Monday, 17 October 2011

Norway: union rep wants to boycott the Histadrut, calls it an apartheid organization

"This is an organization only for Israeli Jews. In our world this is apartheid." Apartheid?  Arabs and other ethnic groups have had full right to membership from 1960 and Histadrut has currently over 200,000 Arab members.

Source: Norway, Israel and the Jews

The leader of Fellesforbundet (The Norwegian United Federation of Trade Unions), Lars Frøysa wants to boycott the Israeli Histadrut, on the grounds that it is an apartheid organization, according to an article in Vårt Land
This is an organization only for Israeli Jews. In our world this is apartheid. We think that the labour movement has an obligation to protect all workers, says Lars Frøysa. He is leader of the local chapter at Celsa Armeringsstål in Mo i Rana, who has submitted the motion.
He further claims that in spite of the Union’s rejection of the proposal, he is convinced that they will prosper at the ballot, since members are free individuals.
Our old friend Hilde Henriksen Waage, the historian and researcher who on occasion slips into activist mode on Israel related matters, has been consulted (apparently nobody was available at the Histadrut for comments, but that may reflect a certain insensitivity and ignorance on Jewish matters, since probably they were closed for Yom Kippur observation in addition to the weekly days of rest for workers, in Israel on Friday and Saturday):
From its inception in the 1920ies, Histadrut was am important instrument for the Zionist movement in the construciton of the Israeli State. They were mainnly concerned with building their own economy separate from the Palestinian. Their goal was to ensure that Jews got the jobs as well as maintaining high salaries.
– How did LO (The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions) view them?
– Histadrut was an important reason why the Labour party and the LO embraced the Jewish project. They saw the society they wanted to create in Israel as their socialistic paradice. It was almost like a religious conversion, says Henriksen Waage, who underlines that she is not updated on the development in later years for this organization.
If our rabid Unionist, Lars Frøysa, had cared to check the facts and not only let himself be guided by his hatred of Jews in general, Israeli Jews in particular, he might have discovered that Arabs and other ethnic groups have had full right to membership from 1960 and has currently over 200,000 Arab members.

Also inconvenient is the fact that the Histadrut cooperates fully and advocates on behalf of Palestinian workers and activists. But he may not have wanted to notice that, since that would have forced the realization that Israel is not an apartheid state, also when it comes to union matters.
But that neither the VL journalist nor Henriksen Waage should be unable to find relevant information on Histadrut, in terms of historical background and current policies is disappointing, or maybe they could not be bothred to find the info?
The The Norwegian United Federation of Trade Unions has indicated that it wont accept this proposal, but nevertheless has singled Israel out for special treatment on more than 4 separate items. As far as I can tell, there are none for Arab dictators, even now that it is in vogue to want to get rid of them (as long as major Norwegian interests are not jeopardized). Again.

Well some sanity has prevailed. Union rejects motion to boycott Israel

1 comment:

Brian Goldfarb said...

It's not just Norwegians trade unionists rejecting boycotts of Israel. There are actually some English speaking (academics, yet!!) trade unionists doing the same. Trouble is, they're sensible Australians, not Brits (i.e., UCU has still failed to come to its senses):