Proposed Resolution: CFA Call for a Halt to Violence Against All Civilians in Palestine and Israel

Whereas, violence against civilians – whether in Palestine or Israel– does not and will not serve the interest of peace and greater humanity in the region; and

Whereas, neither the Israeli military nor Hamas is justified in attacking the civilian population of the other; and

Whereas, the situation in Gaza, one of the most densely populated places on earth, has reached a profound and extremely desperate humanitarian crisis for the entire population of 1.5 million people, with children bearing the brunt (UNICEF)- a crisis that requires the immediate attention and assistance of all people and organizations of conscience throughout the world; and

Whereas, the U.N. Security Council has expressed its serious concern about this escalation, issued a call for an immediate halt to all violence, and has called for all parties to address the serious humanitarian and economic needs in Gaza and to take necessary measures, including opening of border crossings, to ensure the continuous provision of humanitarian supplies, including supplies of food, fuel and provision of medical treatment; and whereas over 1300 Gazans were killed and over 4500 wounded in the recent hostilities (International Red Cross); and

Whereas, as educators in California institutions of higher learning, we are horrified by the military destruction of educational sites, the student casualties, and the widespread violations of the right to education in the occupied territories; and

Whereas, like the war and occupation in Iraq, the U.S. policies of failing to condemn violations of human rights and the law of war by all sides, and of failing to act as an honest broker in seeking a just peace agreement, contribute to human misery, and to continued instability throughout the Middle East; and

Whereas a change in U.S. foreign policy and spending priorities is necessitated by the current economic crisis, and taxpayer dollars need to be invested in resources here at home, including education at all levels, healthcare and jobs;

Therefore be it resolved, that CFA affirms its support for the principle of international solidarity, and its respect for international law, condemns violence against civilians, including the blocking of medical aid; and joins the co-convenors of US Labor Against the War, the San Francisco Labor Council, UE, and many of our sisters and brothers in the labor movement in supporting the call of the U.N. Security Council for a cessation of all violence; and urges all parties to address the serious humanitarian and economic needs of the people of Gaza, recognizing the necessity for all civilians of both Palestine and Israel to live in peace with justice and security, which includes exercising their right to education; and

Be it further resolved that we call upon the U.S. Administration, as well as state and local officials, to inaugurate a new U.S. policy that addresses the needs and aspirations of Palestinians as well as of Israelis, and works toward a lasting peace based on justice and respect for human rights principles; and

Be it further resolved that CFA will support actions for Middle East peace based on the positions above, and encourage our members to do so, and will include as part of CFA’s ongoing peace and justice work, educational programs for the membership, including speakers about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Middle East, especially in the occupied territories, with an emphasis on its effect on education and on labor; and

Be it further resolved that we urge increased engagement of trade unions with their counterparts on all sides of the conflict to improve the lives of working people in Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel, build grassroots trust, and international labor solidarity, and enhance the peace process; and

Be it finally resolved, that a copy of this resolution shall be forwarded to our membership, and to our affiliates, the California Federation of Labor, the Change to Win Coalition, and the AFL-CIO with a request that they take a similar position.

Presented by the CFA Peace & Justice Committee

Adopted by CFA Board of Directors
February 7, 2009

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