Since Hamas attacked Israeli music festival goers and Israel responded with a genocidal attack on Gaza, Australian unions are, one by one, joining the global call for a ceasefire.
Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA on October 16 called on Australian Labor to “exercise all avenues of diplomacy to stop the bombing and the ground assault by Israel into Gaza”, adding: “The international community cannot allow this assault to proceed”.
The NSW Teachers Federation Executive said on October 17: “While the attacks perpetrated by Hamas deserve international condemnation, the actions of the Israeli Government cannot be justified in any way”.
It quoted from Education International’s call for the international community to “do their utmost to stop the bloodshed and avoid any further deepening of this humanitarian crisis”.
“We are appalled by the lack of leadership, both here and internationally, for failing to call out atrocities committed by Israel, having rightly condemned Hamas for its actions, and to call for an unconditional ceasefire. Calling for safe passage for humanitarian aid via the Egyptian border goes nowhere near far enough,” the Federation said.
Federation also expressed its “deep concern” at NSW Labor’s approach which, it said, mostly unnecessarily fanned “the anger and profound sadness of Palestinian communities”.
“Racism, including antisemitism, has no place here or anywhere, but peaceful assembly and peaceful protest and the expression of solidarity must never be restricted by the state.”
Mark Diamond, the Rail, Tram and Bus Union’s national secretary said on October 19, the union condemns Hamas, opposes Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories and supports the right of Palestinians to live without fear or discrimination.
The National Tertiary Education Union said on October 20 that “any resolution of the conflict requires an end to the occupation of Palestine, recognition of Palestine as a sovereign state, and an end to illegal settlements”.
It called for an immediate ceasefire, for Israel to end its siege of Gaza, and for food, water, electricity, and medical supplies to be provided to Gaza. It also said it supports the right for peaceful protest and expressed concern at the “potential curtailment of the right to protest on these issues”.
The Australian Services Union (NSW & ACT Branch) (ASU) called on October 21 for an immediate ceasefire, and reiterated “the union movement’s strong opposition to war, violence, and racism, including antisemitism and islamophobia”. The ASU (Victorian Private Sector Branch) joined the ceasefire call on October 27.
It called for an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestine and “a just and sustainable peace in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions”. This includes removing illegal settlements, the withdrawal of Israel from all Palestinian lands along with the dismantling of the separation wall.
“In line with the ACTU’s commitment to a two-state solution with the security of borders for both nations, we call on all countries to recognise, without delay, Palestine as a sovereign state with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
The ASU added its support to protect the right to protest.
The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) on October 22 called for an immediate ceasefire.
“There must be an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire, and the creation of humanitarian corridors to allow humanitarian aid into Palestine unimpeded. Civilians must be protected, and civilian infrastructure such as hospitals must not be targeted.”
The ACTU reiterated the movement’s opposition to war, violence, and racism, including antisemitism and Islamophobia.
It called for an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestine and for a “just and sustainable peace,” which includes an end to Israel’s illegal settlements, Israel’s withdrawal from all Palestinian lands and the dismantling of the separation wall.
“In line with the ACTU’s commitment to a two-state solution with the security of borders for both nations, we call on all countries to recognise, without delay, Palestine as a sovereign state with East Jerusalem as its capital. This will confirm the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination in a free and independent Palestine.”
The Australian Education Union on October 24 condemned “any acts of war by any nation or group that attacks civilian targets, including schools and hospitals”.
It called on the Australian government to “show leadership internationally and nationally” by “calling for an unconditional ceasefire and to ensure that humanitarian aid is urgently provided to those in need”.
The Electrical Trades Union (Qld and NT) on October 26 called on Labor “to use all of its influence on the international stage for the negotiation of an immediate ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict taking place in Gaza”.
“The indiscriminate collective punishment of innocent civilians in Gaza must cease immediately and negotiations for a peaceful resolution to begin. We support a free Palestine and the right for Israel to coexist under a two-state solution.”
The Independent Education Union (Victoria, Tasmania) said on October 30 that it supported the ACTU and the International Trade Union Confederation’s call for all sides, and the international community, to “act for a just peace”.
“There must be an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire, and the creation of humanitarian corridors to allow aid into Palestine unimpeded. Civilians must be protected, and civilian infrastructure such as hospitals must not be targeted.”
The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) said on November there must be an immediate ceasefire “to prevent further escalation and any further loss of human life”.
It paid tribute to the more than 30 journalists and media workers now confirmed dead, including Roshdi Sarraj, a freelance Palestinian journalist who worked for the ABC’s 7.30 program.
Unions Tasmania also called for a ceasefire on November 6.
[The piece has been compiled with the assistance of @ndy’s blog.]