A demonstrator wears a shirt reading 'Boycott Israel' [File].
(photo credit: AFP/ MOHD RASFAN)
Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center on Tuesday filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board accusing the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) of violating the US National Labor Relations Act, which “prohibits labor unions from encouraging workers to take part in boycotts during the course of their work duties, commonly known as ‘secondary boycotts.’” The NGO is seeking injunctive relief against the UE to “prevent it from engaging in these unfair labor practices, which single out and discriminate against Israelis and Israeli companies.”
According to Shurat HaDin, UE, at its national convention in Baltimore in mid-August, passed the resolution that it claims addresses Israel’s alleged long history of violating the human rights of Palestinians and which is designed to pressure Israel “to end its apartheid over the Palestinians just as similar tactics helped to end South African apartheid in the 1980s.”
The complaint was filed by attorneys David Abrams of New York and Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, Shurat HaDin’s director.
“While cast as a human rights effort, the BDS Movement makes no attempt to boycott countries or entities which hang homosexuals; torture political opposition; or deny voting rights to their citizenry...
Instead, the BDS Movement remains lock focused on Israel exclusively, with prominent supporters having ‘admitted that their goal is to put an end to the Jewish State,’” the charge states.
Shurat HaDin alleges that labeling BDS resolutions as secondary boycott violations is a new legal strategy for challenging the racist and anti-Semitic policies that seek to economically isolate Israel.
The NGO accuses UE of encouraging workers to boycott Israeli enterprises and institutions during the course of their work, similar to the BDS Movement’s public encouragement of dock workers to refuse to unload ships arriving from Israel and academics to refrain from participating in joint projects with Israeli institutions.