TUC calls for Israel sanctions to “end apartheid”


The Trades Unions Congress 2020 conference, held online

Asa Winstanley reports in The Electronic Intifada:

The British Trades Union Congress has condemned Israel’s annexation plan, calling it “another significant step in the creation of a system of apartheid” in the West Bank.

Passed on Tuesday, the motion is thought to be the first time the British trade union umbrella body has described Israeli policies as apartheid.

The TUC motion calls for the UK to “take firm and decisive measures, including sanctions” against Israel to stop annexation, end the occupation and respect the right of Palestinian refugees to return.  It also called for unions around the world to join the campaign “to stop annexation and end apartheid.”

The general council also put out a statement saying it would “actively encourage affiliates, employers and pension funds to disinvest from, and boycott the goods of, companies who profit from illegal settlements and the occupation.”

Ben Jamal, director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in the UK, said: “We welcome this motion which reaffirms the strong support across the UK trade union movement for the rights of Palestinians.  There can be no normalized relations with any state practicing apartheid unless one is to become a reinforcing part of the system. We applaud the TUC for calling clearly for sanctions.”

The motion also commits the TUC to working with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

The BDS National Committee, or BNC, the civil society coalition that leads Palestine’s boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, also welcomed the TUC move.

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