[lbo-talk] [Pen-l] United Electrical Workers endorse BDS, call for "a peace settlement on the basis of self-determination for Palestinians and the right to return"

Robert Naiman naiman at justforeignpolicy.org
Fri Aug 28 23:38:58 PDT 2015

A very noteworthy development. Thanks for calling it to our attention.

I will be very interested to see what the follow-up to this is, if any. Some of these resolutions seem to pass without leading to any action; in particular, without leading to any political action. The UE is not huge, but there are places where it has a real political operation and is a real political force. If they decided to follow this up with political engagement in concert with other groups, it could have a real impact. I think the demand to end U.S. aid to Israel is a non-starter politically in any future that we can see. But there are other things that could happen. One Member of Congress has called for applying the Leahy Law to U.S. military aid to Israel. Other Members of Congress could call for that. That's not going to lead to ending U.S. military aid to Israel. But it might lead to fewer Palestinians being killed.


Rep. Betty McCollum seeks review of military aid to Israel By Bill Salisbury POSTED: 08/27/2015 12:01:00 AM CDT | UPDATED: 2 DAYS AGO

Rep. Betty McCollum has asked the State Department to investigate whether the U.S. should cut off military aid to Israeli border police in response to the killing of two Palestinian teenagers last year.

The St. Paul Democrat wrote in a letter to the State Department that the shooting deaths of 17-year-old Nadeem Nawara and 16-year-old Mohammad Daher on May 15, 2014, demonstrate that "Israel's treatment of Palestinian youth in the Occupied West Bank is unacceptable and must not be tolerated by the U.S. or the international community."

The Times of Israel reported the two youths were killed after clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli soldiers during an annual commemoration of the displacement of Palestinians following the creation of the State of Israel.

McCollum, who released her letter to the public this week, said videos captured by security cameras showed the two teenagers were shot while "innocently walking down the street." An analysis of the video showed "these children posed no threat to Israeli forces at the time they were killed," she wrote.

The congresswoman asked the State Department to determine whether the killings violate the "Leahy Law," which bars U.S. aid to foreign security forces that have "committed a gross violation of human rights."

News media in Israel and elsewhere in the Middle East have covered McCollum's letter.

Robert Naiman Policy Director Just Foreign Policy www.justforeignpolicy.org naiman at justforeignpolicy.org (202) 448-2898 x1

On Fri, Aug 28, 2015 at 9:45 PM, Joseph Catron <jncatron at gmail.com> wrote:

> "Delegates upheld the UE tradition of taking courageous stands on foreign
> policy issues when they adopted the resolution on Palestine and Israel.
> It points to Israel's long history of violating the human rights of the
> Palestinians, starting with the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians
> in 1947-48 that turned most of Palestine into the State of Israel. It
> calls for cutting off U.S. aid to Israel, U.S. support for a peace
> settlement on the basis of self-determination for Palestinians and the
> right to return. The resolution also endorses the worldwide BDS movement
> – Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions – to pressure Israel to end its
> apartheid over the Palestinians just as similar tactics helped to end
> South African apartheid in the 1980s. UE is now the first U.S. national
> union to endorse BDS ..."
> http://www.ueunion.org/ue-news/2015/convention-wraps-up-with-resolutions-on-peace-safety-civil-liberties-and-worker-rights
> The resolution text is here:
> "The source of the conflict goes back to the origins of the State of Israel.
> The population was overwhelmingly Palestinian Arab (Muslim and Christian)
> before 1947-48, when well-armed Zionist militias seized most of the
> territory of Palestine and expelled 750,000 people from their cities,
> villages and farms. They executed much of the Palestinian leadership and
> declared the founding of the State of Israel. As a result millions of
> Palestinians are refugees both in the occupied territories and in other
> countries. Israel prohibits their return to their homes ..."
> http://portside.org/2015-08-28/ue-becomes-first-national-us-union-endorse-bds
> --
> "Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen
> lytlað."
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