The British teachers’ union (National Union of Teachers – NUT) of over 300,000 members has shown strong support for the academic boycott of Israel. NUT recently passed a BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanctions) resolution (see http://www.teachers.org.uk/files/nut-final-agenda.pdf pp. 45-46), that not only condemns Israel’s violations of international law in the Naqab (Negev), but also condemns Israel’s discrimination against Palestinian students and teachers who are citizens of Israel. Pictures of the conference can be seen at https://www.flickr.com/photos/palestinesolidaritycampaign/sets/72157644194877606/ . The text:
PALESTINE MOTION 31 (East London) to move,
(Croydon) to second:
Conference welcomes the visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territory by a delegation of Executive and non-Executive members in October 2013, and the strengthening of links between the National Union of Teachers and the General Union of Palestinian Teachers.
Conference notes the ongoing oppressive and unjust regime imposed by the state of Israel on the Palestinian people and is especially concerned at the impact on young people and their families.
Conference endorses the following demands and calls on the British Government to actively pursue these objectives:
1. The dismantling of the 700 Kilometre long Wall condemned by the International Court of Justice in July 2004;
2. The ending of all illegal settlements which now control 42.7% of the West Bank (UN figures);
3. The ending of all moves to cut East Jerusalem off from the West Bank through a process of settlement expansion and the demolition of Palestinian homes;
4. The support for the UN call for the end of the blockade of Gaza;
5. The dismantling of the Israeli army’s 532 Checkpoints (UN figures);
6. The ending of the inhuman treatment of Palestinian Child Prisoners as documented by Defence for Children International/Palestine Section;
7. The rescinding of the Government’s Prawer Plan to destroy Bedouin villages inside Israel and forceably transfer the people out of their established villages; and
8. The right of the Palestinians inside Israel to develop a curriculum which preserves their heritage and ends discrimination in education.
Conference reaffirms its commitment to campaigning in solidarity with the Palestinians in their struggle for peace and justice and calls on the Executive to distribute the report of the 2013 delegation as widely as possible publicising it through the Teacher and all appropriate Union channels.
Conference instructs the Executive to:
i. Support TUC policy, to “boycott the goods of, companies who profit from illegal settlements, the Occupation and the construction of the Wall”;
ii. Pressure the UK Government to call on the Israeli Government to comply with international law and human rights treaties;
iii. Work to win the backing of Education International and the ETUC(E) for these policies and to seek to collaborate with like minded unions internationally;
iv. Convey these views to the Israeli Teachers Union;
v. Express our solidarity with the GUPT for its objectives for education and discuss with them ways to develop this solidarity;
vi. Call for an end to the discrimination against Palestinian students and teachers within Israel;
vii. Encourage divisions to make links with Palestinian teachers and schools including organising delegation exchanges;
viii. Encourage Associations, Schools and Divisions to publicise the report of the delegation to members; invite speakers to their meetings and encourage active membership participation in work on this issue;
ix. Organise a special meeting for Division representatives and International Solidarity Officers to present the report, explain Union policy, outlining ways to develop the work and incorporate regular updates in Divisional Secretaries briefings and school representatives training; and
x. Continue to campaign for the rights of Palestinian children including child prisoners and work to engage all members in this campaign encouraging individual membership of and affiliation to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and support for Action for Palestinian Children Prisoners.
31.1 (Buckinghamshire) to move,
(Kirklees) to second:
Conference instructs the Executive:
Add new point:
xi. Educate the membership through publications, divisions and international solidarity officers of the ‘Pinkwashing’ propaganda used by Israel to make their citizens and the wider world believe that they are progressive in respect of LGBT rights, while distracting attention away from the human rights abuses they have instigated by their occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.