TULIP in The Australian

Trade Unions Linking Israel and Palestine had a recent piece in The Australian:

“There are outstanding examples of co-operation between Israeli and Palestinian unions that need to be encouraged. For example, there’s a remarkable initiative launched by the International Transport Workers Federation to make life much easier for Palestinian drivers.

This has been a small but ground-breaking union agreement encouraging dialogue between the Palestinian and Israeli national trade union centres, as well as individual unions and their members on both sides of the divide. This agreement will help improve the livelihoods of hard-working union truckers and their families.

As we write this the ITF is organising to move this important project to a higher level with the co-operation of the Israel trade union congress Histadrut and the Palestinian transport workers union.

This model is a firm rejection of those in trade unions promoting an Israel boycott movement.

This model upholds the traditional role of trade unions when faced with disputes of this kind: bridging the gap between nations at war, encouraging peace, justice and conciliation. It is a trade union tradition and role that we are particularly proud to uphold.”

Read it all.

4 Responses to “TULIP in The Australian”

  1. Alex Says:

    If UCU boycotts Israeli academics, does that make the Palestinian members of TULIP scabs for not expressing solidarity with UCU’s anti-Israel measures?

  2. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    Alex, you are clearly not a trade unionist nor are you versed in trade union history, policy and practice. Either that, or you think it’s funny to talk about scabs and strikebreakers in a light-hearted manner. Something I fail to find the slightest bit amusing (and certainly not ironic) both as (a former) trade unionist for 38 years, and one who notes that just being a member of a union in some countries is to risk imprisonment or worse.

    A scab is one who works when their union has called a strike or fails to follow suit when their union has called for other action short of a strike. A scab is one who, although a member of the union, crosses the picket line to work when his brothers and sisters are not working and have voted democratically not to work. What UCU does or does not do is irrelevant to Palestinian members of a TULIP-affiliated/associated trade union, in all sorts of ways and for all sorts of reasons.

    To belong to a trade union in the UK offers virtually no risk – thanks to Thatcherite law, a trade union member cannot be sanctioned by their union for failing to obey democratically agreed industrial action. In places like Iran, joining a trade union and certainly becoming an official can be, literally, a death sentence.

    If this is a joke to you, then you are one sick puppy.

  3. Alex Says:


    I apologise for the remarks I made that you found offensive, and for using the term scab in an inappropriate manner. While I will not try to justify them, I will suggest that there are elements of the UCU for whom anti-Israel measures seem far more important than actions such as protecting members’ pay and conditions.

  4. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    “I will suggest that there are elements of the UCU for whom anti-Israel measures seem far more important than actions such as protecting members’ pay and conditions.”

    No argument from me there: the “elements” within UCU you mention appear intent on destroing the union as a fighting force in order to satisfy their egos and their (non-union) ideology. Reminds me of the famous Brecht comment after the failed East berlin uprising of 1953: he suggested that the government should abolish the people and elect another. A lesson there for the leadership of the UCU?

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