European trade union network supports BDS

European trade union network issued a statement of support and solidarity with Palestinian people:

« Despite the ruling by the International Court of Justice 10 years ago, which judged the wall built by Israel on occupied Palestinian territory to be illegal, Israel has continued the construction of the colonial wall in contempt of the Court’s decision. After 47 years of occupation of the Palestinian West Bank (including East Jerusalem), the Gaza Strip and Syria’s Golan Heights, Israel continues to increase its colonies. It has annexed Occupied East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, and a large expanse of the West Bank with the aid of the Wall. 66 years after the State of Israel was established on land ethnically cleansed of its Palestinian inhabitants, the majority of Palestinians are refugees, most of whom are stateless persons. Moreover, Israel’s entrenched system of racial discrimination against its own Palestinian Arab citizens remains intact.

Since 1948, hundreds of UN resolutions have condemned Israel’s colonial and discriminatory policies as illegal and called for immediate, proportionate and efficient remedies. All forms of international intervention and peace endeavours have thus far failed to convince or compel Israel to respect basic human rights and to put an end to its occupation and its oppression of the people of Palestine. In 2005, the representatives of Palestinian civil society launched an international appeal for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, like those applied in the struggle waged against apartheid in South Africa:

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 similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era. We appeal to you to pressure your respective states to impose embargoes and sanctions against Israel. We also invite conscientious Israelis to support this Call, for the sake of justice and genuine peace. These non-violent punitive measures should be maintained until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law by:

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall; 2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and 3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.”

We, European alternative and grassroots trade unions, support the call by Palestinian civil society for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel as long as it persists in violating international law, the resolutions of the United Nations, the decisions of the International Court of Justice, and the universal principles of human rights. It is vital to strengthen the relations between Palestinian and European trade unions, to develop solidarity campaigns and to pass on to unionists and workers the personal testimonies of workers in Palestine so as to make known the system of apartheid, the military occupation, the building of walls and the neoliberal austerity imposed upon the Palestinian people.

We call upon trade unions and unionists around the world to help apply consumer boycotts, divestment from companies and calls for sanctions against the State of Israel, and to break their relations with Histradut, the racist Israeli trade union. »

Find a full statement here