Unison. Boycott. (Oxy)moron.

As expected, Unison passed this steaming pile of a motion http://cms.unison.co.uk/MotionText.asp?DocumentID=997416 complete with reference to apartheid and welcoming the formation of the (looked like another flimsy SWP front to me) Enough! coalition.

It wants Israel to resume the pre-6 Day War borders and bring about the establishment of a Palestinian state with its capital in Jerusalem. Unlike the Free Palestine group on facebook, it dates the occupation to 40 years ago, instead of 59. Excuse me while I grovel in gratitude. But if the refugees from ’48 to return home (as per 2), then goodbye Israel.

Actions? Unclear. Seem to fluffily involve “campaigning with the PSC as appropriate”. More to come on this, doubtless. Meanwhile see Engage. Workers Liberty did a lot of damage limitation, and submitted the following analyses:

“…the boycotters evidently got away with depicting the anti-boycotters as wishy-washy, artificially even-handed, or people who valued abstractions of working-class unity, or such ineffectual things as Unison’s official links with the Israeli trade unions, above practical action to help the Palestinians.”


“Generally the active pro-boycott left in Unison, the SWP/ Respect, kept a low profile on this issue, letting others speak, some of whom could say sincerely that they support “two states”.”


“Unison nominally endorsed the “Enough”/ Palestine Solidarity Campaign demonstration on 9 June. It mobilised hardly any members for it. Unsurprising: it is – and rightly so – impossible to recruit any number of democratic-minded working-class people to the slippery slogans and pro-Hamas tone of that demonstration (its high point was a video-cast of Ismail Haniyeh, in which he declared “two states” was not a possibility).

And, of course, if the Israeli Right can “show” Israelis that all the active critics of Israeli government policy are supporters of Hamas, then the Right will prevail in Israel.

The motion does nothing to break that vicious circle. On the contrary, it makes it worse. It signifies Unison doing “solidarity with the Palestinians” without committing itself to any action. Instead, it has licensed, and “contracted out” solidarity to, the ardent “smash Israel” boycotters – while preserving “deniability” for itself.”


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