Letter signed by over 25 US labor union heads 'questions motivation' of UK counterparts
Published: 07.19.07, 12:11 / Israel News
Over 25 American labor union heads have signed a letter condemning their British counterparts for singling out Israel for a boycott on Wednesday.
"We view with increasing concern the phenomenon of trade unions in a number of countries, including, most recently, the United Kingdom, issuing resolutions that either directly or indirectly call for divestment from and boycotts of Israel," the letter stated, adding: "With the large number of local, regional and international conflicts, with the diverse range of oppressive regimes around the world about which there is almost universal silence, we have to question the motives of these resolutions that single out one country in one conflict.
"We note with increasing concern that virtually all of these resolutions focus solely on objections to actions or policies of the Israeli government, and never on actions or policies of Palestinian or other Arab governments, parties or movements," the statement continued.
"We notice with increasing concern that characterization of the Palestinians as victims and Israel as victimizer is a staple of such resolutions. That there are victims and victimizers on all sides, and that many if not most of the victims of violence and repression on all sides are civilians, are essential items often not mentioned in these resolutions," it said.
'No purpose other than demonizing Israel'
The letter was signed by, among others, the presidents of the American Postal Union, the Communication Workers of America, the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craft Workers, and the American Federation of Government Employees.
The statement was composed by the Jewish Labor Committee (JLC), whose president, Stuart Applebaum, described the UK boycott resolution as having "no purpose other than demonizing Israel."
American union leaders "understand that resolutions calling for boycotts of Israel undermine the goal of winning a lasting peace in the Middle East," Applebaum said, adding: "It's obvious that the motivation behind these one-sided boycotts is less an authentic concern for human rights than it is a desire to bash Israel."
Last May, Britain's University and College Union (UCU) passed a resolution which called on its "members to consider the moral implications of existing and proposed links with Israeli academic institutions." Last month, Unison, the largest union in Britain, called for a total boycott of Israel.