Sanctions on Israel: If not now,
Merseyside trade unionists call
against Israeli invasions of Lebanon, Gaza
Report by Sacked Liverpool Dockworkers
Published: 28 July 2006
On behalf of Merseyside trade unionists the Sacked Liverpool
Dockworkers have been asked to circulate, coordinate and collate
all responses to this message.
We are trade unionists with a record of action within our own industries
and in opposition to racism and war. We watch with horror and outrage
as Israel has bombed Lebanon indisciminately since 12 July with
hundreds of civilian casualties, and their army begins a major ground
invasion. Similar atrocities are being committed against Palestinians
by Israeli forces in Gaza.
We know that the Blair government, including even the T&G sponsored
Foreign Secretary, has given Israel a blank cheque to continue this
war while the UN Secretary General calls for an immediate ceasefire
and Israeli bombs kill UN observers at their post in Lebanon.
We also know that our own unions have been very slow to react.
It is two years since the International Court of Justice declared
the apartheid wall which carves up the West Bank to be completely
illegal under the 4th Geneva Convention, along with the Israeli
settlements and the entire occupation itself.
How much longer are we prepared to watch Lebanon and Palestine
burn, before we act?
In the 1930s, trade unionists from Merseyside fought fascism
In 1973, Rolls–Royce engineers in Glasgow refused to ship RB–111
jet engines to the Chilean junta after Pinochet overthrew the democratically
elected government of Salvador Allende. On Merseyside, trade unionists
and our movement took Chilean refugees to their heart.
In the 1980s, Liverpool dockers and many other workers around
the world imposed sanctions on South Africa, even while Margaret
Thatcher backed the apartheid regime to the hilt. We agree with
Willie Madisha, President of the Congress of South African Trade
Unions (COSATU), who wrote on 6 June:
Boycotts, disinvestments and sanctions against the apartheid
regime in South Africa hastened our march to democracy. Why should
it be different for Palestinians? In the face of an intransigent,
arrogant, racist and brutal Israeli state, this strategy of isolation
– particularly since the vast majority of Palestinians support it
– should be applied to Israel as well. It is a peaceful option.
If not now, when?
We call on our brothers and sisters throughout the movement to
1) boycott Israeli consumer goods
2) identify your employers trade and investment links
with Israel, and raise these as a matter of utmost urgency
3) speak out within your union and demand that your
elected leadership recognise the slaughter in Lebanon and Gaza is
a trade union issue and act accordingly
4) join demonstrations and donate funds in solidarity with
Palestinian and Lebanese victims of the Israeli military aggresion
5) if you can, intervene directly to stop trade with Israel
while the carnage in Lebanon and Gaza continues
contact Sacked Liverpool
Dockworkers to sign this statement