Unison refuses TUFI a stall at its annual conference

See TULIP (Trade Unions Linking Israel and Palestine).

“Trade Union Friends of Israel (TUFI), which aims to “promote Israeli-Palestinian trade union co-operation and strengthen the links between the Israeli, Palestinian and British trade union movements”, has been banned from attending the upcoming annual conference of UNISON, the giant public sector union.

For three years running TUFI, like many similar groups, had a stall at each year’s UNISON conference, as well as at the conferences of other major trade unions. (This year two major British unions — the GMB and CWU — have specifically invited TUFI to attend.)

But last year, UNISON told TUFI it was not welcome to have a stall at its conference. Initially, UNISON claimed that TUFI had requested the stall too late, but later changed the line to say that TUFI was not welcome because of the “security threat”. Apparently there were some concerns for the safety of Jewish members of the union following the Gaza conflict.

After the conference — at which TUFI held a very successful fringe meeting — UNISON promised that it was all a great misunderstanding and everything would be fine this year.”

Read the whole thing.

This month has seen Israel reacting to Egypt’s ongoing refusal of visas to Israeli academics, and Israeli officials refusing entry to Noam Chomsky and a clown.

It’s grim to see a British trade union allowing its pro-conflict faction to drag it into this. Make some noise.

10 Responses to “Unison refuses TUFI a stall at its annual conference”

  1. zkharya Says:

    TUFI has been banned for the sin/crime of sympathy for Jewish nationalism or “Zionism”. What in 1905 might have been called “philosemitism”. Then the unions wished to exclude the largest Jewish community in the world, in Eastern Europe. Now UNISON wishes to exclude a large part of their descendants, those comprising the second or largest Jewish community in world, in Israel.

    It’s an essentialist speculation, but I suspect that if one were to go back in time, one would see the same types running things.

  2. zkharya Says:

    And, of course, it was those types back in 1905 who coerced the Aliens Bill from Balfour, partly causing him the guilt he sought to assuage by the promise of a Jewish national home.

    I suspect excluding the Jews as a national group will backfire on this lot too.

  3. luny Says:

    Israeli-Arab MKs and community activists who visit the Arab world without state backing face military tribunals and jail terms.
    Id say this is much worse than a stall in a trade union and a couple of denied visas, dont you?

    • zkharya Says:

      Hmm. That’s an odd justification for excluding union members for the sin of ‘Zionism’.

    • zkharya Says:

      ‘Israeli-Arab MKs and community activists who visit the Arab world without state backing face military tribunals and jail terms.’

      Some are being investigated for non-sanctioned meetings with military and political organizations dedicated to Israel’s extinction.

      But since Luny shares the desire for that goal, one way, or another, he or she is unlikely to find any measure Israel takes to avert that end acceptable.

  4. Absolute Observer Says:

    “Israeli-Arab MKs and community activists who visit the Arab world without state backing face military tribunals and jail terms.
    Id say this is much worse than a stall in a trade union and a couple of denied visas, dont you?”

    Yes, certainly, but I would also say that,

    Trade Unionists being hanged in Iran or trade unionists defenestrated in Gaza or someone kidnapped for any number of years is much worse than time spent inside which is much worse than being denied a stall and a couple of visas.

    But, or course, it is not as bad as being having your wedding blown to pieces by some nutter with a belt of explosives on, or even when you merely went out for a pizza, or sitting in a religious house in India or studying in a religious school for that matter.

    Ah, the beauty of the “all harm is relative to the worse harm” argument’ a “get out of jail card” for authoritarian human right abusers everywhere.

    Keep it up, I think the far-right everwhere and not only in Israel have found an ally.

    What a twat!

  5. J. Arnon Says:

    “Israeli-Arab MKs and community activists who visit the Arab world without state backing face military tribunals and jail terms.
    Id say this is much worse than a stall in a trade union and a couple of denied visas, dont you?”

    Why is it much worse? By using the blanket term “Arab world” Luny elides many necessary distinctions/

    Many Arab countries are very hostile to Israel and some like Syria are still at war. Moreover, even in countries like Jordan and Egypt who have signed peace treaties with Israel the public is still hostile to Israel and to Jews.

    That Israeli Arab Mk’s who lend support to their countries enemies should be reprimanded. Would GB have allowed MP to travel to axis countries during WW2 without government permission?

    btw: Israeli Arab MK’s tend to be more radical and anti-Israel than Israeli Arabs in general.

  6. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    1. Should luny (oh, what an apt name!) need to be told/reminded, one George Galloway MP was expelled from the Labour Party for advocating that British troops disobey orders in Iraq and Afghanistan (but especially Iraq). This was, of course, treason: advocating that troops breach their oath of allegiance to the monarch (which the rest of us mere citizens have never had to take), so he got off lightly, really, especially as he then proceeded to unseat a prefectly good Labour MP. Fortunately, he is now history as is, with any luck, the whole of the Respect Party.

    Seems to me a point worthy of discussion in relation to Arab-Israeli MKs (and I’m _not_ arguing that the actions are necessarily comparable – just worthy of discussion).

    2. It’s worth noting that another Deputy Gen Sec of Unison, Karen Jennings, was the (unsuccessful) Labour Party candidate in Hornsey & Wood Green. Fortunately, the extremely vociferous anti-boycott and anti-Tonge Lib Dem Lynne Featherstone got back in with a slight swing in her favour. It took me (as a constituent) 4 emails and six months to get what I thought was an extremely grudging reply that she (K. Jennings) didn’t believe that boycotts achieved anything. This was back in 2008, when Unison had passed a pro-boycott resolution at their Annual Conference.

    It might have helped that my 4th email was copied to Labour Party HQ!

  7. Inna Says:

    And then Unison will wonder at the anti-union backlash….
    And then Unison will wonder where all the union members have gone…

    Regards,

    Inna


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: