Boycott Israel 521.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
LONDON – The Trade Union Congress, Britain’s labor federation, voted to reaffirm
its commitment to the boycott of Israel and to “review” its relationship with
the Histadrut at its annual conference in London last week.
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called for the TUC to reaffirm a policy adopted last year “to work closely with
the [radical fringe group] Palestine Solidarity Campaign to actively encourage
affiliates, employers and pension funds to disinvest from, and boycott the goods
of, companies who profit from illegal settlements, the occupation and the
construction of the Wall.”
An amendment to the motion called on all
unions “to review their bilateral relations with all Israeli organizations,
including Histadrut” was also approved.
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post
Friday, a spokesman for the 6.5-million-member federation said and it had agreed
to maintain a policy from last year and that a review did not mean a break off
“Delegates agreed to maintain the policy we agreed on last year
on illegal settlements in the West Bank, and wholeheartedly supported UN
recognition for Palestine as part of a two-state solution,” the TUC spokesman
told the Post
“They agreed that unions should review relations with
Israeli organizations but that doesn’t apply to the TUC and it was made clear by
several unions that ‘review’ does not mean ‘break off,’” he
Meanwhile, a Jewish academic has filed a law suit against the
University College Union, Britain’s largest trade union for academics
representing roughly 120,000 university lecturers.
Ronnie Fraser, a
University of London doctoral student, accused the union of breaching equality
laws, institutional anti-Semitism and harassment of its Jewish members after its
decision to not recognize an internationally- accepted definition of
UCU has been synonymous with the academic boycott calls of
Israel over the years.
In June, the union voted to disassociate itself
from the European Union Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia’s definition
of anti- Semitism, claiming that the definition stifles debate and is used to
deflect criticism of Israel. It led to accusations that it is institutionally
In July, Fraser threatened to take the union to court if it did
not respond by August to his call for resolution.
A spokesman for Fraser
said last week that the union had responded to Fraser’s lawyer, Anthony Julius,
from the distinguished London law firm Mishcon de Reya, however it had failed to
take the charges seriously.
“In its reply to Mr. Julius, the UCU failed
to take these charges seriously and as a consequence, Mishcon has now filed a
claim on behalf of Mr. Fraser to the Employment Tribunal,” a spokesman for
“The UCU’s hostile obsession with Israel and Zionism over
the last five years, coupled with its failure to understand contemporary anti-
Semitism, has resulted in the UCU being a place that is not hospitable to Jews.
The UCU’s institutionally anti- Semitic behavior towards its Jewish members had
left Mr. Fraser with no alternative but to take this further,” the