Sisters and Brothers:
The PGFTU has been working at all levels in Palestine and in its international relations to mobilize international support for peace in the region. This is the ultimate goal for our working families in Palestine, who have labored in every way possible to bring about an end to the Israeli occupation of all Palestinian territories. This occupation is the longest and worst in the modern history.
Over the years and even at this moment, these efforts have been met only with terrorism against our people by the Israeli army of occupation which has indiscriminately destroyed homes and worksites, slaughtered our people, confiscated our land, established and expanded illegal settlements, and limited the movement of workers who are only trying to feed their families. These measures have affected every member of Palestinian society.
The recent construction of the Apartheid Wall stands as a symbol of the extent of Israel’s brutal aggression against the Palestinian people and denial of their legitimate rights, dignity, and human needs.
We call upon all peace-loving people in the world:
You are now witness to the criminal aggression by the Israeli army in its offensive in the Gaza Strip, bringing a new wave of killings and massacres against the Palestinian people by Israel as the occupying state. These are war crimes according to international humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions.
As our families in Gaza (the poorest in the Middle East) are being slaughtered nonstop for a week now, many of us are reliving what occurred in the summer of 2006 during the Israeli aggression against the people of Lebanon.
We witnessed then as we experience now waves of support and solidarity and similar anger and energy against this brutal injustice. We cannot afford to let this surge of support pass us by without utilizing the moment to build our movement to face future challenges. The most important thing is to be aware and equipped.
We urgently ask you and your sister labor organizations to help us spread the message that “WE ARE ALL GAZA” — that this war is against all poor workers and families of the world. These are not just crimes against the people of Palestine. They are crimes against humanity.
Help us create a strong voice for the working families of Gaza by building coalitions with unions, faith groups, antiwar movements, and all social justice organizations.
We join you in the hope that in the election of Barack Obama, he will fulfill his reputation as a pro-union antiwar candidate, and that he understands that the CHANGE he spoke about during the campaign must include a fundamental change in U.S foreign policy so that “FREE GAZA — FREE PALESTINE” becomes more than just a slogan.
We support and encourage your Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction (BDS) efforts against Israel around the world, but especially in Europe and most particularly in the United States as a response to the harsh economic conditions, violations of labor and human rights, and other forms of oppression imposed by the illegal and immoral Israeli Apartheid occupation.
We ask you to stop U.S aid to Israel. This becomes not only necessary but also a duty of international solidarity among labor unions around the world. It is U.S. government aid that provides Israel with the weapons of oppression and U.S. government support that enables them to use those weapons against our people.
We ask you to be an active player in raising funds to meet the bare necessities of food, medicine, and medical supplies for the people of Gaza. (See below for information on how to send financial contributions to the PGFTU for Gaza Aid.)
With your solidarity with our struggle for human rights and justice, we can transform this moment of crisis into a turning point for an end to the brutal occupation and a step toward the liberation of the people of Palestine.
With the will and determination of all the people, we can say “FREE PALESTINE — YES WE CAN.
Manawell Abdel Al, Executive Committee Member
Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU)
Bab El Zahryeih
P.O. Box 38903
TO CONTRIBUTE DONATIONS TO THE PGFTU FOR GAZA RELIEF BY CHECK:
Make your check payable to the AAUMC (Arab American Union Members Council) and put PGFTU GAZA AID in the memo line. Send it to P.O. Box 22518, San Francisco, CA 94122.
TO CONTRIBUTE DONATIONS TO THE PGFTU FOR GAZA RELIEF BY CREDIT CARD:
On-line donations will be accepted by the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) at <https://secure.groundspring.org/dn/index.php?aid=1171>.
Check off “Gift Information: I’d like to make this gift on behalf of” and fill in “PGFTU Gaza Relief” in the form. Where it says, “Please send acknowledgement of this gift to,” put firstname.lastname@example.org as the email address. (Donations made on-line are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law; however, such donations are reduced by the amount of processing fees.)