The 1.8 million strong Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) ended its 9th Congress in Johannesburg yesterday (21st September). A resolution on the Middle East sponsored by the National Union of Metalworkers (NUMSA), the Witwatersrand and Eastern Cape regions was unanimously adopted. The resolution appears below. Willie Madisha was re-elected as president. It is significant that Madisha’s first international engagement will be at the Canadian Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid’s conference to be held in Toronto between the 6th and 8th of October (see www.caiaweb.org/node/1 for details)
4.5.2 Middle East: NUMSA, Wits and Eastern Cape
1. The merciless killing of civilians in particular children in Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine.
2. The imprisonment of Iraqis, Palestinians and others by the U.S. administration and its allies.
3. These attacks are backed by the advanced capitalist economies in particular the U.S which arms and funds the Israel army.
1. The U.S. must withdraw all its forces unconditionally from Iraq and Afghanistan so that their people can determine their own future under the supervision of the United Nations.
2. Our government should impose sanctions against Israel until the aggression on Palestine and Lebanon is stopped.
3. We should step up the campaign for the release of Palestinians, Iraqis and other nations across the globe held by the U.S. and Israel.
4. COSATU members must boycott Israeli goods and demonstrations must be held at the embassies of Israel and the United States in South Africa.
5. The government must end with immediate affect the diplomatic ties with Israel including recalling the ambassador.
6. To strengthen the coalition against the wars in the Middle East.
7. Pledge our solidarity and support to the struggle of the Palestinian people for freedom and condemn in the strongest terms:
a. the war crimes that are currently being perpetrated against the people of Palestine and Lebanon;
b. the wanton destruction of life-sustaining infra-structure in Palestine and Lebanon;
c. the deliberate impotence of international agencies and either the silent complicity and/or the active support of most governments in these acts of terror;
d. the current and ongoing shipment of armaments from the US to Israel; and
e. the detention of almost 10 000 Lebanese and Palestinian people including women and children.
8. Demand that:
a. Israel immediately cease its aerial bombardments and military attacks on Palestinian territories and Lebanon.
b. Israel abides by the provisions of the international humanitarian law and human rights law, and refrains from imposing collective punishment on Palestinian civilians.
c. The international community holds Israel legally accountable for all crimes committed against civilian populations.
d. The international community implements diplomatic and trade sanctions against the State of Israel with immediate effect.
e. The international community holds Israel responsible for the compensation and reparation for the loss of life in Lebanon and Palestine.
f. The EU stop the severe sanctions imposed by Europe on the Palestinian Authority as a penalty for exercising their democratic right and electing a government of their choice.
g. The United Nations implements the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on Israel’s Apartheid Wall.
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