“[All of Palestinian labor] calls on trade unions around the world to actively show solidarity with the Palestinian people by. . . . divesting from Israel Bonds and all Israeli and international companies and institutions complicit in Israel’s occupation, colonization and apartheid.”Palestinian Trade Union Coalition for BDS (PTUC-BDS), May 4, 2011The undersigned labor, anti-apartheid and human rights activists call on you — Dennis Hughes (President of the New York State AFL-CIO) and Stuart Appelbaum (President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union and head of the Jewish Labor Committee)
— to respect the above call from Palestinian labor by withdrawing as “Honoree” and “Chair,” respectively, of the “State of Israel Bonds” fundraiser in New York City on June 13, 2011.For decades, top U.S. labor officials have effectively scabbed on Palestinian workers by investing billions — the exact amount has not been made public — from union members’ pension funds in State of Israel Bonds, a pillar of apartheid that enjoys tax-exempt status from the U.S. government.
Whitewashing this betrayal is the Histadrut, the Zionist labor federation, and its “progressive” U.S. mouthpiece, the Jewish Labor Committee.Obscenely, the Israel Bonds “celebration” on June 13 follows the May 15 Israeli massacre of unarmed Palestinian refugees exercising their right to return, the first anniversary of the deadly May 31, 2010 Israeli attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, and Israeli prime minister Netanyahu’s arrogant U.S. tour