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Support CUPE’s Call to Boycott Israeli Apartheid

Action Alert from the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA)

In late May, the 200,000 member strong Ontario chapter of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) approved Resolution 50 supporting a growing global campaign initiated on July 9, 2005 by over 170 Palestinian organizations, including the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israeli apartheid.

Predictably CUPE has come under intense pressure to back-down from this decision.

WE CALL UPON SUPPORTERS TO TAKE THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS:

THANK CUPE:

Please contact the leadership of CUPE Ontario and support this decision. Individuals, organizations, unions, congregations, etc. are all encourage to send letters of support to:

Sid Ryan, President CUPE Ontario: [email protected]
CUPE Ontario Executive Members [email protected]
Katherine Nastovski, Chair, CUPE Ontario International Solidarity Committee
[email protected]

Or fax CUPE at: (416) 299-3480

SIGN THE PETITION:

Print and circulate the attached petition to your contacts. Send completed petitions to:

CAIA
427 Bloor Street West
Box 13, Toronto
Ontario, M5S 1X7
Canada

ORGANIZE A WORKSHOP:

Email us directly at [email protected] to arrange for a workshop on Israeli apartheid in you CUPE local, union hall, community center, school, congregation, etc.

DONATE TO SUPPORT THIS WORK:

Donate to CAIA to ensure that this grassroots movement against Israeli apartheid continues to grow. Checks can be made payable to the “Peace and Justice Committee” and sent to:

CAIA
427 Bloor Street West
Box 13, Toronto
Ontario, M5S 1X7

MONITOR AND RESPOND TO THE MEDIA:

Please continue monitoring any press on this issue, write letters to the editor in support of CUPE’s resolution and alert us to any particularly offensive, slanderous or racist materials published in response to this resolution ([email protected])

PASS IT ON:

Please forward this note to your distribution lists and inform other members of your organization, community, school, congregation, union, workplace, etc.

FIND OUT MORE:

We are heartened by the numerous calls and e-mails of support that we have received from CUPE Ontario and other union members, as well as calls of support from unions around the world. We urge you to contct us directly if you’d like to get involved in this growing campaign.

To learn more about the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid or inquire about organizing educationals please contact [email protected]

To learn more about the growing movement to boycott, divest and sanction Apartheid Israel visit the following websites:

End Israeli Apartheid website (Canada)
http://www.endisraeliapartheid.net

BIG, the Boycott Israeli goods campaign – supported by the Palestine
Solidarity Campaign (UK)
http://www.bigcampaign.org

Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign (Palestine)
http://www.stopthewall.org

Palestine Solidarity Committee (South Africa)
http://www.psc.za.org

For recent press-coverage on Israeli Apartheid and the growing BDS movement against it see:

Protesting against Israeli apartheid (Toronto Sun)
http://torontosun.canoe.ca/News/Columnists/Ryan_Sid/2006/06/02/1610863.html

Canadian Union Takes Important Step Against Israeli Apartheid
http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/bullet022.html

Chris McGreal’s incesive and detailed two-part report on Israeli Apartheid for the UK daily The Guardian:

Worlds apart (6 February 2006)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,1703244,00.html

Brothers in arms – Israel’s secret pact with Pretoria (7 February 2006)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,1704037,00.html

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Full Text of the Resolution Below:

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 resolution 194.

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.

BECAUSE:

– 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.

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Sample letters

Dear CUPE-Executive:

Thank you for passing the resolution to support the campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. It has become plainly obvious to anyone who has studied the actions of the Israeli government that their goal is not security but rather confiscation of as much of the West Bank as possible.

Like South Africa, Israel will have to be subjected to intense international pressure before it recognizes Palestinians as a people with the right to their own state and/or equal rights in a joint Palestinian/Jewish state.

No doubt you will come under intense pressure from pro-Israeli organizations to reverse this courageous decision, but rest assured that the overwhelming majority of people in the world are not fooled by right-wing, racist rhetoric and the mainstream media bias surrounding this issue.

Thank you again!

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To whom it may concern

I wish to express my profound gratitude to CUPE Ontario for passing Resolution 50 in support of the global campaign against Israeli Apartheid.

Only the grossly uninformed or misinformed can fail to comprehend the inexcusable suffering that Israel has inflicted on the Palestinian people for nearly six decades. For the sake of all of humanity, it must end.

Again, I commend your courage and principle. Rest assured, the vast majority of thinking people who want to see a peaceful world stand with you.

Most certainly you will come under great pressure from the pro-Israel lobby to reverse your decision. Please stand firm for justice and International Law.