Australian unions join West Bank goods boycott

SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — Australian unions have joined the international campaign to boycott Israeli goods from the West Bank.

The Electrical Trades Union, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union, the Queensland branch of the Rail Tram and Bus Union and the Finance Sector Union all recently passed a resolution supporting the international boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel.

Peter Tighe, the national secretary of the Communications Electrical Plumbing Union, told The Australian newspaper Oct. 15 that “We are not anti-Jewish; we just think the human misery over there is outrageous.”

Tighe said he plans to take a resolution to the Australian Council of Trade Unions, the nation’s top union body, endorsing the boycott. But Paul Howes, the national secretary of the Australian Workers’ Union, said he would oppose it.

“I am a firm supporter of the State of Israel,” he told the Zionist Federation of Australia’s biennial conference last weekend. “I believe that the Jewish people have a right to a homeland. No ifs, no buts.”
 

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