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Resolution 42: Palestinian solidarity: support for the Boycott Disinvestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS)

30 November, 2012

The 29th World Congress of Public Services International (PSI), meeting in Durban, South Africa, on 27-30 November 2012

 NOTES the following:

a) That Israel continues to ignore or flaunt UN resolutions aimed at reducing conflict, and continues to use lethal force and occupations of land to marginalise the Palestinian population in the region.

b) That Israel continues to be a major recipient of US arms and development aid despite the fact that it frequently and unapologetically transgresses international conventions.

c) That given the armaments and political support that Israel receives from the US and its allies, this Congress rejects the notion that there is an equal responsibility between Israel and the Palestinian people for the continuation of the crisis, and that the aggressive and divisive character of Israel and its occupation remain major stumbling blocks in arriving at a peaceful settlement.

d) That there is a growing opposition within Israel of those who are no longer prepared to support a military solution of the crisis, and within the broader Palestinian community of those who have rejected minority action in favour of building popular mass-based campaigns.

e) The courageous and vital role played by the PSI regional organisation in supporting independent and democratic trade unionism, and providing support for workers in struggle.

f) That in many parts of the world, an understanding of Israel being an apartheid state has gathered momentum and not least in South Africa where the characteristics of an apartheid state, and the implications for the oppressed are understood, and not evoked without serious consideration of the facts.

g) The launch of the BDS campaign in Palestine, and the broad global support that it has gained over the last two years from a very wide range of organisations including trade unions.

This Congress further NOTES:

h) That one of the principal aims of the BDS campaign is to draw attention to the systemic discrimination that takes place against Palestinians by Israel, and which have earned it the dubious title of being an apartheid state.

i) That attempts to impose a solution of any description on the peoples of Israel and Palestine are unlikely to succeed as long as there continues to be widespread discrimination and manipulation of the Palestinian people, including attempts to marginalise them.

j) That only a democratic, inclusive and non-sectarian approach can provide a lasting peace to the conflict, and this is conditional on the dismantling of all oppressive instruments, including legislative, military, political, social, economic and political barriers. At the very least this must involve:

  • Recognising the fundamental rights of the Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality;
  • Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties;
  • An immediate end to Israel’s illegal settlements, and blockade on Gaza.

This Congress therefore RESOLVES:

  1. To endorse the BDS Campaign and support its associated activities including the annual Israeli Apartheid Week.
  2. To share the activities of PSI affiliates in this regard, including campaigns to make every municipality/government department an Israeli Apartheid-Free Zone.
  3. To continue to give maximum support to our PSI regional office (for North Africa and the Middle East) and its work to build representative, independent and democratic unions throughout the region including in Israel and Palestine.
  4. To call upon all governments to acknowledge the divisive nature of the Israeli state and to argue for its isolation until it is prepared to dismantle its apartheid infrastructure in favour of democratisation and commit to abiding by UN resolutions.
  5. To raise the demand in trade union and governmental forums for stopping the arming of the Israeli state by the United States of America and its allies.
  6. To continue to speak out against all forms of discrimination including anti-semitism, islamophobia and other sectarian sentiments in favour of a secular and tolerant approach to the crisis in the region.

See all Congress resolutions including the Program of Action and the Constitution.


Also see