The Trade Union Movement and U.S. Middle East Policy

AFSCME L.444

The Trade Union Movement and U.S. Middle East Policy

Whereas the present crisis in the Middle East has reached unprecedented levels; and

Whereas Israel's illegal occupation and further colonization of Palestinian lands has driven 4 million Palestinians in to squalid and poverty stricken refugee camps; and

Whereas these conditions and Israel's denial of basic human rights to the Palestinian population have led to acts of desperation and despair by Palestinian youth facing the third or fourth largest army in the world; and

Whereas Israel is the single largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid-nearly one-third of the total direct bi-lateral aid receiving more aid than Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa combined excluding Egypt and Colombia; and

Whereas this has meant a U.S. taxpayer subsidy to Israel of some $3bn a year for the last 25 years and;

Whereas when forgiven loans, military equipment and other indirect aid are added, total U.S. aid to Israel amounts to some $5bn a year; and

Whereas U.S. taxpayers are subsidizing and arming a regime that illegally occupies Palestinian land, assassinates Palestinian leaders and demolishes Palestinian homes driving more and more people in to squalid refugee camps and in to the arms of terrorist organizations; and

Whereas this money is being spent as social services, jobs and workers' wages are being cut in the U.S. in order to pay for increasing deficits and for the "War on Terror"; and

Whereas eliminating terrorism, the security of Israel or the aspirations of millions of Palestinians will not be assured by continued funding of Israeli military occupation or the handing over of U.S. tax money to corrupt undemocratic Arab regimes like Saudi Arabia; therefore be it

RESOLVED that AFSCME call for the halting of all U.S. aid to Israel until it withdraws its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and supports the rights of Palestinians to self determination; and be it further

RESOLVED that AFSCME oppose all U.S. aid to Arab regimes such as Saudi Arabia until they recognize Israel's right to exist and allow within their borders the right to assemble, to vote, and to form independent Trade Unions ; and be it further

RESOLVED that AFSCME organize a series of public forums around the country in order to hear and discuss what the State of Israel is really doing in the occupied zones, the killings and brutalities it is perpetrating, how this affects workers internationally and what the US labor movement can do about
this; and be it finally

RESOLVED that AFSCME International, through its representative on the AFL-CIO Executive Council call for the AFL-CIO and Unions internationally to send observers to the occupied territories to ensure the safety of Palestinians in this area and to build links with Palestinian as well as Israeli unions

Adopted at AFSCME Local 444's General membership Meeting on 8-15-02.

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