In an important decision this week, TUC Congress passed a motion (see below) expressing its solidarity with Palestine, and supporting policy based on prioritising “Palestinians’ rights to freedom, justice and equality.”
Speaking in the debate, Philippa Marsden, Unite representative and member of the recent trade union women’s delegation to Palestine, said that “besieged and blockaded from all sides, the Gaza Strip remains the world’s largest prison,” adding that, “but increasing numbers of annexations and the building of illegal settlements has built a string of mini Gazas across the country,” and concluding that “All of us here must redouble our efforts to build solidarity with the Palestinian people.”
Other speakers included Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary speaking on behalf of the TUC General Council, who said “We oppose the recent US policy of withdrawing much-needed aid from the United Nations Work and Relief Agency in Palestine,” explaining that “This is particularly concerning given that, in recent years, it has been reported that Gaza was on track to become unlivable by 2020.”
He added that, “We recognise calls by UN officials to halt further demolitions, and concerns expressed by further settlements.”
Moving the motion, Artists’ Union of England delegate Martin Sundram explained that “What we’re defending in this motion is not just the right to self-determination for the Palestinian people, but the rule of law itself.”
Following Trump and Netanyahu’s recent moves to stamp out any prospect of peace and justice, it is so important that the trade union movement speaks up for Palestine and that the Labour Party does the same at its upcoming Conference.
- The full text of the motion can be found for information purposes below.
Motion 75 Palestine – supporting rights to self-determination
Carried motion. Received from: AUE (Artists’ Union England.)
- The US and Israeli administrations are destroying prospects for peace in Palestine – by recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, stopping funding for Palestinian refugees, the continuing siege of Gaza, expanding illegal settlements and plans to annex illegally large areas of the West Bank. Trump’s “deal of the century” is an attempt to destroy core Palestinian rights.
- TUC policy must prioritise Palestinians’ rights to freedom, justice and equality, including by applying these principles based on international law to all UK trade with Israel.
- The TUC needs to condemn the ongoing injustices against the Palestinians, denied their right to self-determination since the British Mandate, and during the 1948 Nakba when Palestinians were forcibly displaced from their homes.
Congress resolves 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
- support efforts to establish an ethical policy on all UK’s trade with Israel, framed around international law on settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories and stopping any arms trade with Israel used in violation of the human rights of the Palestinians
- commit to raise the pressure on corporations complicit in arms trading and supporting Israel’s illegal occupation and settlement building, by working with its affiliated unions, with the international trade union movement, and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, to develop strategies to put pressure on complicit corporations to cease all such activities.