From Irish Political Review: December 2007

Palestine Solidarity

Motion no 70, Belfast & District Trades Council:

This ICTU BDC is outraged at the continue human rights abuses being suffered by the Palestinian people. In response to the destructive impact of the Israeli Governments actions on the daily life of Palestinians, and in pursuance of the existing ICTU policy to campaign in solidarity with the Palestinian people, this BDC calls on the ICTU to:

a) Make direct representations to the European Council of Ministers to:

i) Challenge the withholding of EU funding for the Palestinian Authority.
ii) Raise the EU’s failure to meet its obligations under International Law to oppose the illegal actions of the Israeli Government.
iii) Call for the ending of the preferential trading status afforded to Israel under the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement.


b) Seek meetings with the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Irish EU Commissioner to raise our concerns around the issues raised in point a) above and to ask for their support.
c) Make representations to the European TUC to organise a campaign around the issues raised in point a).
d) To support and promote a boycott campaign of Israeli goods and services similar to the boycott of South African goods during the Apartheid regime. ICTU should work with affiliates, human rights and humanitarian relief organisations to promote such a campaign through a programme of educational activities and media campaigns.
e) To support and promote a policy of divestment from Israeli companies as a means of encouraging the Israeli government to comply with International Law and to end the human rights violations of the Palestinian people. As part of this ICTU should encourage affiliates to apply and campaign for a policy of ethical investment against Israeli companies and other companies who directly support the Israeli government’s occupation of Palestinian land and infrastructure.
f) To strengthen solidarity links between the Irish, Palestinian and Israeli labour movements through exchange visits. ICTU should initially facilitate a trade union delegation to the Palestinian territories to encourage greater awareness of the situation.

The BDC welcomes the establishment of the Trade Union friends of Palestine in Northern Ireland and calls on ICTU to encourage the formation of a similar group in the republic of Ireland. To facilitate this, the BDC also calls on ICTU to host a seminar to further develop trade union solidarity action.

A further motion proposed by Derry Trades Council was also passed. It will be found on the Athol BooksWebsite, along with the text of a speech made by Michael Robinson in proposing the motion above.

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