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Danish Union Boycotts Israel

SiD (General Workers Union in Denmark):


The conflict in Palestine

The violence we have witnessed in the eighteen months of the second intifada must not be allowed to go on. A solution to the Palestine conflict must be found. It is always the responsibility of the strongest party to provide a basis for peace, thus enabling the Palestine people to resume a normal life and to participate in further development of Palestinian self-government, which again will enable them to comply with UN resolutions and the Oslo Agreement.

Since the mid-1990s, the SiD (General Workers Union in Denmark) has worked on development projects with the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU). We have seen that - despite many problems and constraints - the labour movement has been able to play a role in the democratisation process and in the development of human rights and union rights in Palestine.

Progress was brought to a halt following the new escalation of the conflict in September 2000, the result being that hundred thousands of Palestine workers have lost their jobs. This is true both of Palestinians who worked in Palestine and Palestinians who worked in Israel. It is not difficult to imagine what this situation means to families who are now unable to earn a living through paid work. Instead of working with the labour movement to ensure peaceful development in Palestine, the Israeli government chose to bomb the PGFTU' headquarters in Nablus on the West Bank.

This escalation of violence must be stopped now, which will only be possible if the following demands are met:

The strongest party - i.e. Israel - must create a basis for peace negotiations, the objective of which must be to develop the present system of political self-government into a free and independent democratic state. Troops must immediately be withdrawn from occupied areas (the West Bank and the Gaza Strip), and all new settlements must be stopped with immediate effect. The outcome of the negotiations must include clarification of the status of Jerusalem in the future Palestine and Israeli states.

All democratic forces in the global community, in Denmark, the EU and USA, must put maximum pressure on the Israeli head of government, Ariel Sharon, to force him to stop the violence and go to the negotiation table. The starting point for the negotiations must be the conclusions of the Oslo Agreement and the resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council, just as the peace plan proposals formulated by the Arab countries should be taken into account. In order to force Israel to adopt a human stance, EU member states and others must comply with international conventions concerning bans on the import of goods from occupied countries.

If no instant progress is made in terms of reaching a solution through negotiation, the SiD will recommend a boycott not only of goods from the occupied areas but also of goods from Israel. In such a scenario, the SiD will work actively to uphold the boycott, for example through the international organisations of which we are a member.

We urge the Danish government to join forces with the other EU member states to work for speedy peace in Palestine. The Danish government must make clear, unequivocal statements - not successive statements with different messages as those issued in the past few days.

Once peace has been created, it is important that Denmark continues to provide aid and assistance similar to the aid and assistance previously provided to civil society organisations in Palestine. Only through the strengthening of unions and other organisations can we contribute to lasting democratic development of a Palestine state.

8. April 2002

15. April 2002

Are we going to boycott Israeli goods?

SiD has called for Israeli boycott because we want to stop the escalation of violence, which we have witnessed the last couple of years.

Sharon's strategy will never create peace for the Israeli and Palestinian people in the territory. His strategy will lead to continuous terror and violence from both sides.

SiD's call is based on the following reasons

  • - The Palestinian territory is occupied by Israel, and the extension of the settlements has been continued during the peace negotiations and during the escalation of violence. A peaceful solution can only be created if Israel withdraws from Gaza and the West Bank. The existing convention on prohibition of import from occupied territories will also apply to Israel.
  • - The Oslo Agreement settled the basis for a future peace. In spite of the considerable concessions made by the Palestinians, the population has supported Arafat. The Israeli leader, Rabin was killed by an Israeli terrorist because of the concessions he made. Since then Israel have had leaders who clearly are against the Oslo Agreement and international law in relation to the settlements. They will not voluntarily negotiate on the basis of the Oslo Agreement and the UN Security Council's resolutions. These facts make the establishment of an independent Palestinian state impossible.
  • - The future peace in the territory can only be reached if Israel and Palestine are independent democratic states. Camp David negotiations broke down because Israel still wanted control of the West Bank.
  • - Terror cannot solve the problems, no matter if it is Palestinian or Israeli, civilian or state. Therefore, both parties have to stop the terror immediately.
  • - Israel has - as the strongest power - the key to the solution of the conflict. It is a regrettable fact that the Israeli have been killed, but it is also a fact that three Palestinians have been killed for every one Israeli.
  • SiD's calls are addressed to the state of Israel. It is not a violent agitation against the Jewish faith and its practitioners.

The conflict undermines the democracies in Israel and Palestine. The conflict creates social unrest and economic decline for both people.

