Irish unions urge boycott of Israel

The Irish Confederation of Trade Unions held a day-long conference on how to implement a trade boycott of Israel.

Ireland’s Foreign Minister Michael Martin recently described Israel’s partial blockade of Gaza as “medieval,” but favored a British boycott of Israel. At the conference, however, he said, “The government does not agree with or support any form of boycott which would be completely inimical to the frank and honest dialog we have always pursued with the Israeli government.” What the government does agree with is an embargo on products made by Jews in Judea-Samaria, not part of Israel

Martin said that Hamas’ attacks on Israeli cities are “completely unjustified, indiscriminate and deadly attacks and added, “Hamas must also cease the insidious practice of kidnapping. I again call on Hamas to release the young Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit.”

“The Irish Independent’s Ian O’Doherty castigated the trade union for concentrating on a political issue while ignoring workers’ day-to-day needs.” He thinks the union should focus on helping members’ deal with this great recession. He calls the boycott campaign “racist.”

O’Doherty asks, “Does the fact that the Iranian regime has spent the last few years ruthlessly crushing their own trade union movement matter to them not a jot? No, as far as the Left is concerned, any criticism of any non-white, and in particular, Muslim country, is seen as neo-imperialism and racism.” (Arutz-7, 4/18/10).

The Union did not reconcile its opposing Israel’s blockade of Gaza as medieval, with its own support for boycotting Israel. I suppose its theory is that Israel is occupying Judea-Samaria, so it has no right to move its people there. I’ll be discussing that in my new series, Major Mideast Misconceptions.

During boyhood, I saw a thrilling movie about the origin of “boycott.” It was invented by an Irish protester, a Captain Boycott.

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