A prominent industrial union in the United States has endorsed the international movement of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) to support the Palestinians against Israel, calling on Washington to cut off financial support to Tel Aviv.
The United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America union voted in favor of a resolution entitled “Justice and Peace for the Peoples of Palestine and Israel" during its national convention on August 20, the union reported on its website.
Citing Israel’s "long history of violating the human rights of the Palestinians," the union has become the first nationwide union to join the boycott against Israel.
Union delegate Autumn Martinez said, “It’s absolutely disgusting what is going on. Free Palestine!”
In a statement, the union attacks Israel for its human rights record "starting with the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians in 1947-48 that turned most of Palestine into the State of Israel."
It explained that the goal of endorsing the BDS campaign was "to pressure Israel to end its apartheid over the Palestinians just as similar tactics helped to end South African apartheid in the 1980s."
The union also voted on a number of other foreign policy issues, including the demand to end US military intervention in the Middle East and other regions.
"We (need) to get rid of this culture of war,” said Mike Ferritto, a local delegate.
“We have done enough damage. We need to get out of the Middle East," said another delegate, Brandon Dutton.
The resolution was part of a series of resolutions, including support for the Iran nuclear agreement. The union said it was the first US national union to endorse the movement.
The BDS campaign, which began in 2005, encourages organizations and institutions such as universities and churches to divest from Israel until the fundamental rights of the Palestinians have been recognized.