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British trade unions vote 'overwhelmingly' to pass motion boycotting Israel

BDS aims to end international complicity in the Israeli regime of occupation [Getty]

Date of publication: 14 September, 2019

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The Trades Union Congress, which has 5.6 million members, has adopted several similar motions in recent years targeting illegal Israeli settlements and the UK-Israel arms trade.

The leaders of British trade unions this week overwhelmingly passed a motion to boycott Israel during an annual conference in Brighton.

The non-binding Motion 75, entitled 'Palestine: supporting rights to self-determination', was submitted by Artists' Union England and accused Israel of "destroying prospects for peace".

It called for Trades Union Congress (TUC) policy to "prioritise Palestinians' rights to justice and equality, including by applying these principles based on international law to all UK trade with Israel".

"The message from every major union was clear: we understand the seriousness of the assault on the collective rights of the Palestinian people being mounted by Israel with the support of Trump and far-right allies," Ben Jamal, director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said on social media.

The TUC, which has 5.6 million members, has adopted several similar motions in recent years targeting illegal Israeli settlements and the UK-Israel arms trade.

In 2010, the TUC encouraged employers and pension funds to divest and boycott the good of companies who profit from settlements, Israel's military occupation of Palestinian territory, and the construction of the controversial West Bank separation wall.

Read more: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel: What is BDS and why should you care?

The TUC in 2014 also called on the UK and European Union to end the arms trade with Israel and all military industrial cooperation, including the suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) is a campaign promoting various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law.

Led by the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), BDS strives to uphold the principle that Palestinians are entitled to equal rights.

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