The Trades Union Congress (TUC) passed a statement on Gaza at its annual congress Wednesday, urging the UK government to impose an Israel arms embargo and calling for the suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement.
The statement, overwhelmingly endorsed, condemns the death toll in Gaza that included “many people going about their daily work”, and “deplores attacks on UN facilities”. The TUC recommends that those responsible for breaching international law “should be dealt with in the International Criminal Court”.
The TUC statement also calls for an end to the “blockade of Gaza” and welcomes “the creation of a unity government for the Palestinian Authority” involving both Fatah and Hamas, urging “the UK government and the European Union to support this development”.
In light of Israel’s attacks on Gaza and policies in the Occupied Territories, the TUC statement calls on the UK government and EU to end “to end immediately arms trading with Israel including all military-industrial collaboration”. The TUC itself, it adds, should work with relevant unions to “press those companies involved in supporting Israel’s military to cease to do so”.
Congress called for “the suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement until the rights of the Palestinians are established”, and commited to “rais[ing] the pressure on corporations complicit in arms trading, the settlements, occupation and the wall” through strategies that pressure “complicit companies” – a key part of the Palestinian-led Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) campaign.
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) noted that “the statement, and the goals contained within it, are now official TUC policy”, an important boost for Palestine solidarity and BDS activists. The TUC’s statement was condemned by anti-boycott umbrella group Fair Play, who complained that boycotts merely pull “Israeli and Palestinian workers further apart”.