Resolution for the CGEU to join the BDS Movement

Adopted at the CGEU Annual Conference 2016 in Los Angeles, CA on August 16. 2016 (submitted by Alyssa Goldstein (UMass Amherst) and Nathan Pensler (NYU) – by secret ballot, 20 in favor, 3 opposed, 5 abstentions)

WHEREAS, The Coalition of Graduate Employee Unions is committed to building a labor movement that stands in solidarity with working people around the world.

WHEREAS, The state of Israel currently maintains a system of military occupation and settlement construction in the West Bank, while imposing a brutal economic blockade on the Gaza Strip.

WHEREAS, Approximately 750,000 Palestinians were displaced as a result of Israel’s founding and Israel continues to deny the right of return for the 5 million Palestinian refugees alive today [1].

WHEREAS, Unequal treatment of Arab-Palestinian Israeli citizens is enshrined in Israeli law and government policy, including, but not limited to, failures of due process and large disparities in funding for public programs [2].

WHEREAS, Palestinian labor unions are not recognized by Israel, creating especially dire conditions for the 92,000 Palestinians who cross into Israel and its settlements.

WHEREAS, Article II of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that all people “without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”are entitled to the rights enumerated therein [3].

WHEREAS, The United Nations has declared in Resolution 242 that Israel must withdraw its armed forces from recently occupied territories [4], in Resolution 446 that Israel’s settlement construction in Palestine since 1967 has no legal validity [5], and in Resolution 194 that Palestinian refugees should be allowed to return to their homes [6].

WHEREAS, Palestinian civil society, consisting of over 170 Palestinian parties, organizations, and unions, has called for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel until it [7]:

1) Ends the occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in 1967 and dismantles the wall. 2) Recognizes the fundamental rights of Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality. 3) Respects, protects, and promotes the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

WHEREAS, the Palestinian call for BDS has seen wide and growing support among labor internationally, including by several unions in the UK and Ireland, UNITE New Zealand, CUPE in Canada, COSATU in South Africa and many dockworker unions around the world.

WHEREAS, CGEU members including UAW 2865, GEO/UAW 2322, GSOC-UAW 2110, TAA/AFT Local 3220 and the United Electrical Workers have endorsed BDS.

WHEREAS, the UAW International has attempted to silence the will of its members by nullifying UAW 2865’s membership vote.

BE IT RESOLVED, that CGEU stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people by joining the BDS movement and endorsing all its demands.

BE IT RESOLVED, that CGEU calls on the American and Canadian labor movements, and the academic labor movement in particular, to do the same.

BE IT RESOLVED, that CGEU calls on all American and Canadian Universities to do the same.

BE IT RESOLVED, that CGEU calls upon graduate unions that have adopted a resolution in support of BDS to assist other graduate unions which are attempting to do so.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that all delegated representatives at the 2016 conference of the Coalition of Graduate Employee Unions commit themselves to return home to their local unions, central labor

councils, statewide bodies, parent unions and mobilize these and other affiliated organizations in support of BDS.

1 http://www.unrwa.org/palestine-refugees
2http://www.adalah.org/uploads/oldfiles/upfiles/2011/Adalah_The_Inequality_ Report_March_2011.pdf

3 http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/

4https://unispal.un.org/DPA/DPR/unispal.nsf/0/7D35E1F729DF491C85256EE7 00686136

5 https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/RESOLUTION/GEN/NR0/370/60/IMG/ NR037060.pdf?OpenElement

6 http://www.unrwa.org/content/resolution-194

7 https://bdsmovement.net/what-is-bds