In a statement released today the Irish Anti-war Movement (IAWM) welcomed the Boycott Divestment Sanctions motion against the Israeli State that was unanimously passed last Thursday, 4th April by the Teacher’s Union of Ireland (TUI) at its 2013 Annual Congress.

The TUI motion reads in full:

Motion 241. Executive Committee/Dublin Colleges

TUI demand that ICTU step up its campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against the apartheid state of Israel until it lifts its illegal siege of Gaza and its illegal occupation of the West Bank, and agrees to abide by International law and all UN Resolutions against it.
Congress instructs the Executive Committee to:

(a) Conduct an awareness campaign amongst TUI members on the need for BDS

(b) Request all members to cease all cultural and academic collaboration with Israel, including the exchange of scientists, students and academic personalities, as well as all cooperation in research programmes.

The IAWM statement noted that this is a very progressive move by the TUI and that it is heartening to see that teachers and lecturers saw fit to express solidarity with their Palestinian colleagues, students and pupils who suffer so much under a brutal occupation.



IAWM PRO Jim Roche, who lectures in the School of Architecture at DIT and is a member of the Dublin Colleges branch of the TUI, proposed the motion and it was seconded by Gerry Quinn, Vice-President of the TUI Executive Committee.



In the IAWM statement Jim Roche said:



“I think this TUI motion is very significant. It recognises the concern of the TUI members for the just cause of the Palestinian people in their pursuit of freedom, including the freedom to be educated, under a most horrific military occupation and daily intimidation. It means the TUI is the first such academic union in Europe to openly endorse an academic boycott of Israel. It is a strongly worded motion that recognises Israel as an apartheid state. There is no question that Israel is implementing apartheid policies against the Palestinians. Indeed, many veterans of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa have said that the situation in Palestine is worse than what was experienced in South Africa.”


He continued:


“BDS is a worthy, non-violent method of resisting Israeli militarism, occupation and apartheid and it has global support. Palestinians are struggling for the right to education under extremely difficult conditions. Palestinians take education extremely seriously as shown by a 2007 UN Report that found literacy rates of 91% among 17-24 year olds in Palestine, the largest of any Arab country, and well ahead of the USA. It is also evidenced by the large numbers of students in third level education inside and outside the occupied Palestinian territories. Palestinian education has always been a target of the Israeli occupation, seeing forced closures of universities, regular disruption at checkpoints, closure and curfew regimes, arrests, beatings and killing of both students and teachers and the military targeting of school buildings.

He concluded:

“We proposed this motion as we believe that, as with the former apartheid regime of South Africa, the Irish trade union movement has a vital role to play in helping apply pressure to end Israeli apartheid and occupation. I am proud that the TUI has taken a clear stand, and now supports a full academic boycott of Israel in line with the Palestinian call for BDS”.



For more info on BDS and Academic Boycott see:


Boycott Divestment Sanctions - http://www.bdsmovement.net/


Palestinian Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel - http://www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=2157


For more information contact:

Jim Roche, PRO Steering Committee IAWM, Tel. 087 6472737

Lola Hynes, Secretary, Steering Committee IAWM, Tel. 086 822 8795

Fatin Tamini, Steering Committee IAWM, Tel.  086 026 7721
Website - www.irishantiwar.org

@IrishAntiWarMvt <https://twitter.com/#!/IrishAntiWarMvt>

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