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AFSCME Resolution on Israeli/Palestine Conflict

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WHEREAS:

The current war in Gaza, which began with the horrific attacks by Hamas on Israeli civilians on Oct. 7, 2023, is a humanitarian disaster and tragedy; and

WHEREAS:

The attacks by Hamas triggered an Israeli response leading to vast death and destruction. Tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza, most of whom are unarmed, have been killed and wounded in this conflict, including thousands of women and children. Nearly two million people – 80% of the population of Gaza – have been displaced from their homes. The lack of food, health care, and drinkable water is at crisis levels. This cycle of violence must end; and

WHEREAS:

Hamas continues to harbor over 100 hostages, including eight Americans; and

WHEREAS:

Hamas is internationally designated as a terrorist organization that has demanded the annihilation of the state of Israel and has undermined the efforts of those Israelis and Palestinians who seek peace in the region; and

WHEREAS:

Every nation has the right to defend itself from aggression and terrorism that imperils its security or right to exist; and

WHEREAS:

In defending itself, Israel has the responsibility to do its utmost to minimize civilian casualties and displacement. This responsibility remains despite Hamas using civilians as human shields; and

WHEREAS:

Palestinians have the right to a sovereign homeland where they can live freely, in peace and out of the shadow of both Israeli domination and control of Hamas militants and other terrorist organizations; and

WHEREAS:

The Oslo process to resolve the conflict in Israel and Palestine was undermined by continued terrorist attacks by Palestinian militia groups such as Hamas and by Prime Minister Netanyahu and his allies; and

WHEREAS:

Acts of terrorism by Palestinian militants and the Netanyahu government’s encouragement of settlements in the West Bank, combined with Israel’s often violent repression of legitimate protest, have exacerbated tensions and are inimical to a peaceful settlement of the conflict; and

WHEREAS:

As the conflict in the Middle East cannot be resolved through ceaseless violence and wars, responsible parties must accept that Israelis and Palestinians have claims that are both legitimate and in conflict with each other. The only path forward requires the parties to come together to recognize those respective rights and negotiate an enduring peace based on principles of self-determination, sovereignty, and mutual respect; and

WHEREAS:

The Oct. 7 attacks and the Israeli response have also triggered increased racism and hate in the United States. A fierce and intolerable wave of antisemitism, Islamophobia, and anti-Palestinian racism is washing over many communities.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:

AFSCME calls for an immediate negotiated ceasefire in Gaza accompanied by the release of all hostages; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:

AFSCME calls for immediate humanitarian assistance to Gaza and, where necessary, the West Bank, including food, water, medical care, and the rebuilding of shelter and vital infrastructure; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:

AFSCME calls on the Israeli government to prioritize reengagement in negotiations for a durable peace with responsible Palestinian leaders. A lasting peace must be based on Israel’s right to exist and the right of Palestinians to their own sovereign and autonomous homeland; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED:

AFSCME recommits to opposing discrimination of any kind. We stand with Jews, Israelis, Muslims, and Palestinians alike as war continues in the Middle East, and race-based vitriol surges at home. We will work to protect the rights and recognize the dignity of all people and oppose ethnic, religious-based, and race-based hatred and discrimination in our workplaces and communities.

Adopted by: International Executive Board

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