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Sisters and brothers,
It has come to our attention that many of you have received questions and concerns related to recent media coverage of an upcoming resolution at the Ontario University Workers Coordinating Committee (OUWCC) Conference related to the call for an academic/cultural boycott of Israeli institutions.
We should make it clear at the outset that no resolution has been passed, nor has the text of one been drafted. We feel that these are issues that must be discussed and debated as broadly and as openly as possible. We hope to have the full text of the resolution sent out within the week so that locals can review and comment on it prior to the conference in February, at which point we can have a full democratic debate and vote.
The media coverage surrounding the resolution that will be brought to the February meeting has led to many misunderstandings with respect to its intent. The resolution is not promoting, as has been suggested, a call for a ban on individual Israeli academics, but rather a boycott on collaboration with academic and cultural institutions in Israel. The boycott campaign has been organized in response to a call for solidarity actions that has been endorsed by over 170 Palestinian trade unions, political parties and other organizations, including the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions. The campaign has also been joined by hundreds of trade unions and faith groups from around the world. More information about the boycott can be found at www.pacbi.org and www.bdsmovement.net.
At the 2006 CUPE Ontario convention the membership voted to pass Resolution 50, calling for CUPE Ontario’s to join the global campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel’s actions in the occupied territories (full text of the resolution can be found at www.archives.cupe.on.ca/www/background_on_resolution_50). The resolution being brought to the OUWCC Conference is an attempt to embrace the spirit of Resolution 50 in a way specific to the University sector. Support for, and participation in, the global campaign is a stance that CUPE Ontario has been proud to take, and one that is all the more important given the horrific situation currently underway in the Gaza strip.
CUPE has a proud history of standing for human rights, justice and solidarity. This pending resolution, like Resolution 50 before it, is a shining example of those commitments, and we sincerely hope that the membership will support it at our February meeting.
Peace & Solidarity,
Janice Folk- Dawson Dan Crow
Chair Vice Chair