CEC statement on Israel and Palestine

Posted by GMB Admin
Wednesday 25 October 2023
GMB Trade Union - CEC statement on Israel and Palestine

GMB has many members who are connected to Israel and Palestine through ties of family and work. We stand with our members who are affected by the growing conflict.

We unequivocally condemn the atrocities perpetrated by Hamas and other groups in the attacks that began on 07 October, and the appalling practice of hostage-taking. We reject any attempts to legitimise these crimes. Hamas’s actions are outrages against humanity that represent one of the gravest current threats to peace in the wider region.

Since the start of the conflict, there has been a dramatic increase in the UK of racism in the form of antisemitic and anti-Muslim attacks, abuse, and rhetoric. We must stand united against attempts to divide our communities. We condemn anti-Muslim racism and antisemitism wherever it is found.

In the days ahead, we will continue to build on our response and offer practical solidarity to our members who are affected by the conflict and racism. We are proud to represent Muslim and Jewish workers. We affirm that our own union must always provide a welcoming home to people of different backgrounds and faiths.

Our members are deeply concerned by the scenes in Gaza and the worsening humanitarian disaster. Supplies to Gaza of essential aid such as medicine, power, food, and water must proceed at a far higher volume than present. Humanitarian corridors must be established as an urgent priority. We abhor reports of growing violence in the West Bank, of civilian casualties, and of increased discrimination against Palestinian workers.

International law must be upheld. Innocent civilians must never be punished for the actions of terrorist groups, and we recognise that attacks against civilians are attacks against workers. We echo with urgency the United Nations Secretary-General’s call on ‘all countries with influence on parties waging war to do everything possible for the ceasefire to become a reality.’ The securing of a just and enduring peace must be both an immediate and a long-term priority of the international trade union movement. GMB repeats its support for an independent Palestinian state. In the face of war and division, all efforts must be redoubled in support of a two-state solution that upholds the territorial integrity of both nations and the rights and safety of all workers.

We believe that trade unions will be an essential pillar of any permanent peace settlement. We reaffirm GMB Congress policy of supporting direct engagement with trade unions in Palestine and Israel. Against a backdrop of growing threats to democracy, it is more important than ever that dialogue is built and sustained with Israeli and Palestinian civil society.

Incidents of anti-Muslim racism can be reported through Tell Mama. The organisation also provides advice and support.

w: www.tellmamauk.org
t: 08004 561 226

Incidents of antisemitism can be reported through the Community Security Trust (CST).

w: https://cst.org.uk/antisemitism/report-antisemitism
t: 0800 032 3263 (emergency) or 0208 457 9999 (non-emergency)

GMB’s messages to the Histadrut and the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) can also be read here and here.

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