TUC to debate wide-ranging Israel boycott during conference this week

TUC to debate wide-ranging Israel boycott during conference this week

British trade union leaders will discuss motion submitted by Artists’ Union England, accusing Israeli governments of 'destroying prospects for peace'

Stickers calling for a boycott of Israel
Stickers calling for a boycott of Israel

The leaders of British trade unions will debate a motion calling for an extensive boycott of Israel during an annual conference in Brighton this week.

Motion 75 at this year’s Trade Unions Congress (TUC), called ‘Palestine: supporting rights to self-determination,’ was submitted by Artists’ Union England and accuses the US and Israeli administrations of “destroying prospects for peace”.

The motion calls for TUC policy to “prioritise Palestinians’ rights to freedom, justice and equality, including by applying these principles based on international law to all UK trade with Israel”.

It also calls for the TUC to “oppose any proposed solution for Palestinians, including Trump’s deal, not based on international law and UN resolutions recognising their collective rights to self-determination and to return to their homes”.

The co-chair of Artists’ Union England is Zita Holbourne, whose artwork has been used for Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) campaigns. She sits on the TUC’s Race Relations Committee and co-founded United Black Labour for Jeremy Corbyn.

The TUC, which has 5.6 million members, has adopted several similar motions in recent years. In 2010, it agreed to “work with the PSC to actively encourage affiliates, employers and pension funds to disinvest from, and boycott the goods of, companies who profit from illegal settlements, the occupation and the construction of the [security] wall”.

In 2014 it reiterated that position, calling on the UK Government and the EU “to end immediately arms trading with Israel including all military-industrial collaboration” and for “the suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement until the rights of the Palestinians are established”.

Last year, TUC General Council international spokeswoman Sally Hunt told a trade union forum in Tunisia that the TUC rejected Donald Trump’s decision to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and criticised as “absolutely appalling” a UN speech by then US Ambassador Nikki Haley, calling it “threatening and bullying”.

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