Other Group

Labor for Palestine

Website:

laborforpalestine.net/

Type:

Labor Coalition

Formation:

2004

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Labor for Palestine is a coalition of radical-left labor activists who support Palestinians in their conflict with Israel, advocate for the elimination of the State of Israel, and oppose what they view as “Zionist” control over the American labor movement. 1 2 It was founded by representatives of Al-Awda (Palestinian Right to Return Coalition) and US Labor Against the War and supports the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement’s efforts to economically isolate Israel. 3 4

History and Leadership

Labor for Palestine was launched in 2004 by the New York City chapters of Al-Awda (Palestinian Right to Return Coalition) and US Labor Against the War. 5

The endorsing organizations at its launch included the Bay Area Labor Committee for Peace and Justice, the Filipino Workers’ Association, the Out Front Labor Coalition of Pride at Work AFL-CIO, and international labor organizations from Belgium, The Netherlands, and the Basque region of Spain. 6

Individual signatories to Labor for Palestine’s founding principles included individuals with executive roles at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 535 in Oakland, California, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) in New York City, the Graduate Employees Organization of the American Federation of Teachers at the University of Michigan, the United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 235 in Detroit, the National Association of Government Employees (NAGE) Local Rl-168 in Boston, and other labor organizations. 7

One of Labor for Palestine’s leaders is Suzanne Adely, who is president of the radical-left National Lawyers Guild and co-director of the Food Chain Workers Alliance (FCWA). Adely has written that Zionism has had a “century-long stranglehold on U.S. labor.” 8

Other Labor for Palestine leaders include individuals with current or former leadership roles in the Arab American Union Members Council, the Massachusetts Society of Professors, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), the Arab Resources and Organizing Center (AROC), Block the Boat, the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys (UAW Local 2325), Jews for Palestinian Right of Return, Million Worker March, and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). 9

Opposition to Israel

Labor for Palestine’s founding manifesto advocates the “end to Israeli occupation and colonization of all Arab lands” and the implementation of a “right to return” for Palestinians to properties they or their ancestors owned in 1948. 10 11 It views Palestinians as the indigenous inhabitants of the modern-day State of Israel and all Jewish inhabitants as “colonizers.” 12

Labor for Palestine endorsed the January 13, 2024 “March for Gaza” in Washington, D.C. 13

Hostility to Jewish Labor Organizations

Labor for Palestine is deeply critical of Histadrut, the Israeli General Federation of Labor, that is Israel’s equivalent to the AFL-CIO. 14 15 Labor for Palestine refers to Histadrut as “Israel’s racist labor federation,” and calls for labor unions and federations around the world to eject it from the labor movement. 16

In the United States, Labor for Palestine accuses the Jewish Labor Committee (JLC) of being Hidstadrut’s  “mouthpiece,” despite the JLC’s history of alliance with Israeli and Jewish organizations that support a two-state solution “in which an Israeli and Palestinian state exist side by side in peace.” 17 18 Labor for Palestine has called for all American unions and labor federations to sever ties with the JLC. 19

References

  1. Labor for Palestine. Accessed March 21, 2024. https://laborforpalestine.net/.
  2. “Introduction.” Labor for Palestine, November 30, 2004. https://laborforpalestine.net/about/labor-for-palestine-introduction/.
  3. “Introduction.” Labor for Palestine, November 30, 2004. https://laborforpalestine.net/about/labor-for-palestine-introduction/.
  4. Labor for Palestine. Accessed March 21, 2024. https://laborforpalestine.net/.
  5.   “Introduction.” Labor for Palestine, November 30, 2004. https://laborforpalestine.net/about/labor-for-palestine-introduction/.
  6. “Introduction.” Labor for Palestine, November 30, 2004. https://laborforpalestine.net/about/labor-for-palestine-introduction/.
  7.  “Introduction.” Labor for Palestine, November 30, 2004. https://laborforpalestine.net/about/labor-for-palestine-introduction/.
  8. Adely, Suzanne, and Michael Letwin. “Bottom-up Labor Solidarity for Palestine Is Growing.” Labor Notes, August 26, 2021. https://labornotes.org/blogs/2021/08/bottom-labor-solidarity-palestine-growing.
  9. “Stand with Palestinian Workers: Cease the Genocide Now-Stop Arming Israel!” Labor for Palestine, March 21, 2024. https://laborforpalestine.net/2023/10/24/stand-with-palestinian-workers-cease-the-genocide-now-stop-arming-israel/.
  10. Labor for Palestine. Accessed March 21, 2024. https://laborforpalestine.net/.
  11. “Founding Statement.” Labor for Palestine, December 4, 2004. https://laborforpalestine.net/about/founding-statement/.
  12. “Founding Statement.” Labor for Palestine, December 4, 2004. https://laborforpalestine.net/about/founding-statement/.
  13. [1] “Endorsers.” March on Washington for Gaza, December 30, 2023. https://march4gaza.org/endorsers/.
  14. [1] “History of Histadrut.” Histadrut. Accessed March 21, 2024. https://www.histadrut.org.il/eng/History.
  15. “About.” Labor for Palestine. Accessed March 21, 2024. https://laborforpalestine.net/about/.
  16. “About.” Labor for Palestine. Accessed March 21, 2024. https://laborforpalestine.net/about/.
  17. “Jewish Labor Committee.” Jewish Virtual Library, 2007. https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jewish-labor-committee.
  18. “JLC and Other Conference of Presidents Members Rebut COP Statement on Majority Leader Schumer Meeting.” Jewish Labor Committee, March 2024. https://www.jewishlaborcommittee.org/2024/03/jlc_and_other_conference_of_pr.html.
  19. “About.” Labor for Palestine. Accessed March 21, 2024. https://laborforpalestine.net/about/.
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