UNISON supports boycott of Israel

The following motion was passed by UNISON (the biggest trade union of public workers in the UK representing over 1.3 million workers) on 20 June 2007 at their 2007 national delegate conference in Brighton, England:

Conference continues to consider that a just solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict must be based upon international law and Israel should:

1) withdraw to its 1949-67 borders;

2) allow the refugees of 1948 to return home;

3) remove all its settlements from the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Occupied Syrian Al-Joulan;

4) take down the Apartheid Wall; and

5) respect the Palestinian people’s right to national self-determination and to establish a state in the West bank and the Gaza Strip with its capital in Jerusalem.

Conference notes that the Israeli occupation has now continued for 40 years. It welcomes the formation of the “Enough!” coalition to focus protest on this anniversary.

But Conference believes that ending the occupation demands concerted and sustained pressure upon Israel including an economic, cultural, academic and sporting boycott.

Conference condemns the economic sanctions imposed upon the Occupied Palestinian Territories following Palestinian Parliamentary Elections of 25 January 2006, which make worse the appalling economic circumstances of the occupation. It is a unique example of economic sanctions imposed, not upon an occupier, but upon a population struggling against illegal military occupation.

Conference instructs the National Executive Council to:

a) continue to campaign with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and others as appropriate;

b) continue to develop capacity building projects with the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU);

c) call upon the United Kingdom government to end the arms trade with Israel;

d) produce UNISON’s own material on Palestine to build knowledge among members;

e) consider inviting a PGFTU delegation to tour regions;

f) seek ways to work with the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and other trade unions on the basis of the TUC 2006 Congress resolution;

g) raise the issue of Palestine with UNISON’s overseas partners and with international trade union federations with the aims of:

i) suspending the European Union/Israel Association Agreement; and

ii) a mandatory United Nations Arms Embargo on Israel of the kind the Security Council imposed on South Africa in 1977; and

h) encourage branches and regions to affiliate to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), help build PSC branches and consider twinning with PGFTU organised public sector workers in Palestine.

Editor’s Note: The motion originally published by The Electronic Intifada was not debated at the UNISON National Delegate Conference 2007. The above is the correct motion which was debated and carried by a clear majority of the conference. The Electronic Intifada regrets the error.

Related Links

  • UNISON: The Public Service Union
  • By Topic: Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions