San Francisco Labor Council Resolution on the Mid-East Conflict
(The following resolution was adopted by the San Francisco Labor Council on March 11, 2002. However, it was rescinded after a two-hour debate at a subsequent meeting held the following month, on April 8. Walter Johnson, Secretary-Treasurer of the Labor Council, gave the following explanation to Socialist Viewpoint: The Resolution [below] was rescinded by the required two-thirds majority vote of the S.F. Labor Council. Another Resolution will be developed by a sub-committee of our executive committee in order that people can have a true view of the big picture in that part of the world. He further stated, I will also propose to the Labor Council that we organize a forum open to the public to hear all sides of the question at a time and place to be announced.)
The March 11 Resolution on the Middle East
Whereas, the conflict in Israel and Palestine continues on an insane course destroying lives, property and the future with no end in sight, and
Whereas, the reasons for the continuation of this catastrophe rests in the struggle for control at the expense of the working class and disposed, and
Whereas, the U.S. proves to be the main culprit in this struggle by supplying the Israeli State billions of dollars in arms to suppress the Palestinian struggle for both Statehood and ancestral lands while oppressing and dividing the Jewish and Arab worker for the benefit of national and international capital, and
Whereas, the recent escalation of the conflict has seen scores of women, children and other innocents murdered and the 17 February bombing of the headquarters of the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) by U.S.-supplied and paid for Israeli F-16 jets that continue to bomb civilian and Palestinian political targets, against U.S. legal restrictions, and
Whereas, these actions by the Israeli military and government have been condemned by such labor groups as the International Confederation of Trade Unions (ICFTU), the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers Union (ICEM), and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU)
Therefore be it hereby Resolved, that the San Francisco Labor Council condemns the bombing of civilian and political targets most specifically, but not limited to, the Palestinian trade union offices in Nablus, Palestine and remind the U.S.. Government that this is both a moral and legal crime, and
Be it further Resolved, that this Council calls on the ranks of the PGFTU of Palestine and the Histadrut trade union federation of Israel to launch joint action against both sides attacks on innocents and civilians and work together to gain control over this horrible situation, and
Be it finally Resolved, that this Resolution be submitted to all of our affiliated bodies State, Nationally and Internationally for study and concurrence so that labor may act jointly in its own defense.
There can be little doubt that enormous pressure was exerted to rescind this Resolution and to produce a substitute more to the liking of those in the top echelons of the AFL-CIO, the Democratic Party and in the ruling circles of American imperialism. We hope, however, that the Labor Council-sponsored public forum proposed by Walter Johnson, its principal officer, to hear opposing views on this most important question actually takes place and is adequately publicized. But we can be sure that enormous pressure will again be brought to bear by the ruling class and its agents inside the AFL-CIO bureaucracy to block such an elementary exercise of free speech.
In any event, a truly democratic, public airing of views opposing official U.S. government policy will have an effect opposite to the one intended by those who twisted the arms of Labor Council delegates in order to kill their March 11 resolution denouncing U.S. policy in the Middle East. Such public meetings in which important questions are freely discussed is exactly what is needed to counter the current historic assault by the bipartisan U.S. government on the fundamental civil and democratic rights guaranteed the American people by the Constitution of the United States.
Editorial Committee, Socialist Viewpoint