Palestine

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Conference
2016 National LGBT Conference
Date
27 July 2016
Decision

1. The adoption by UNISON national delegate conference 2016 of the motion “Don’t silence the occupation of Palestine”, which highlighted the introduction of new laws in Britain, the United States of America and Israel that seek to undermine the growing success of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and instructed the National Executive Council (NEC) to:

A. Campaign for the repeal of restrictive laws which seek to silence those who campaign for Palestinian rights;

B. Continue to campaign for an end to the illegal occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza;

C. Defend the right of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) to support the rights of the Palestinian people without intimidation or harassment, and encourage all branches to affiliate;

D. Pursue the policies and strategy previously decided by national delegate conference, with particular reference to positive BDS campaigning;

E. Develop practical arrangements in conjunction with regions to promote and sustain, fund by fund, the lines of action recommended in the NEC guidance “Palestine: Is Your Pension Fund Investing in the Occupation?” and to monitor outcomes;

2. The UNISON delegation to Palestine and Israel in April 2016 and the inclusion in the delegation’s report of the recommendation that the NEC should work with the self-organised groups “to support their campaigns on the rights of Palestinians and human rights defenders”

3. UNISON’s continuing support for PSC and the ‘No to Pinkwashing’ group

Conference recognises that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people continue to be one of the primary targets of the ‘Brand Israel’ campaign, designed to change Israel’s image from that of a country in a state of war to that of a ‘liberal and modern’ tourist destination, and a campaign specifically aimed at trying to undermine support in LGBT communities for the Palestinian people.

Conference believes that there can be no Pride in a state that is brutally repressing the Palestinian people, whatever their sexual orientation or gender identity; where LGBT Palestinians, like all Palestinians, are living under siege and occupation, and which operates apartheid laws and practices. Conference affirms that LGBT people should not be going on holiday to Israel, and be sitting on the beach in Tel Aviv or going to Tel Aviv Pride while, just an hour’s drive away, Palestinians are living under siege in Gaza.

It therefore instructs the national LGBT committee to continue to work with the NEC and International Department to:

I. Encourage LGBT members, branch and regional groups to take up actions in support of Palestinian rights;

II. Publicise the work of PSC, and encourage LGBT people to become members;

III. Promote UNISON policy and the guidance on pension funds;

IV. Develop its links with Palestinian LGBT organisations and assist PSC to build links with LGBT communities;

V. Give appropriate support to the ‘No to Pinkwashing’ campaign.