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Sep-21-2009 03:12printcomments

British Unions Call for Boycott Over Israeli Aggression Against Palestine

"To increase the pressure for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territories, and the removal of the separation wall and the illegal settlements, we will support a boycott..." -British TUC

Palestinian women hurry past IDF soldiers in their occupied nation
Palestinian women hurry past IDF soldiers in their occupied nation. Courtesy:

(LONDON) - Trade unions in the United Kingdom are taking a stand against Israeli aggression in the Middle East, by calling for a boycott of goods that originate from the illegal settlements.

Israel continues to build these settlements, generally large apartment buildings, on Palestinian Territory. It is a maddening situation for the people of Palestine who have already been reduced to small parcels of land, heavily guarded by the watchful guns of the Israeli Defense Forces.

While Jewish people always have lived in this part of the world, most of the land in question belonged to the Palestinians prior to the formation of Israel in 1947 and 1948. In most cases it was taken away forcefully, and that exact behavior from Israel steams along in high gear today.

There has been some confusion about the statement from the British Trade Unions. Initially, they did call for a wider boycott of Israel, but political pressure apparently led to their revised call, which applies only to goods originating from the illegal settlements, rather than Israel as a whole.

General Council statement on the Middle East

The TUC reiterates its belief that only when a sovereign, independent, democratic contiguous and viable Palestinian state is created, living side by side with a secure Israel will there be a chance for peace and stability in the Middle East.

We remain committed to a two-state solution to the crisis in the Middle East and support for the Road Map. We recognize the enormous suffering of the Palestinian people, and we call upon the British Government to make appropriate representations to the international community to secure lasting peace through a negotiated settlement based on mutual respect and self-determination, on justice for the Palestinians and on security for Israel.

The TUC reiterates its condemnation of the Government of Israel's offensive in Gaza which resulted in 1,450 Palestinian deaths and 5,000 injured, as well as the massive, systematic destruction of infrastructure. We also reiterate our condemnation of the rocket attacks from inside Gaza against Israeli civilians. We welcome the findings of the UN investigation which highlighted possible war crimes on both sides of the conflict. The TUC remains concerned about the situation in Gaza and reiterates its opposition to the Israeli blockade, which is in contravention of international law and prevents vital supplies from reaching the people of Gaza. We welcome the contributions unions made earlier this year to the TUC Aid appeal for Gaza.

As a result of the Gaza offensive, the TUC calls on the British Government to:

(a) condemn the Israeli military aggression and the continuing blockade of Gaza;

(b) end arms sales to Israel which reached a value of £18.8 million in 2008, up from £7.7 million in 2007;

(c) seek EU agreement to impose a ban on the importing of goods produced in the illegal settlements; and

(d) support moves to suspend the EU-Israel Association Agreement which provides preferential trade facilities to Israel.

The TUC reiterates our pledge to work in solidarity with the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) and urges unions to support financially the TUC/PGFTU projects funded through TUC Aid as well as the joint Histadrut-PGFTU projects being developed in several sectors under the auspices of Global Union Federations. We welcome the resolution last year of the longstanding dispute over the remittance of membership subscriptions from the Histadrut to the PGFTU, which was brokered by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), and support any stronger relations between the Histadrut and the PGFTU that they wish to develop.

The TUC condemns the Histadrut statement of 13 January 2009 which backed the attacks on Gaza and showed insufficient concern for the level of civilian casualties. At the same time, we recognize the recent Histadrut resolution on peace and co-operation, welcomed by the ITUC, which calls on the Israeli government 'to make concessions and take courageous and concrete steps towards attaining peace.' We will continue to press Histadrut to take a firmer line on these issues. The General Council will raise Congress' concerns with the Histadrut and report back to Congress on future relationships.

