July 9, 2010
A delegation of representatives and supporters of Israel on July 6, 2010 including the Deputy Israeli Consul for the Pacifica Northwest Gideon Lustig failed in their efforts to pressure San Francisco ILWU Local 10 to reject their positions in protest of the attack on the Gaza aid flotilla, against the blockade of Gaza and the apartheid wall that Israel has constructed placing the Palestinians in a ghetto.
The Israeli government and its supporters around the world have been shaken at the growing support for a labor blockade of Israel. Dockers in South Africa, Sweden and India have taken direct labor action to stop the movement of Israeli ships and cargo.
The Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions PGFTU had initially called for the world labor boycott of Israeli’s apartheid and criminal policies in an appeal to international labor.
At the Port of Oakland SSA terminal on June 20, 2010, a mass picket line of over 500 trade unionists and community activists was successful in stopping the loading and unloading of the Israeli Zim ship Shenzhen in the first labor action in the United States against the policies of Israel.
The Israeli consulate sent a delegation to ILWU Local 10 in an effort to get the Local to drop their positions. The result however was a rejection of the Zionists appeal and reaffirmation of the Local’s opposition to the Israeli actions. UC Irvine Lecturer Roberta Seid who was with the delegation and is the Education/Research Director of Stand With Us, a international Zionist “education” organization attended as well. This outfit organizes to coerce US universities and education administrations to take action against critics of Israel including disciplinary action against students and actions to fire and witchhunt professors and academics who criticize Israel. She had flown in from Los Angeles and was allowed to speak at the meeting. Her efforts as well to “educate” the ILWU Local 10 officers and rank and file failed miserably.
She had defended the deadly attack on the Gaza Aid Flotilla and the Israeli government murder of US trade union activist Rachel Corrie who was run over by a US supplied Caterpillar D-9 bulldozer run by Israeli military forces while standing in front of a Palestinian house facing demolition. http://www.commentarymagazine.com/viewarticle.cfm/rachel-corrie-s-dreams-11453
While attending the meeting she was strongly challenged and sent packing to join the dispirited and shocked Israeli delegation who were completely stunned by the union’s rejection of them. On the very same day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was being warmly greeted by US President Barak Obama at the White House. The US government which arms and supports the Israeli regime in its apartheid policies sees Israel as a key imperialist outpost for US interests in the region and helps do damage control for the racist policies on a global level.
In San Francisco, Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senators Barbara Boxer and Senator Feinstein in California have also supported the Israeli attack on the Peace Flotilla and defended Israeli crimes. They continue to be the biggest supporters of US military and economic aid to the apartheid government of Israel.
The Transport Workers Solidarity Committee which had sparked the action against the Zim Shenzhen in the Port of Oakland supports ILWU Local 10 in continuing its principled positions in the face of intense pressure by the Zionist regime and its supporters.
Local 10′s steadfastness has also been greeted warmly by the besieged Palestinian trade unions.