Palestinian workers, unions don’t support BDS campaign


“In an extraordinary series of blog postings, British trade unionists visiting Israel and Palestine have learned that Palestinian workers and their unions are not enthusiastic supporters of the campaign for boycotts, divestments and sanctions (BDS) targetting Israel.

In fact, they were told bluntly that the BDS campaign is bad news for Palestinians.

USDAW National Executive member Mike Dixon wrote:

“There was a discussion about the boycott and it is clear that Palestinians don’t want it – all they want is equal pay and a living.”

The communications director for the Advance union added:

“Listening to people from both communities on the subject of the proposed international trade union boycott, it is evident that all parties oppose this action.  In a meeting with the Jerusalem Municipality workers, one view from the Palestinian contingent was that a boycott would be more detrimental to the Arab workforce than any other. The reason for this was that in the event of economic sanctions, it would cause a detrimental impact on the employment levels of their community.”

The entire blog should be required reading for trade unionists in Britain and elsewhere.”

Read it all, and wonder why British boycotting union activists (because theirs is an activist-led boycott, not a membership-led one) are so incredibly attached to the boycott idea. However, since there is a groundswell of support for Palestinians, it would be good to have a better understanding of the kind of support Palestinian trade unionists hope for from their international community of advocates.

HT Ben

Palestinian workers, unions don’t support BDS campaign

4 Responses to “Palestinian workers, unions don’t support BDS campaign”

  1. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    Wow, hot news! Trade union members join unions to gain better pay and working conditions. Stop press: standards of living are more important than empty political gestures, if only because the latter don’t not only fail to put bread on the table, they might even take that bread off it.

    These pro-BDS idiots in the (British) trade union movement have forgotten (if they ever knew) that Marx expected the better fed to lead the revolution, and thus backed trade unions as the obvious mechanism to lead the proletariat into a reasonable standard of living, from which would come the revolution (and, yes, of course I know that it was Lenin who coined the phrase and the terminology of the “vanguard party”).

    Makes one weep to think that British trade union leaders had to hear Palestinian trade unionists remind them of these basic truths. Even the Methodism that lay at the root of British left radicalism/socialism (rather than Marxism) should have taught them this. And it did, of course, until they stopped reading the texts of the founding parents.

    Flow, my tears, at this ahistorical turn of events.

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  3. Ethan Heitner Says:

    “In reaction to reports alleging that a Palestinian trade union official has stated his reservations about the Palestinian civil society campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), the full spectrum of the Palestinian trade union movement has expressed solid support for the BDS National Committee (BNC) and for the global BDS campaign against Israel as an effective form of resisting its military occupation, war crimes and apartheid policies.”

  4. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    Ethan, I missed your comment before today, but I’ll state yet again, why are you linking to an anti-Zionism site that has made it clear that it wishes to see a single state “from the river to the sea”, and treating what they say as though it is the holy grail and, more importantly, as though it states facts? The TULIP report is factual: it’s what British trade unionists found. Or are they lying? Or are the Palestinian trade unionists to whom they spoke lying? You need _far_ more than mere linking and assertion. What’s your point? That the Palestinian arm of the BDS movement asserts that (maybe even strong-arms them into) Palestinian trade unions (which isn’t necessarily the same thing as the members of those unions) are supporters of BDS? How do explain away all the polling evidence os as strong a support for “two-states” among West Bankers and against BDS as among Israelis? And how do you explain away all the polling evidence that shows that Arab-Israelis overwhelmingly do _not_ want to live in a Palestinian state, however much they dislike elements of life in Israel?

    Or do you dismiss it as all fabrication? If so, where’s your evidence? Or, alternatively, do you just prefer to ignore the evidence if it’s inconvenient? You certainly don’t argue against it.

    Just like me and just like you, the Palestinian BDS movement is ideologically committed, but unlike them and you, I seek evidence not just assertion. Mira got it about right on her final comments on that other thread you were posting on – the one above this. Below is what I would have posted there if she hadn’t closed the thread:

    “That you’re an American and therefore don’t know how a British Labour Government works is no excuse. You could easily find out: I have, over the years, found out how US governments work. You’re perfectly content to accept the word of politically committed Palestinians over the words of international trade unionists, over the evidence (less biased than mine or any other “Zionist” – and does that make you, a therefore self-confessed anti-Zionist, any _more_ reliable?) of _every_ opinion poll carried out on the West Bank as to the general view of boycotts versus a two-state solution…

    You present yourself as much more committed than me to a particular view and to an unwillingness to engage with evidence, information and argument that contradicts or at least _counters_ your pre-determined view. You present assertion and claim that Trade Unions Linking Israel and Palestine (TULIP) is a “Zionist” organisation; in the sense that as Israel is sovreign state as created by the UN in 1947, then yes, TULIP can be designated a Zionist organisation. In this case, the overwhelming number of other sovreign states in the world are also “Zionists”, in that they accept Israel’s right to exist and, like all other sovreign states, defend themselves and their citizens. How do you square _that_ circle, Ethan? Does that make those who support the continued existence of the United States as a sovreign state “Americanists”? etc.

    Some answers to the points actually raised, instead of dismissals of that you do not wish to even think about (you might have to concede ground to others) would be nice.”

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