Thursday, September 13, 2007

German unions follow U.S. labor to oppose boycott against Israel

from JUF (Jewish United Fund)News and from the Jewish Labor Committee:

The president of the Jewish Labor Committee today applauded yesterday’s decision by Germany’s largest labor federation to oppose a growing boycott campaign against Israel. JLC President Stuart Appelbaum, who is also the president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, said the move by the 6.5 million-member Confederation of German Trade Unions [Deutsche Gewerkschaftsbund DGB] is a “powerful statement against the Israel-bashing which has become common in the European labor movement.” In July, the leaders of virtually every major U.S. union signed on to a JLC statement blasting British union support for the boycott effort.

“The backers of the boycott campaign have pulled out the stops to brand Israel as the embodiment of evil in the Middle East,” said Appelbaum. “Though they claim they are concerned with the problems facing Palestinians, their efforts only bolster the extremists who refuse to accept Israel’s right to exist.”

In its statement opposing the boycott campaign, the DGB said “Israel’s right to exist is non-negotiable, ” adding that “Anyone who challenges the foundations of the Jewish state can always reckon with our decisive resistance”

DGB President Michael Sommer recently told a German newspaper that calls for boycott measures are reminiscent of the Nazi slogan, “Don’t Shop at Jewish Stores!”

“When U.S. labor leaders stood up against the Israel-bashers in July they sent a powerful message of solidarity to the people of Israel and everyone else who believes in peace, “ Appelbaum said. “Now, with the added backing of Germany’s labor movement, the tide may be starting to turn against the boycott campaign.”

Based in New York, the JLC is a national organization of Jewish union activists and their supporters. Information on the JLC can be found on the web at:

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