SAN FRANCISCO LABOUR COUNCIL CONDEMS ISRAELI ATTACK ON GAZA AID FLOTILLA SHIP

ISRAELI ATTACK ON GAZA AID FLOTILLA SHIP

Whereas many labor organizations, including: International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC; World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU); International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF); International Dockworkers Council (IDC); International Federation of Journalists; Public Services International (PSI); Education International (EI); Trades Union International – Building, Wood, Building Materials & Allied Industries; Australian Council of Trade Unions; Canadian Union of Postal Workers; Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) – Ontario; Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), and National Union of Mineworkers (S. Africa); New Zealand Council of Trade Unions; Irish Congress of Trade Unions, and IMPACT, Ireland’s largest public and services union; Maritime Union of Australia; National Union of Journalists (U.K.); Greek General Confederation of Labor (GSEE); Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU); Swedish Dock Workers Union; Norwegian Dock Workers Union, and Norwegian Labor Federation (LO); Trades Union Congress (U.K.); UNISON, the largest public sector union in Britain UNITE, Britain’s largest union; U.S. Labor Against the War; Arab American Union Members Council; Bay Area Labor Committee for Peace & Justice; International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU), Local 10 Alameda County Central Labor Council have condemned the May 31st Israeli commando attack on the Gaza Aid Flotilla, which killed at least nine unarmed people and seized and detained some 700 passengers and crew.

Many of these labor organizations, as well as the U.N. and Amnesty International, have also called for an independent international investigation of the attack and for a permanent opening of the Gaza border in accordance with international law; and

Whereas the Elders, a group started by Nelson Mandela including six Nobel peace prize winners (former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, former US President Jimmy Carter, detained Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and former Archbishop Desmond Tutu) described as “completely inexcusable” the Israeli attack on the Gaza Aid Flotilla and stated: “This tragic incident should draw the world’s attention to the terrible suffering of Gaza’s 1.5 million people, half of whom are children under the age of 18,” and also noted that “the treatment of the people of Gaza is one of the world’s greatest human rights violations and that the blockade is…illegal”; and

Whereas the aid carried on the ship was strictly humanitarian in nature, containing materials such as wheelchairs, medical, school and building supplies and non-perishable foods – items that Israel has refused to allow into Gaza since 2007, or only in insufficient amounts to meet the pressing needs of Gaza’s people; and

Whereas the military assault on the Gaza Aid Flotilla was carried out in the dead of night in international waters in violation of accepted norms of state conduct regarding use of the open ocean for non-military purposes; and

Whereas, in solidarity with the people of Gaza, the Swedish Dock Workers Union is refusing to work Israeli ships from June 22-29, and the Norwegian dock workers have agreed not to work Israeli cargo from June 15-29 – in response to the attack on the Gaza Aid Flotilla; and

Whereas the San Francisco Labor Council has previously adopted two resolutions calling for the lifting of the blockade against Gaza .

Therefore be it resolved that the San Francisco Labor Council join the long list of labor organizations around the world and the International Committee of the Red Cross, in condemning the unwarranted May 31st attack by the Israeli military on the unarmed humanitarian aid flotilla sailing in international waters; and

Be it further resolved that the council join the U.N., Amnesty International, ITUC, COSATU and the many other labor and civil society organizations in calling for an independent international investigation of the attack on the Gaza Aid Flotilla; and

Be it further resolved that the council reaffirms its position in calling on Israel to lift the blockade, so the people of Gaza can have normal communication, travel and commerce with the rest of the world; and

Be it finally resolved that the council communicate this resolution to affiliated unions, area labor councils, community allies, the California Federation of Labor, the AFL-CIO, Change to Win, all members of the House and Senate who represent the jurisdiction of this council, and to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Resolution adopted near-unanimously by the San Francisco Labor Council at the regular delegates meeting held June 14, 2010 in San Francisco , California .