Congress policies and actions on Palestine plus useful links



Palestine at our Biennial Delegate Conference - July 2017

Omar speakingOmar Barghouti speaking at BDC 2017

A motion developing our solidarity work and noting the UN report of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) titled ‘Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid’ was debated and unanimously passed at the conference.

Omar Barghouti was a guest speaker at the conference and his input about BDS is available here.

Launch of our Standing Up for Palestine Campaign (July 2015)

Campaign launched at our Biennial Delegate Conference 2015

Report on Israeli SettlementsPublication cover - Report Trading Away PeaceCover image for Report Trading Away Peace

A consortium of 22 NGOs including Christian Aid and Trocaire have recently published a report on Israeli settlements entitled Trading Away Peace detailing how European helps sustain the illegal Israeli settlements. It highlights the conflict between the EU policy on Israeli settlements on the one hand and the European policy which helps sustain the settlements on the other. The report shows that the EU imports approximately 15 times more from the illegal settlements than from the Palestinians themselves.

As part of a consortium, Congress recently (October 2012) sent a letter to Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore on settlement goods.

2011 Biennial Delegate conference

Motions on Palestine: Motion 39; and Motion 40

Palestine Conference cover

Congress Palestine Israel 2010 Conference

In April 2010, Congress held a conference aimed at building support for our policy and learn from other trade union actions around the world; to strengthen ICTU's relationship with the labour movement in the Middle East and beyond and to continue to encourage international trade union debates and discussions about how international trade union solidarity can contribute to a peaceful solution that respects both the UN resolutions and human & trade union rights. The Conference was chaired by Congress President, Mr Jack O Connor.

A range of speakers including a number of civil society activists from the region and trade unions from around the world who are actively engaged on this subject participated.

Conference Background Paper available here

Minister Martins Speech available here

Media Coverage:

Pre conference debate between Avital Shapira and Proinsias de Rossa on Today with Pat Kenny, 14th April. (Scroll forward to 1hr 11 mins)

ICTU Seeks ways to support sanctions against Israel (I.Times 17 April)

Government opposed to boycott of Israel (I.Times 16th April)

Israel makes no secret of upset at Ictu stance on Palestinians (Irish Times 15 April)

2007 Trade Union delegation to Israel and Palestine

The delegation which travelled to Israel and Palestine in 2007, was as a result of 2 motions (70 and 71 on the agenda) on the subject having been passed at our 2007 Biennial Delegate Conference) Full report available here.

Subsequently, policy was updated by a motion passed at our 2009 Biennial Delegate Conference, which includes supporting calls from Palestinian civil society for the Pal rept coverBoycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

Report of Michael Robinson on 2010 visit to Palestine.

Read Trade Union Friends of Palestine member, Michael Robinson's report on a delegation visit to Palestine in September/October 2010.

Visit by PGFTU to Congress, November 2013

The Executive Council of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions yesterday (20 November 2013) met with Dr. Mohammed O. M. Amara Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU). Dr Amara made a presentation to the EXCO in which he outlined the economic impact of the Israeli occupation, including devastating levels of unemployment, and the daily humiliation experienced by Palestinian workers seeking to travel to and from work. Dr Omara requested Irish Trade Unions to promote pressure on Israel in any available forum to obey international law by calling for sanctions on Israel and boycott of Israeli goods, especially of goods/ services from illegal settlements. He also sought our assistance in seeking an end of Israeli strangulation of the Palestinian economy and freedom of Palestinian economic activity in "Area C" in the West Bank. Dr Omara also suggested twinning initiatives between trade unions in Palestine and Ireland at all levels to promote practical projects in Palestine.Mohammed at EXCO 2Mohammed O M Amara from PGFTU and John Douglas, Congress President at EXCO meeting 20 Nov 2013

Later in Liberty Hall, at a meeting hosted by Trade Union Friends of Palestine (TUFP) and SADAKA, Dr Omara made an impassioned plea for ongoing trade union solidarity from Ireland.

The meeting alo heard about the important economic role Area C could play in boosting the Palestinian economy from Philip O Connor (SADAKA Board member and member of TUFP). The World Bank has pointed out that more than half the land in the West Bank, much of it agricultural and resource rich, is inaccessible to Palestinians and estimated the loss to the Palestinian economy at about $3.4billion.

Mags O Brien (Chair of TUFP) spoke about the impact of the occupation on Gaza, especially on fishing and agriculture.

See list of Israeli goods on website of Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign here

Trocaire report on Settlement trade here

Letter to Tanaiste on "Area C" in the West Bank

Letter sent to Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore,T.D., on how Israel's control of Area C is suffocating the Palestinian economy.