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Unions support boycott of "apartheid" Israel

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Issue: 37 Section: Labour Geography: Ontario Israel Topics: labour

May 31, 2006

Unions support boycott of "apartheid" Israel

by Hillary Bain Lindsay

At its annual meeting on May 27, the Ontario division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)--a union that represents over 200, 000 workers--unanimously passed a resolution to boycott Israel, reported The Globe and Mail.

The vote signals CUPE Ontario's support of an international campaign demanding that Israel recognize the Palestinians' right to self-determination. CUPE also condemned what they called Israel's "apartheid wall," saying it is illegal under international law.

"Boycott, divestment and sanction worked to end apartheid in South Africa," Katherine Nastovski, chairwoman of the international solidarity committee for CUPE Ontario, told the CBC.

"We believe the same strategy will work to enforce the rights of Palestinian people, including the right of refugees to return to their homes and properties."

On May 29, two days after the CUPE vote, Britain's biggest lecturers' union backed a call for a boycott of Israeli universities in protest at its government's "apartheid" policies towards Palestine, reported the Belfast Telegraph

Tom Hickey, a philosophy lecturer from Brighton University who proposed the motion, said there were "important and ringing similarities" between the policies of the Israeli government and the apartheid regime in South Africa.

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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