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US unions slam boycott

by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2007-07-20

Israel

Israel

US trade unions including the American Postal Workers and Teamsters have attacked their British counterparts for planning to boycott Israel.

In a strongly worded statement signed by over 20 representatives from trade unions, it said: "Rather than divestment from Israel, we believe that investment of time, energy and material aid is the best means to alleviate the ongoing suffering of Palestinians and Israelis."

They further slammed plans for any academic boycott by stating: "Rather than limiting interactions with Israeli educators, academics and educational institutions, we see the importance of maximizing, rather than proscribing, the free flow of ideas and academic interaction between peoples, cultures, religions and countries."

Stop The Boycott who is co-ordinating a unified approach to defeat any boycott against Israel has welcomed the support from across the Atlantic.

“They are quite right, and we fully support them when they make clear that engagement, economic and otherwise, is the only way forward to bringing peace between Israel and Palestinians," said Jeremy Newmark of the Jewish Leadership Council.

Lorna Fitzsimons, chief Executive of BICOM said British trade unions need to listen to their US counterparts. "I hope that this will be noted by Tony Woodley, the T & G, and UNITE who are trying to tighten up relations with the trade union movement across the pond."