Union Boycotts Israel
SiD (General Workers Union in Denmark):
The conflict in Palestine
The violence we have witnessed in the eighteen months of the second
intifada must not be allowed to go on. A solution to the Palestine
conflict must be found. It is always the responsibility of the strongest
party to provide a basis for peace, thus enabling the Palestine
people to resume a normal life and to participate in further development
of Palestinian self-government, which again will enable them to
comply with UN resolutions and the Oslo Agreement.
Since the mid-1990s, the SiD (General Workers Union in Denmark)
has worked on development projects with the Palestine General Federation
of Trade Unions (PGFTU). We have seen that - despite many problems
and constraints - the labour movement has been able to play a role
in the democratisation process and in the development of human rights
and union rights in Palestine.
Progress was brought to a halt following the new escalation of
the conflict in September 2000, the result being that hundred thousands
of Palestine workers have lost their jobs. This is true both of
Palestinians who worked in Palestine and Palestinians who worked
in Israel. It is not difficult to imagine what this situation means
to families who are now unable to earn a living through paid work.
Instead of working with the labour movement to ensure peaceful development
in Palestine, the Israeli government chose to bomb the PGFTU' headquarters
in Nablus on the West Bank.
This escalation of violence must be stopped now, which will only
be possible if the following demands are met:
The strongest party - i.e. Israel - must create a basis for peace
negotiations, the objective of which must be to develop the present
system of political self-government into a free and independent
democratic state. Troops must immediately be withdrawn from occupied
areas (the West Bank and the Gaza Strip), and all new settlements
must be stopped with immediate effect. The outcome of the negotiations
must include clarification of the status of Jerusalem in the future
Palestine and Israeli states.
All democratic forces in the global community, in Denmark, the
EU and USA, must put maximum pressure on the Israeli head of government,
Ariel Sharon, to force him to stop the violence and go to the negotiation
table. The starting point for the negotiations must be the conclusions
of the Oslo Agreement and the resolutions adopted by the UN Security
Council, just as the peace plan proposals formulated by the Arab
countries should be taken into account. In order to force Israel
to adopt a human stance, EU member states and others must comply
with international conventions concerning bans on the import of
goods from occupied countries.
If no instant progress is made in terms of reaching a solution
through negotiation, the SiD will recommend a boycott not only of
goods from the occupied areas but also of goods from Israel. In
such a scenario, the SiD will work actively to uphold the boycott,
for example through the international organisations of which we
are a member.
We urge the Danish government to join forces with the other EU
member states to work for speedy peace in Palestine. The Danish
government must make clear, unequivocal statements - not successive
statements with different messages as those issued in the past few
Once peace has been created, it is important that Denmark continues
to provide aid and assistance similar to the aid and assistance
previously provided to civil society organisations in Palestine.
Only through the strengthening of unions and other organisations
can we contribute to lasting democratic development of a Palestine
8. April 2002
15. April 2002
Are we going to boycott Israeli goods?
SiD has called for Israeli boycott because we want to stop the
escalation of violence, which we have witnessed the last couple
Sharon's strategy will never create peace for the Israeli and Palestinian
people in the territory. His strategy will lead to continuous terror
and violence from both sides.
SiD's call is based on the following reasons
- - The Palestinian territory is occupied by Israel, and the extension
of the settlements has been continued during the peace negotiations
and during the escalation of violence. A peaceful solution can
only be created if Israel withdraws from Gaza and the West Bank.
The existing convention on prohibition of import from occupied
territories will also apply to Israel.
- - The Oslo Agreement settled the basis for a future peace. In
spite of the considerable concessions made by the Palestinians,
the population has supported Arafat. The Israeli leader, Rabin
was killed by an Israeli terrorist because of the concessions
he made. Since then Israel have had leaders who clearly are against
the Oslo Agreement and international law in relation to the settlements.
They will not voluntarily negotiate on the basis of the Oslo Agreement
and the UN Security Council's resolutions. These facts make the
establishment of an independent Palestinian state impossible.
- - The future peace in the territory can only be reached if Israel
and Palestine are independent democratic states. Camp David negotiations
broke down because Israel still wanted control of the West Bank.
- - Terror cannot solve the problems, no matter if it is Palestinian
or Israeli, civilian or state. Therefore, both parties have to
stop the terror immediately.
- - Israel has - as the strongest power - the key to the solution
of the conflict. It is a regrettable fact that the Israeli have
been killed, but it is also a fact that three Palestinians have
been killed for every one Israeli.
- SiD's calls are addressed to the state of Israel. It is not
a violent agitation against the Jewish faith and its practitioners.
The conflict undermines the democracies in Israel and Palestine.
