1 June 2010

Zionism's Racist 'Trade Union' Gives its Full Support to Netanyahu's Attack on Gaza Flotilla

Histadrut Statement Supports the Murder of Members of Gaza Freedom Flotilla

I have just received a statement dated 31st May 2010 from Histadrut, Zionism’s scab ‘trade union’. People may remember that Histadrut issued a statement in January 2009 supporting the bombing and attack on Gaza. Now they have gone one better. They have just issued a statement supporting the attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

As is befitting the macabre, it starts with a joke, thus demonstrating that Zionists too have a sense of humour (of sorts):
‘The Histadrut , as part of its ideology and strategy to attain solidarity with the Palestinian employees, has vigorously strived to promote the relationship with the Palestinian people in general and the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) in particular as well as the rights of the Palestinian employees.
Since this ‘solidarity’ consisted of barring membership for 40 years to Arabs, fighting to expel Arabs from working for Jewish employers (Jewish Labour) and up to this day stealing the wages of Palestinians from the Occupied Territories who work in Israel, one can only pay tribute to Histadrut ’s Chutzpah.

Histadrut makes it clear that ‘We are very much aware of the ongoing suffering of the inhabitants of Gaza’. But the reason for this is that the ‘residents of Gaza are held hostage by the terror regime of Hamas which violently took over the Gaza Strip in 2007.’ Yes that’s right. The very same Hamas that the people of Gaza voted for is now holding them hostage. But since Palestinians are considered sub-human or untermenschen by Israel, it is no surprise that they are stupid enough to vote for their own kidnappers! And if they had sense enough to appreciate their starvation diet, they might actually thank Israel for the help it is giving them!

And in case you wondered, ‘The Histadrut whose value of solidarity is its top priority, supports the humanitarian assistance for the residents of Gaza.’ But try as I might, I could not find any reference to the 3 year blockade by Israel of Gaza. That’s right. Not a word. Not a sausage. I can only assume therefore that it is the Hamas hostage takers and kidnappers who are refusing to allow food into the strip and which turns back Israel’s generous offers of aid.

And in case you wondered. The blame for the deaths on the flotilla, although Histadrut never refers to them as such, they are merely ‘the harsh events of the day’ belongs to the organisers of the flotilla. It was they who rejected Israel’s ‘generous offer’ to take the ships to Ashdod and then unload the various goods in order that they could deliver them to Gaza.

And because of the ‘conduct of the flotilla’s organizers’ we now have a situation ‘which now threatens to unravel the delicate diplomacy’ of recent weeks. The same 'delicate diplomacy' which has achieved precisely nothing in 43 years. You’ll notice there’s no direct reference to the murder of between 10 and 20 unarmed members of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and the attack on the boats by Israel’s finest. But then again we know that all this tragic bloodshed occurred only because the organizers wanted to make political points at the expense of the Gazan inhabitants.

So yet again, we have a situation where Histadrut , the so-called Israeli trade union, has come out in full support of the murderous actions of the Israeli State in its attacks on the Palestinians and the solidarity movement.

No one has any longer, if they ever did, the slightest excuse to support this racist scab organisation which calls itself a trade union.

It is only through the international trade union movement breaking off links with Histadrut that Israeli Jewish workers will be forced to face up to the choice between being complicit in the oppression of the Palestinians and solidarity with the oppressed. There is no other choice.

And Britain’s Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, which at its last AGM, effectively voted against breaking links with Histadrut, and whose trade union organiser, Bernard Regan, described Histadrut as a ‘changed organisation’ should now reverse its position. Histadrut is part and parcel of the oppression of the Palestinians. Solidarity with the Palestinians, as Palestinians have consistently argued, means breaking all links with Histadrut .

Last week the universities & college lecturers union UCU voted to break all links and boycott Histadrut. Absurdly this means that UCU is in advance of the main Palestine solidarity organisation in Britain. What is worse is that there is evidence that both Regan and Hugh Lanning, PSC's Chairperson have been actively opposing any attempts by members of trade unions to promote a boycott of Histadrut, which is completely unacceptable.

In particular we have evidence that Hugh Lanning, PSC's Chair, has actively been trying to prevent UCU adopting a position of boycott, even though this is supported by all Palestinian trade unions and PACBI. The above is a cryptic statement from Sally Hunt, UCU General Secretary, referring to correspondence from Lanning which makes it clear that he was unhappy with a conference called by UCU on Palestine where a resolution was adopted calling for the breaking of links with Histadrut.

Context of the conference statement
1 The Palestine Solidarity Campaign Chair who was at the Conference has made clear in correspondence with UCU that while they felt the conference was a positive event “the statement was only introduced in the final session when many had gone home. It did not really reflect the breadth of discussion and contributions which had been good - rather the views of those left. On behalf of PSC and the unions present I indicated we would not be able to agree anything as it had no prior consideration, nor was the Conference thought of as a resolution-based event. My main comment is that it seeks to work independently, rather than through and with other organisations, such as PSC and the main trade unions active on Palestine.”

I am therefore openly asking Bernard Regan to admit that he was wrong and to accept that one of the goals of work in the trade unions now is to break the links between British trade unions and Histadrut, whose record when it comes to the oppression of the Palestinians is second to none. Histadrut knows where it stands. Let us hope that everyone in our movement also understands this.

Tony Greenstein

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