Miliband remarks irk Scottish union

After FM's "dismay" that trade unions want to boycott Israel, union says gov't "out of step" with people.

David Miliband 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
David Miliband 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) on Wednesday rejected the British Foreign Office's "dismay" at trade unions which are supporting boycotts of Israel, saying in a statement that the UK government was "out of step" with the views of workers on the matter. On Tuesday, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband released a statement saying he was "saddened" when people's wish to further "the goals of peace and justice" is "channelled into boycotting economic and academic events, as well as cultural events which seek to increase understanding between people. Such boycotts would, I believe, obstruct opportunities for co-operation and dialogue and serve only to polarize debate further." On Wednesday, STUC Assistant Secretary Mary Senior said: "I am pleased that the UK Government is beginning to recognise the strength of feeling in the British trade union movement for the need for urgent action against the state of Israel for its continued violations of human rights of Palestinians. Rather than expressing his dismay to us, the Foreign Secretary should be expressing his outrage in the strongest terms to the Israeli Government for its attacks on the people of Gaza, for the growing Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory, and for the ongoing breaches of international human rights laws". The STUC plans to contact Minister for the Middle East Ivan Lewis next week, as well as to approach Miliband in order to "impress upon him the case for sanctions against the state of Israel."