From the CUPE Ontario website:
Tuesday, June 6, 2006
Delegates to the CUPE Ontario convention in Ottawa voted unanimously to support the international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel until that state recognizes the Palestinian right to self-determination.
The global campaign started last July and has been supported by many North American churches, 20 Quebec organizations, and others. The Israeli “apartheid wall” has been declared illegal by the International Court of Justice.
The resolution approved by delegates states:
CUPE Ontario will:
1. With Palestine solidarity and human rights organization, develop an education campaign about the apartheid nature of the Israeli state and the political and economic support of Canada for these practices.
2. Support the international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people's inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law including the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.
3. Call on CUPE National to commit to research into Canadian involvement in the occupation and call on the CLC to join us in lobbying against the apartheid-like practices of the Israeli state and call for the immediate dismantling of the wall.
• The Israeli Apartheid Wall has been condemned and determined illegal under international law.
• Over 170 Palestinian political parties, unions and other organization including the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) issued a call in July 2005 for a global campaign of boycotts and divestment against Israel similar to those imposed against South African Apartheid.
• CUPE BC has firmly and vocally condemned the occupation of Palestine and have initiated an education campaign about the apartheid-like practices of the Israeli state.
The resolution now goes to the CUPE Ontario Executive Board to develop a plan for implementing support for the boycott and developing an education campaign.
From the CUPE BC website
News release June 3, 2006
Many CUPE members in B.C. will have read about the CUPE Ontario vote held at its annual convention in Ottawa on May 27 to support a boycott of Israel.
Due to the high volume of correspondence received by the CUPE BC office, the B.C. division is restating its position on Israel for members and the general public.
CUPE BC is governed on the question of Israel/Palestine by two resolutions passed at its own annual conventions. The first, passed in 2001, called for "the total ending of the Israeli occupation and illegal settlement of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem (UN Resolution 224 and 338), the immediate cessation of the Israeli armed attacks on a civilian people and the ending of the siege on villages, towns and cities (4th Geneva Convention), and the development of a peace process based on equality between Israelis and Palestinians and on the implementation of UN resolutions."
The second resolution, passed in 2003, mandated the CUPE BC International Solidarity Committee to produce educational materials on Israel/Palestine as reflected by the 2001 resolution. The Committee responded by publishing the booklet, "The Wall Must Fall", which is now in its third edition. The booklet has been widely distributed in the trade union movement and the general community and can be accessed on this website. (English version and French version.)
Progressive Jewish activists-including Carl Rosenberg, editor of Canadian Jewish Outlook, Jeff Halper of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions and Tanya Reinhart, a well known Israeli peace activist-are quoted in the booklet's introduction and draw a comparison between Israel and South Africa. These activists insist that after 38 years of illegal occupation only international sanctions, boycotts and other pressure against Israel can bring peace to the region.
Many churches, non-governmental organizations and trade unions have answered this call. CUPE Ontario is the latest organization to do so. CUPE BC, which is governed by its 2001 resolution, currently has no division resolutions that deal with a boycott or sanctions campaign.
"There is no boycott against the state of Israel by CUPE in this province," CUPE BC president Barry O'Neill confirmed this week. "In fact, there have not even been any discussions to do so."
O'Neill added that it is unfortunate that opponents and critics of the CUPE Ontario resolution have responded with vicious attacks on both B.C. and Ontario divisions.
"We are disappointed that some have chosen to send us hate mail or harass our office staff," he said. "Such energy would be better spent on dialogue and debate between the parties. Although we all have an opinion on how we can get there-to peace in the Middle East-we all agree that getting there is what needs to be done."
From: Steelwokers Toronto Area Council
Date: June 12, 2006
The Toronto Area Council is concerned about the campaign being waged against CUPE Ontario for having passed "Resolution 50" at its recent Convention.
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