OTTAWA — [The CUPE,] Ontario’s largest public sector union has voted to support an international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel.
Delegates to the Canadian Union of Public Employees convention in voted overwhelmingly Saturday to support the campaign until Israel recognizes the Palestinian right to self-determination.
The global campaign started last July and has been supported by many North American churches, 20 Quebec organizations, and others.
The Israeli “apartheid wall” has been condemned and determined illegal under international law, CUPE said in a release.
Under the resolution approved by delegates, CUPE Ontario will develop an education campaign about the issue, including Canada’s political and economic support for Israeli policies, similar to the campaign developed by CUPE British Columbia.
Canada has a free trade agreement with Israel, the only such agreement this country has outside of the western hemisphere, the union noted.
In Ontario, the liquor control board carried more than 30 Israeli wines, many produced in the occupied Golan Heights, CUPE said.
“Boycott, divestment and sanction worked to end apartheid in South Africa,” said Katherine Nastovski, chairwoman of the CUPE Ontario international solidarity committee. “We believe the same strategy will work to enforce the rights of Palestinian people, including the right of refugees to return to their homes and properties.”
The full text of the CUPE resolution:
CUPE ONTARIO WILL:
1. With Palestine solidarity and human rights organizations, develop an education campaign about the apartheid nature of the Israeli state and the political and economic support of Canada for these practices.
2. Support the international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law including the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution194.
3. Call on CUPE National to commit to research into Canadian involvement in the occupation and call on the CLC to join us in lobbying against the apartheid-like practices of the Israeli state and call for the immediate dismantling of the wall.
The Israeli Apartheid Wall has been condemned and determined illegal under international law.
Over 170 Palestinian political parties, unions and other organizations including the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions issued a call in July 2005 for a global campaign of boycotts and divestment against Israel similar to those imposed against South African Apartheid;
CUPE BC has firmly and vocally condemned the occupation of Palestine and have initiated an education campaign about the apartheid-like practices of the Israeli state.