RMT Policy on Solidarity with Israeli and Palestinian Workers

This resolution was passed by RMT's 2008 Annual General Meeting, proposed by - amongst others - Stratford no.1 branch.

This AGM condemns the continuing Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and denials of Palestinians' human and national rights. This AGM condemns the indiscriminate targeting of civilians, including Israeli military air strikes and the economic blockade of Gaza, as well as the arbitrary murders of Israeli citizens by suicide bombers and rocket attacks. We note both the Israeli and Palestinian victims of the conflict are usually working-class people, targeted by political and military forces that seek to de-humanise Arab and Jewish workers using anti-semitism, Jew-hatred and anti-Arab racism. We note that the Hamas Charter is a virulently anti-semitic document that exhorts the killing of Jews and subordinates all social and human rights to Islam.

We mourn the eight railway workers in the Israeli city of Haifa killed in July 2006 when rockets fired from Lebanon hit the train depot where they were working.

This AGM congratulates the General Secretary and Council of Executives for hosting a visit from the Israeli Workers' Advice Centre (Ma'an in Arabic), which organises Israeli Arab and Jewish workers in Israel. AGM notes that the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF), the transport union of the Histadrut and the Palestinian General Transport Workers' Union met in Tel Aviv on 6-7 February 2008 regarding a helpline project for Palestinian transportation workers designed to improve the passage of professional drivers at checkpoints and road blocks in the West Bank. The ITF and the two unions agreed that this is a vital project of benefit to both Israeli and Palestinian transport workers.

This Annual General Meeting reaffirms our union's support for:

  1. the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people as expressed in numerous United Nations resolutions;
  2. the right of return in accordance with Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as applied to the Palestinian people in UN General Assembly Resolution 3236 (1974) and 52/62 (1997)
  3. the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Israeli troops to the 1967 borders of the state of Israel; the right of Israel to exist in peace alongside an independent and viable Palestinian state.

This AGM:

  1. supports the links that RMT and ITF have established with Palestinian and Israeli trade unions and the Workers' Advice Centre and recognises the importance of increasing our links with labour, peace movement and progressive socialist and trade union organisations in Israel and Palestine;
  2. wishes to promote unity between Arab and Jewish workers and to oppose both anti-semitism and anti-Arab racism;
  3. resolves to set up a solidarity appeal to raise money and material aid for an appropriate workers' advice centre or other trade union initiative;
  4. supports and will promote protest actions in this country in line with this policy;
  5. believes that direct links with progressive and workers' organisations in Israel and Palestine are in the best interests of building international solidarity and peace and rejects passive and divisive tactics such as boycotts, which are inconsistent with the principles of unity and solidarity between workers that our union stands for and wishes to promote.