The conflict creates social unrest and economic decline for both
Regards Jens Peter Hansen
A letter from a labor union in Denmark that refused to do business
with an Israeli company (Radix):
Name: Jens Peter Hansen
Message: To the Manager
Just now we're ready to buy 60 pieces off your "Radix protector
But for the moment, when the Israeli militaire is behaving so
rough in the Palestinian Areas, nor I or my Union feel that it's
is right to make business with companies from your contry.
We hope that this ugly war vil stop soon - and also we hope that
Israel and Palestine will agree on peace.
Jens Peter Hansen SID Generel Workers Union Langs?hus Trainingscenter
Vestre Ringvej 51 DK-8600 Silkeborg Denmark
Response letter by Radix:
Dear Jens Peter Hansen
Regardless of the fact that seven years after the Oslo agreement
most of the Palestinians live under full political and economical
control of Yasser Arafat, the Palestinians dare to claim that
their brutal terror attacks against Israeli civilians is a result
of living under Israeli occupation!!!
You buy this nonsense; you blame Israel for defending itself
against the most brutal terrorism campaign against civilians the
world ever saw. Your heavy pressure is aimed toward Israel instead
of the terrorists.
I hate to say that my friend but you SUPPORT TERROR!
Since I believe that you are a honest person and I don't really
think that you mean to support terror or harm Israel, I would
like to inform you few things that you might forgot but your media
do not bother to remind you.
18 months ago, Palestinian leader - Mr. Yasser Arafat rejected
Israel's offer to get full control on 97% of the land he claimed
plus alternative land for the remain 3%. 100% of the land he claimes!!
This offer is considered by most of the Israelis as far more than
Israel can offer without risking its security.
The Palestinian responded breaking the peace talks and massive
terror against Israeli civilians.
Any Idea why did the Palestinians reject such generous offer?
The answer is very simple. Yasser Arafat doesn't want a state
next to Israel. He wants a Palestinian state build on the ruins
of Israel. A Palestinians state instead of state of Israel!
Do you support that? Do you really think that Israel should let
the Palestinians build a state on the ruins of Israel? Would you
let them build their state on the ruins of Denmark?
Imagine yourself drinking beer in your lovely Tivoli gardens
when a bomb exploding under the seat spreading your body all over
the garden. Imagine yourself in a situation when a bus exploded
in the center of Copenhagen and you know that your daughter might
be on that bus. You can't reach her because thousands like you
trying to reach their relatives using the same overloaded cellular
network. Now imagine that this is the everyday situation in Denmark
for 18 months.
Would you accept such situation? I don't think so. No mater what
is the cause of the Palestinian suffer, my daughter is not responsible
for that. She is not the one that has to be blamed for the Palestinian
suffer and she shouldn't pay the price for Arafat's megalomania.
Let me clearly state that I have no problem choose between doing
business with you or support my government in its effort to protect
my daughter's life. Because of your support in terror I hold you
personally responsible for my daughter safety.
I really hope that the Israeli government will not bend under
your unfair and unbalanced pressure and continue with the work
of rooting out terror from this region. Yes, even if I lose your
business. If we fail, god forbids, we are doomed and you are next
Yes, Palestinian civilians pays heavy price. Many killed by our
military actions. Yes, we all think that this is terrible. But
this is unfortunately the situation when terrorist find shelters
behind civilians. Labs where bombs are manufactured are located
in civilian neighborhoods. Palestinians "brave" warriors
took shelters behind women and children, in schools and in ambulances.
There is one person to be blamed for the Palestinians suffer
- Mr. Yasser Arafat. For six years since he got the full control
on the Palestinians life, all he did is building the terror infrastructure,
preparing for a war instead of developing the country and improving
the life of his people.
By the way, I didn't notice that any of you or other peace lovers
sensitive Europeans doing anything to stop the terror against
Israeli civilians. Your voice was not heard when terrorist kept
exploding themselves among Israelis in nightclubs, cafes, busses,
schools, markets and hotels in the center of the cities taking
huge number innocent lives. You people woke up only after Israel
stood up and start to fight back.
We will do all it takes to defend ourselves because no one else
will do it for us. Definitely not the Europeans. My mother is
still alive to remind me what she has gone through in your civilized
Europe 60 years ago.
We are going to defend ourselves even if it will disturb your
sensitive soul in Europe and even if cost us to lose some business
with you. But I advise to you to wake up. I know that you do not
mean to encourage the Palestinian to go on with their brutal terror
actions against civilians. Am I wrong?
Please support this union and make our voices heard.
Send an e-mail to Jens Peter Hansen
expressing your support and copy the
Visit their website, at the bottom you can read the responses they