization for BDS concerns not just Palestinian rights, but also the right of workers to act and express themselves politically. Purporting to represent UC Jewish students, several Zionist organizations have petitioned UC President Janet Napolitano, alleging that the Joint Council’s solidarity with Palestine creates “a hostile anti-Semitic environment” for Jewish students. Many Jewish students, however, find such allegations to be spurious and see the claims as dishonest attempts to silence criticism.The BDS movement is a fundamentally anti-racist movement, one that opposes racism in all of its forms, including and especially anti-Semitism. The President’s office has yet to respond to the petition, and one can only hope that Napolitano’s tenure will not add to her abysmal human rights record both as Governor of Arizona and Homeland Security Secretary.

The success of Oakland’s Block the Boat makes clear the centrality of organized labor to the global movement for Palestinian freedom. This, and the upcoming UAW 2865 vote on BDS, signal a sea change in US labor’s willingness to be complicit in apartheid and ethnic cleansing. As the larger Palestine solidarity movement picks up steam, we can expect the grassroots labor mobilization for Palestine to bear greater and greater fruits, until Israeli apartheid is no more.

About Alborz Gandanhari, David McCleary, Kumars Salehi and Tory Webster
Alborz Ghandehari is a graduate student at UC San Diego; Tory Webster is a graduate student at UC Davis; Kumars Salehi and David McCleary are graduate students at UC Berkeley. All are UAW 2865 rank-and-file members and members of the UAW 2865 BDS Caucus. Tory and Alborz are also elected officers of the UAW 2865 Joint Council. Kumars and David participated in the Block the Boat protests in Oakland.
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– See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/11/unionizing-solidarity-grassroots#sthash.dShdk5i3.dpuf

maandag 10 november 2014

Vakbondsleden voor Palestina, Bert Giskes 10 november 2014

Binnen de Abvakabo FNV functioneert al jaren een Palestinawerkgroep Die komt voort uit de Werkgroep Palestijnse Vakbeweging (WPV), die eind 80er jaren - kort na het begin van de eerste intifada - door leden van FNV-bonden werd opgericht. Grenzeloos sprak over de werkgroep en het belang van internationale solidariteit vanuit de vakbeweging met Bert Giskes, een van de actieve leden van de werkgroep.

‘Solidariteit, dat is toch de kern van het vakbondswerk, onderlinge solidariteit, die houdt toch niet op bij de landsgrenzen’, is het antwoord van Bert op de vraag waarom de vakbeweging zich bezig zou moeten houden met steun aan de Palestijnen. ‘En daar komt bij dat we heel veel kunnen leren van onze vakbondscolleges elders in de wereld’, voegt hij daar aan toe. ‘In grote delen van de wereld heeft de vakbeweging het heel wat moeilijker dan wij hier. Daar staat voor vakbondsmensen heel wat meer op het spel en dat leidt vaak tot heel strijdbare en betrokken vakbondsleden. Dat is inspirerend voor het vakbondswerk hier, dat vaak wel wat meer pit kan gebruiken.’

En waarom specifiek Palestina? Ook dat is voor Bert eigenlijk vanzelfsprekend. ‘Er zijn dingen die verkeerd zitten, en dingen die verschrikkelijk verkeerd zitten’, zegt hij. ‘Dat laatste, daar valt de situatie van de Palestijnen onder. Je heb daar een combinatie van kolonialisme, bezetting, oorlog, racisme, dat kom daar allemaal samen en dat is heel schrijnend.’

‘En’, gaat hij verder, ‘internationaal vakbondswerk is ook gewoon een kwestie van eigenbelang. We hebben allemaal te maken met internationale ontwikkelingen, met handelsverdragen en allerlei internationale afspraken. Als je als vakbeweging niet oplet en niet internationaal samenwerkt dan glipt dat allemaal door je vingers. Dan kunnen regeringen en bedrijven doen wat ze willen en loop je er als vakbeweging steeds een paar stappen achteraan. Als vakbeweging moet je ook internationaal een vuist maken en dat doe je niet alleen aan de top, door samen te werken in internationale koepels, dat moet ook aan de basis gebeuren door gewone leden en zo nodig dwars door de formele structuren heen.’

Lees verder op Grenzeloos

zaterdag 1 november 2014

Israel's nederzettingen-uitbreiding is een schande, aldus IVV (ITUC)

En tijd om Palestijnse staat volledig te erkennen, aldus de verklaring van de ITUC (IVV, internationaal vakbondsverbond) op 29 oktober. Over IVV-druk om een en ander te bereiken - sancties - zwijgt de verklaring helaas.
Ondermeer vijf jaar geleden - op 20 november 2009 - was er ook zo'n scherpe IVV-veroordeling van de Israelische nederzettingen-politiek, zie hier.
En tien jaar terug eiste de voorganger van het IVV - de ICFTU - in een slotresolutie (2) een onmiddellijk einde van de bezetting van 1967 en afbraak van 'de Muur', conform de uitspraak van het Internationaal Gerechtshof te Den Haag op 9 juli 2004.
In tien jaar tijd is er weer veel Muur en zijn er weer veel kolonisten bij gekomen .......


Israel’s Settlement Expansion is an Outrage – Time for Full Recognition of Palestinian State

The ITUC has condemned Israel’s intention to build yet another 1,000 settlement dwellings in East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said, “Binyamin Netanyahu’s government is treating the international community with total contempt, and trampling further on the rights and livelihoods of Palestinians with this provocative and illegal move.

Governments around the world should respond by giving formal recognition to the State of Palestine, and acting to stop any form of international involvement in building and sustaining these illegal settlements.”
The adoption by the Irish Senate last week of a Resolution to recognise the State of Palestine follows the announcement by Sweden’s government that it plans to formally recognise Palestine, and a recognition motion passed overwhelmingly by the UK Parliament earlier this month.

“Well over 100 countries have now formally recognised the Palestinian State, with parliaments in many others also passing symbolic motions. Symbolic recognition needs to be turned into action, so that the long-promised two-state solution for Israel and Palestine can become a reality. There is every reason for Palestinians to have international recognition, and no good reason for yet further delay. The status quo is a threat to peace and stability in the region and a denial of human rights for the Palestinian people,” said Burrow.

The ITUC is also supporting the call by the Palestinian Authority on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for the UN to afford special protection status to Palestine.
“The international community needs to step up to the task of helping rebuild the Gaza Strip, and the political stagnation which is stopping progress needs to be turned into real action by the global community to break the impasse,” said Burrow.

ITUC 2014 Congress Statement

ITUC 2010 Congress Statement


Slotresolutie ICFTU-Congres december 2004

 Punt 12 in de slotresolutie gaat over het Midden-Oosten; eis is een onmiddellijk eind van de 1967-bezetting!

Quotes in punt 12:

- "... the building by the Israeli government of a separation wall which unfortunately intrudes substantially into Palestinian territory is a violation of international law according to the International Court of Justice and of the rights of Palestinians and can only make peace and mutual coexistence harder to achieve; therefore we call for the full application of all relevant UN Security Council resolutions and that of the International Court of Justice...."

- "... Congress further calls upon the Israeli government to end the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza without delay, and to remove settlements from these territories, recognising that their continued existence is a major barrier to resolving the conflict...."