National Delegate Conference 16-19 June
Palestine: Boycott and review of relationship with Histadrut
UNISON took a step further in its support for a sovereign independent
and democratic Palestinian State when it threw its weight behind
a boycott of goods from the illegal Israeli settlements, urging
the government to support a ban.
UNISON will also review its relationship with Histadrut.
Supporting the wide ranging composite, Scottish Regional Delegate,
Mike Kirby, spoke of his visit to the Occupied Territories and
Israel in March, as part of an STUC delegation which engaged with
He described the conditions of Palestinians living under occupation
with checkpoints and the separation wall cutting villages in half
and away from their agricultural land; an occupation enforced
by settlements, some with tens of thousands of Jewish immigrants
and a network of roads barred to Palestinians.
An occupation described by one Palestinian Minister as "… not
a classic occupation but one of trying to exclude us or remove
us from our land."
Until recently the Scottish region had supported dialogue between
Palestinian trade unions and the Histadrut. However, recent actions
by Histadrut has compelled a review and Mike called for a programme
of boycott and disinvestment and a review of relations with Histadrut.
"Conference, I believe in dialogue with all parties. History
in Northern Ireland illustrates the necessity.The potential for
capacity building and joint vocational training with PGFTU and
Histadrut is inspiring."
"However, when Histadrut condones the excess of 'Operation Cast
Lead" in Gaza, when Histradut is accused of organising in the
illegal settlements, we must review our relations and contracts."
Opponents of this strategy expressed concerns that a boycott
could lead to antisemitism across this country. However, the NEC
speaker assured that UNISON will have no truck with any form of
racist or anti-semitic action and will implement the programme
of Boycott Disinvestment and Sanctions (BDS) and the review of
the relationship with Histadrut in a careful step by step manner.