To increase the pressure for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territories, and the removal of the separation wall and the illegal settlements, we will support a boycott (where trade union members should not put their own jobs at risk by refusing to deal with such products) of those goods and agricultural products that originate in illegal settlements - through developing an effective, targeted consumer-led boycott campaign working closely with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign - and campaign for disinvestment by companies associated with the occupation as well as engaged in building the separation wall. In undertaking these actions each affiliate will operate within its own aims and objectives and within the law.

We reiterate our encouragement to unions to affiliate to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and to raise greater awareness of the issues.

Source: TUC Congress

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Jimmy September 21, 2009 4:11 pm (Pacific time)

COMPANIES TO BOYCOTT AOL Time Warner Time Life magazine, CNN, ICQ Apax Partners Jonny Rockets, Sunglass Hut. Arsenal Football Club Coca-Cola Fruitopia, Fanta, Kia Orange, Lilt, Sprite, Sunkist.. Caterpillar Danone HP foods, Evian, Volvic, Jacob Delta Galil Hema, Barbie, Carrefour, Auchan, Tchibo, Victoria's Secret, GAP, Banana Republic, Structure, J-Crew, JC Penny, Pryca, Lindex, DIM, DKNY, Ralph Lauren, Playtex, cK, Hugo Boss, MandS Disney Emblaze Estée Lauder Aramis, Clinique, DKNY, Prescriptives, Origins, MAC, La Mer, Bobbi Brown, Tommy Hilfiger, Jane, Donna Karan, Aveda, Stila, Jo Malone, Bumble and Bumble, Kate Spade Home Depot Villager's Hardware, Georgia Lighting, Apex Supply, EXPO Design Centres IBM Intel Johnson and Johnson Kimberly-Clark Kleenex, Kotex, Huggies, Andrex Lewis Trust Group River Island, Isrotel hotels, Britannia Pacific The Limited Inc Express stores, Lerner New York, Structure, New York and Company, Mast Industries, Intimate Brands, Victoria's Secret, Bath and Body Works, White Barn Candle Company, Henri Bendel L'Oreal Giorgio Armani, Redken 5th Avenue, Lancome Paris, Vichy, Cacharel, La Roche-Posay, Garnier, Biotherm, Helena Rubinstein, Maybelline, Ralph Lauren, Carson Marks and Spencer MandS, St.Michaels McDonald's Motorola Nestle Nescafé, Perrier, Vittel, Pure Life, Carnation, Libby's, Milkmaid, Nesquik, Maggi, Buitoni, Cross and Blackwell, KitKat, Milkybar, Quality Street, Smarties, After Eight, Aero, Polo, Lion, Felix cat food, L'Oréal News Corporation TV: Fox, Sky, Star, Phoenix, Granada, CNBC. UK newspapers: Standard Newspaper, News of the World, The Sun, The Times. Australian Newspapers: The Telegraph , Gold Coast Bulletin, Herald Sun, Independent, Sunday Mail. US newspapers: New York Post. Publishers: Harper Collins Ragan, Zondervan, National Geographical. Nursery World, Rawkus, NDS, Mushroom Records,, Festival Records Nokia Revlon New World Entertainment, Forbes Sara Lee Hanes, Playtex, Champion, Leggs, Douwe Egberts, Bryan, DIM, Ambi Pur, Bali, Superior Coffee, Just My Size, Kiwi, Maison Cafe, Nur die, Pilao, Lovable, Outer Banks, Wonderbra, Sanex, Pickwick, Gossard, Body Mist, Brylcreem, Aqua Velva, Radox Siemens Selfridges Starbucks Seattle Coffee, Pasqua, Hear Music, Tazo Timberland from

Julie September 21, 2009 9:42 am (Pacific time)

Well that's a good start. We can make a difference too- How about if the US stops paying for the Israeli kids' college educations while our kids can't afford school? Maybe they'd have a different perspective if the world wasn't spoiling them so.

Daniel Johnson September 21, 2009 8:02 am (Pacific time)

The Bible says that those who have experienced persecution should not in their turn persecute: "Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt." (Exodus 22:21)It's their book, the Israelis should reread it.

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