Ireland North: NIPSA union condemns Gaza slaughter – calls for Palestinian, Jewish and Arab working class common struggle to end war, division and capitalism

The following motion condemning the Gaza slaughter and calling for a class based, trade union approach to the conflict in the Middle East was passed at the recent conference of the Northern Ireland Public Services Alliance (NIPSA) – the largest trade union in the north – which brought together delegates from  many workplaces of both Catholics and Protestants. Militant Left (CWI Ireland) supporters in NIPSA played a key role in the  drafting, discussions and debate on this issue.

Conference salutes the work of Palestinian and Jewish trade unionists and social activists who are struggling for national rights, human rights, social rights and an end to poverty for all peoples in Palestine, Israel and the wider Middle East. Conference notes that while this work has consistently taken place in an atmosphere of war, repression and division that has pertained since 1917 it has become much more difficult following the latest escalation in a conflict that has engulfed Gaza, Israel, the West Bank, parts of Lebanon and the wider region.
The genocide we have witnessed on our screens is on a scale not seen before. At the time of writing, we have seen the murder of over 32,000 men women and children and the total displacement of the entire population of Gaza. Starvation and hostage taking have been used as weapons of war. We have witnessed ethnic cleansing and a new ‘Nakba’ while so-called ‘civilised’ governments, including Britain, have not only sat back and watched but actively aided through the provision of weapons and munitions.
Conference condemns the deplorable actions by the Israeli state, Hamas, the PA, the regional powers and the imperial powers who have all failed the ordinary people of the region and have absolutely no strategy that offers any way out of the repeated nightmare of conflict, division and poverty.
Conference notes that the conflict is frequently used as a proxy for sectarian conflicts here. The sectarianisation of the issue not only divides our membership and the wider working class but is also to the detriment of the ordinary people of the region, Palestinian, Jewish and Arab and a boon to state actors. Conference, therefore, calls on the incoming General Council to continue to work within the NIPSA Constitution and conference motions to engage on this issue sensitively.
While conference recognises that the only long term approach that can finally resolve the situation is a successful socialist intifada that draws Palestinian, Jewish and Arab working class, trade unionists and youth together in a common struggle to end war, division and capitalism, we must seek in the interim to develop the successful work NIPSA has already engaged in to support ordinary people in the region who are struggling for national rights, human rights, social rights and an end to poverty.
Conference therefore calls on the General Council to:
● Continue to provide balanced and accurate information about the situation.
● Engage in a meaningful debate with the wider Trade Union Movement on appropriate steps to ensure Northern Ireland does not contribute materials that exacerbate the conflict or can be used for repression or dispossession.
● Provide material support to legitimate medical organisations and aid organisations in the region.
● Establish direct links with trade unionists in the region.
● Continue to be involved with, and help build, Trade Union Friends of Palestine.
● Continue to support the BDS Movement.

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June 2024