Regards Jens Peter Hansen

IT-Supporter SiD


A letter from a labor union in Denmark that refused to do business with an Israeli company (Radix):


Name: Jens Peter Hansen


Message: To the Manager

Just now we're ready to buy 60 pieces off your "Radix protector net solution."

But for the moment, when the Israeli militaire is behaving so rough in the Palestinian Areas, nor I or my Union feel that it's is right to make business with companies from your contry.

We hope that this ugly war vil stop soon - and also we hope that Israel and Palestine will agree on peace.

Sincerely Yours

Jens Peter Hansen SID Generel Workers Union Langs?hus Trainingscenter Vestre Ringvej 51 DK-8600 Silkeborg Denmark

Response letter by Radix:


Dear Jens Peter Hansen

Regardless of the fact that seven years after the Oslo agreement most of the Palestinians live under full political and economical control of Yasser Arafat, the Palestinians dare to claim that their brutal terror attacks against Israeli civilians is a result of living under Israeli occupation!!!

You buy this nonsense; you blame Israel for defending itself against the most brutal terrorism campaign against civilians the world ever saw. Your heavy pressure is aimed toward Israel instead of the terrorists.

I hate to say that my friend but you SUPPORT TERROR!

Since I believe that you are a honest person and I don't really think that you mean to support terror or harm Israel, I would like to inform you few things that you might forgot but your media do not bother to remind you.

18 months ago, Palestinian leader - Mr. Yasser Arafat rejected Israel's offer to get full control on 97% of the land he claimed plus alternative land for the remain 3%. 100% of the land he claimes!! This offer is considered by most of the Israelis as far more than Israel can offer without risking its security.

The Palestinian responded breaking the peace talks and massive terror against Israeli civilians.

Any Idea why did the Palestinians reject such generous offer? The answer is very simple. Yasser Arafat doesn't want a state next to Israel. He wants a Palestinian state build on the ruins of Israel. A Palestinians state instead of state of Israel!

Do you support that? Do you really think that Israel should let the Palestinians build a state on the ruins of Israel? Would you let them build their state on the ruins of Denmark?

Imagine yourself drinking beer in your lovely Tivoli gardens when a bomb exploding under the seat spreading your body all over the garden. Imagine yourself in a situation when a bus exploded in the center of Copenhagen and you know that your daughter might be on that bus. You can't reach her because thousands like you trying to reach their relatives using the same overloaded cellular network. Now imagine that this is the everyday situation in Denmark for 18 months.

Would you accept such situation? I don't think so. No mater what is the cause of the Palestinian suffer, my daughter is not responsible for that. She is not the one that has to be blamed for the Palestinian suffer and she shouldn't pay the price for Arafat's megalomania.

Let me clearly state that I have no problem choose between doing business with you or support my government in its effort to protect my daughter's life. Because of your support in terror I hold you personally responsible for my daughter safety.

I really hope that the Israeli government will not bend under your unfair and unbalanced pressure and continue with the work of rooting out terror from this region. Yes, even if I lose your business. If we fail, god forbids, we are doomed and you are next in line.

Yes, Palestinian civilians pays heavy price. Many killed by our military actions. Yes, we all think that this is terrible. But this is unfortunately the situation when terrorist find shelters behind civilians. Labs where bombs are manufactured are located in civilian neighborhoods. Palestinians "brave" warriors took shelters behind women and children, in schools and in ambulances.

There is one person to be blamed for the Palestinians suffer - Mr. Yasser Arafat. For six years since he got the full control on the Palestinians life, all he did is building the terror infrastructure, preparing for a war instead of developing the country and improving the life of his people.

By the way, I didn't notice that any of you or other peace lovers sensitive Europeans doing anything to stop the terror against Israeli civilians. Your voice was not heard when terrorist kept exploding themselves among Israelis in nightclubs, cafes, busses, schools, markets and hotels in the center of the cities taking huge number innocent lives. You people woke up only after Israel stood up and start to fight back.

We will do all it takes to defend ourselves because no one else will do it for us. Definitely not the Europeans. My mother is still alive to remind me what she has gone through in your civilized Europe 60 years ago.

We are going to defend ourselves even if it will disturb your sensitive soul in Europe and even if cost us to lose some business with you. But I advise to you to wake up. I know that you do not mean to encourage the Palestinian to go on with their brutal terror actions against civilians. Am I wrong?

Best regards

Dov Shoam

General Manager

Please support this union and make our voices heard.

Send an e-mail to Jens Peter Hansen expressing your support and copy the
Radix person.

Visit their website, at the bottom you can read the responses they got::