European trade union to boycott products made in Jewish settlements

Middle East Monitor  /  May 26, 2023

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), which represents over 45 million European workers and their trade unions, decided today to boycott products made in illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The organization also stressed the importance of regulatory measures to prevent EU legal entities from importing or exporting products manufactured in illegal Israeli settlements in accordance with EU treaties and international law.

The decision came during the confederation’s 15th Congress, being held in the German capital Berlin today.

Addressing the conference, the Secretary-General of the Palestine Trade Union Federation, Shaher Saad, welcomed the attendees and drew attention to the plight of the Palestinians as he noted the death toll so far this year, which has already reached 172 Palestinians.

“Israel has been transformed entirely under the leadership of the far-right government to a hothouse and incubator of racism, terrorism and unbridled settler violence,” he said.

“The occupying state is holding more than 4,900 prisoners, including 31 female prisoners, and 160 children, including a girl under the age of 18, in addition to 1,000 administrative detainees, including six children,” he added.

According to the WAFA news agency, the confederation emphasized the need to reach an agreement between Israel and Palestine that would lead to the implementation of the two-state solution, with East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state and the establishment of a lasting solution that respects the legitimate rights of both peoples to coexist in security and peace.

Saad added in his speech: “Many of the members of this conference witnessed some of the suffering that our male and female workers suffer at military checkpoints and in the unjust Israeli labour market, and the guests of the Palestinians turned from visitors into eyewitnesses to these crimes and violations, after they showed the necessary feelings of solidarity.”

“No two people in this world can no longer disagree that the foreign occupation of other people’s lands is the calamity of all mankind and its black plague,” he continued.

“If there is anything on earth that deserves condemnation, rejection, and denunciation, it is the continuation of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, that occupation that pays our disarmed people the cost of their existence and brutality, and curbs their unbridled lust for licking the blood of innocent people and taking their lives,” he added.

“If this international community had any will, it would have brought the Israeli occupation state to the platform of accountability, after its killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, and imposed on it the repulsive penalties it deserves, as it is a rogue state that continued to deviate from the law.”

The ETUC’s Congress is held every four years. Ninety-three trade unions from 41 European countries take part, as well as ten European trade union federations.