Postal workers in Canada have voted to boycott the Israeli Occupation and to launch campaign to raise awareness of Israeli apartheid.
The Ontario regional constitutional conference approved a boycott motion which also calls for sanctions on the apartheid state and for research to explore Canada’s links to the Occupation.
One issue likely to attract the unionâs attention is the vast number of weapons entering Canada produced by Israeli companies. The Occupation boasts a flourishing weapons industry, with many of its offensive technologies having been tested in the field on Palestinians. Canada lifted its arms embargo in 1995 as a reward for the signing of the Oslo accords. By 2004, it was being reported that the Canadian military planned to purchase 5 billion dollars worth of equipment from the Occupation. Israeli companies such as the Elisra Group now supply electronic combat systems for Canadian helicopters while Magal Security Systems equip Canadian prisons.
The arms trade is reciprocal. The Canadian Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade recently noted:
âIsrael’s most-deadly, US-made weapons systems -now being used in air strikes against Lebanon – would not be able to function without hundreds of crucial, high-tech, electronic components supplied by Canadian war industries, and subsidized unwittingly by Canadian taxpayers.â
The postal workers action is part of a growing movement for boycott of Israeli apartheid in Canada. During 2006, the Ontario branch of the Canadian Union of Public Employees passed a similar resolution, committing the Union branch to support the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions until Palestinian rights are implemented, including the right of return. Although the motion was watered down when it reached the national conference, the postal workerâs initiative shows that the movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israeli apartheid is strong in Canadian trade unions.
The postal workers motion will be presented to the unionâs national convention in April.