Friday, July 9, 2010

Boycott Of Israeli Ships Spreads To India

Well,this is some good news. Trade unions at India's Cochin Port, one of India's main seaports and its fastest growing, have agreed to boycott the unloading of Israeli ships in protest of the siege of Gaza. This follows on from boycotts at Turkish, Swedish, Norwegian and South African ports. In Oakland, the Longshoreman's union respected a picket line by pro-Palestinian activists and refused to unload an Israeli ship in June. In Britain and Canada a growing number of unions have also adopted boycott, divestment and sanctions resolutions. (I suppose Toronto City Council will be banning CUPE and CUPW next for the crime of Free Thought) South African unions, steeled in the fight against Apartheid in that country have been some of the most militant in the fight against Israeli Apartheid, as this account from Electronic Intifada notes:

The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) also responded immediately. The union appealed for "an escalation of the boycott of Israeli goods and call[ed] upon our fellow trade unionists not to handle them." And, citing the lead of Swedish dockworkers, called on its own members "not to allow any Israeli ship to dock or unload in any South African port."
Also in South Africa, the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) decided, by a unanimous vote of its Central Executive Committee on 4 June, to "immediately work towards" making every municipality in South Africa "an Apartheid Israel free zone" by ensuring "that there are no commercial, academic, cultural, sporting or other linkages whatsoever with the Israeli regime." ("SAMWU Declares, Every Municipality an Apartheid Israel Free Zone!," 4 June 2010). UNITE the largest union in the United Kingdom voted unanimously at its conference in Manchester "to vigorously promote a policy of divestment from Israeli companies" and promote boycott of Israeli goods and services "similar to the boycott of South African goods during the era of apartheid" ("Unite votes to boycott Israel," The Jewish Chronicle, 4 June 2010).
The time is drawing near when the whole world will treat Israel as the racist, colonial regime that it is and it will have no choice but to bend to the enormous weight that is brought to bear. Hopefully that will be sooner, rather than later.
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