TUC must boycott Israel!

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IT is a disgrace that at this week’s TUC Congress there are no resolutions on the Middle East and Afghanistan where over a million lives have been lost in the last four years at the hands of the imperialist powers and its agents.

There are no resolutions this year on Palestine, the Lebanon or Iraq, when in previous years such resolutions, accompanied by fiery speeches about ending the occupation of Palestine and ending the war in Iraq, were routine.

In Iraq, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and an entire country’s infrastructure has been smashed up by the US and UK governments. An opinion poll has shown that worldwide over 50 per cent of the people are demanding the withdrawal of all of the occupation forces from Iraq.

This year the TUC will not be doing so.

It does not want to embarrass the Brown government with the demand for a timetable for a complete withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, despite the fact that, in Iraq, British troops are surrounded and confined to the Basra airport, while in Helmand province, poppy production has reached world record proportions right under the noses of the British Army. A large part of this poppy crop is destined for the ‘British market’ to poison British youth.

Yet the TUC will not be discussing or taking up a position on these critical situations. Its number one priority is to prop up the Brown government.

The Blair-Brown government played a role in Israel’s July 2006 war in the Lebanon, when it refused to demand a cease-fire by the Israeli forces, allowing them to slaughter Lebanese civilians and sow the country with up to a million anti-personnel mines.

This was a criminal action. However, the TUC is not willing to discuss it, because doing so would involve criticising Premier Brown, whom it wants to toady up to.

Then there is Palestine. Along with Bush, the Blair- Brown government took the decision to starve the people of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip into submission, after the Palestinian people elected the government of their choice, Hamas, and rejected the US-UK choice, Fatah.

The people of Gaza have little food and even less water and electricity. They are being punished ruthlessly by the US-UK governments for their support of Hamas.

Meanwhile, the Israeli occupiers, ensconced in the area since 1967, are building a wall partitioning the West Bank and planning to annex most of it to Israel.

Such is the anger of the people of the world at this that a movement has emerged to boycott Israel, until it concedes a Palestinian state based on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital, and with Palestinian refugees having the right to return.

UNISON and the UCU have passed motions supporting a boycott, as have the Canadian trade unions and a number of Australian trade unions, creating consternation among the Zionists.

However, the Zionists and their imperialist masters are fighting back and a section of the German and US trade union movements have opposed a boycott.

This leaves the TUC to choose between the US and UK imperialists and Israel, or the Palestinian liberation struggle.

The TUC have opted to scab on the boycott campaign and support the imperialist powers.

As is their way, the stab in the back for the Palestinians comes with a bureaucratic twist of the knife.

Instead of allowing Congress to vote on the issue, the TUC leaders have kept all resolutions on Palestine off the agenda, in an attempt at a TUC coup against the Palestinians and their delegates.

Delegates must not allow this stab in the back against the Palestinian people to take place.

There must be an emergency resolution put on the agenda for a boycott of Israel, a trading, military, and cultural boycott, until it concedes a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

To do less will be to give real support to the oppressors of the Palestinian people.

Likewise on Iraq and Afghanistan. There must be emergency motions put down for an immediate withdrawal by all UK-US forces.

The TUC leaders must not be allowed to get away with surreptitiously placing the TUC trade unions on the side of the imperialist powers and Israel.