Date: Mon, 18 Mar 1996 17:14:47 GMT
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.MISSOURI.EDU>
From: Labor Committee on the Middle East <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: AFL-CIO Still in Israel's Pocket
AFL-CIO still in Israel's pocket?
By Jeffrey Blankfort, in Middle East Labor Bulletin
18 March 1996
Since the establishment of Israel in 1948, the AFL-CIO leadership
has been an integral part of the pro-Israel lobby, providing
funding for pro-Israel Democrats, investing the union's pension
funds in Israel Bonds, and blocking international efforts to
punish Israel for its exploitation and abuse of Palestinian
Lane Kirkland, the recently retired AFL-CIO president, used to
boast that he had attended more Israel Bonds rallies "than any man
alive," and no one challenged him.
During Israel's invasion of Lebanon, the Kirkland regime responded
to a half-page ad in the NY Times, signed by labor officials
condemning Israel's actions, with a full page ad backing the
invasion underneath bold headlines, which read "The AFL-CIO is
not Neutral, We Support Israel!" The ad was paid for someone with
a Park Avenue address, presumably not a blue collar worker.
The new regime of John Sweeney appears to be giving us more of the
same. Instead of speaking out against the collective punishment
being used by Israeli government against Palestinian workers,
prohibiting them from working in Israel or going to their jobs in
the West Bank, Sweeney and the AFL-CIO CEO's on the Executive
Board bought more than $10 million worth of Israel bonds at a
champagne brunch during the AFL-CIO's mid-winter meeting in Bal
Harbour, Florida, according to the Jewish weekly Forward, (3/1).
In addition, Sweeny and executive VP, Linda Chavez-Thompson, are
both planning trips to Israel, according to the paper.
Several years ago, during the intifada, the executive board of
Sweeney's SEIU, was reportedly, believe it or not, about to pass a
resolution opposing an Israeli action against Palestinian workers.
Seeing the situation getting out of hand, Sweeney, called for a
break in the meeting, during which he apparently let those
supporting the resolution know that they were treading on
When the meeting resumed, the resolution was tabled. And that was
the end of it.
Middle East Labor Bulletin