Feb 14, 2011

#BDS: Largest Brazilian Trade Union backs Boycott!

"In an important gain for the global movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, Brazil’s largest Trade Union Confederation (CUT), voiced its support of the BDS call and called for the suspension of Israeli-Brazilian economic agreements and military ties on January 28.

In a statement signed by National President of CUT as well as its General Secretary and International Relations Secretary, the union stated:

“The advancement of the Israeli offensive, symbolized by the construction of the wall of apartheid and the constant bombing of Gaza requires solidarity with the Palestinian People from us all to carry out policies that go beyond humanitarian assistance and can contribute in a relevant way to build peace in Palestine. Thus we urge trade unions, social and popular movements to support the campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions to policies of occupation of Palestinian territory by Israel.” 

According to research done by Stop the Wall, Israeli companies began in 2000 to become a critical part of the Brazilian police and military forces, with Elbit Systems taking the lead. This was primarily in high-tech areas, but also extended to conventional arms. Currently, a number of major Israeli arms companies have their sights set on Brazil as the key market in South America. In its statement, CUT singled out the growing military trade and economic links being built between Brazil and Israel:

“We regret that Brazil is the third largest consumer of arms from Israel through the Plan of National Defense Strategy of the Ministry of Defense of Brazil, and that arms agreements contribute indirectly to the occupation of Palestinian territory. It is therefore necessary that the Brazilian government suspend current agreements and bilateral economic / military negotiations between Brazil and Israel. It is unacceptable that the Free Trade Agreement between MERCOSUR and Israel becomes a reality.” 

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