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2012 National LGBT Conference
27 July 2012
Carried as Amended

Conference welcomes the:

1)Adoption by UNISON Conference 2012 of Composite L on Palestine, which reaffirmed UNISON’s existing policy and agreed that UNISON should:

A)Use its influence in trade union bodies to raise the findings of the Russell Tribunal, which found that the state of Israel subjects the Palestinian people to a regime of domination amounting to apartheid as defined under international law, and call for support for its recommendations;

B)Campaign for immediate recognition of an independent Palestinian state;

C)Provide information for members on the boycott of Israeli settlement goods, briefings and training on UNISON policy for UNISON representatives on pension fund investment bodies, and develop guidance for branches on campaigns to stop public sector contracts being awarded to companies which also operate contracts inside the Occupied Territories that are in breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

2. Decision by 2011 Trades Union Congress (TUC) to reaffirm its support for a boycott of illegal Israeli settlement goods, and to call for divestment from companies profiting from the occupation.

3. Adoption at the 2011 Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) Annual General Meeting of the motion ‘No to Pinkwashing’, which recognised the need for PSC to work with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) groups, trade unions and the TUC LGBT Committee to raise awareness amongst LGBT communities and encourage LGBT people to join PSC.

4. Adoption by 2010 TUC LGBT conference of the motion on Palestine proposed by UNISON, which drew attention to the use of LGBT arguments to criticise support for the Palestinians and called on the TUC to promote the TUC/PSC boycott and disinvestment campaign, highlighting Palestinian LGBT people’s situation.

Conference recognises that Pinkwashing, the well-documented strategic campaign by the Israeli state to rebrand itself as a “safe haven” of tolerance for LGBT people, is not aimed at supporting LGBT rights. It promotes the idea that Israel is a great place for all LGBT people to try to enlist LGBT people outside Israel to defend it and to counter criticism of its occupation of Palestine.

Conference therefore welcomes the active support of UNISON and PSC for the ‘No to Pinkwashing’ campaign group which organised activities in the run up to World Pride in July, including a public meeting at the UNISON centre in May, and a contingent which marched alongside UNISON’s at World Pride with the PSC banner, Palestinian flags, placards, and distributed lots of ‘No Pride in Israeli Apartheid’ campaign postcards

It therefore instructs the National Committee to continue to work with the NEC and International Department to raise LGBT human rights issues as part of UNISON’s work on Palestine and to continue to:

I)Publicise the work of PSC, and encourage LGBT people to become members;

II)Promote UNISON policy and publicise the information for members, pension fund representatives and branch guidance when available;

III)Develop links with Palestinian LGBT organisations and assist PSC to develop its LGBT network;

IV)Give appropriate support to the continuing ‘No to Pinkwashing’ campaign.