July 28, 2021
The members of the Rank-and-File Temple Caucus (RAFT) unequivocally support the cause of Palestinian liberation from Israeli occupation, settler colonialism, and apartheid.
RAFT supports the workers and oppressed people of Palestine, who are targeted by the colonial violence of the state of Israel. We support Palestinian-led movements such as BDS and its academia and culture focused subdivision PACBI.
We call on President Biden to immediately cease all military aid and financial support for the state of Israel, which we know exists only to further the imperialist aims of the U.S. government in the Middle East and beyond. The U.S. government must stop sending American police units to Israel for training; and the President, Departments of State, Defense, and Treasury, and Congress must take the recommendations of Human Rights Watch in their recent report as a serious starting point for putting pressure on Israel to cease committing these crimes and hold those responsible accountable.
We call on the AFT to completely divest from the State of Israel, including the liquidation of its $200,000 worth of State of Israel bonds; to condemn the Israeli authorities’ crimes of apartheid and persecution; and to join us in demanding that the U.S. end all support for the Israeli state. RAFT supports the efforts of other rank-and-file members of the AFT and we call on every TAUP member, as members of AFT 4531, to sign the Statement of Solidarity with the Palestinian People published by rank-and-file members of the AFT.
We call on both the membership and the leadership of TAUP to join the growing tide of union locals who are speaking out in support of Palestinians. We also call on TAUP leadership to make the above demands of AFT: that it divest in Israeli State Bonds and demand an end to U.S. support for Israel, and that TAUP constituent representatives propose those demands as resolutions that can be debated and passed by the Executive Committee.
We would like to make it clear that we recognize the crime of the Holocaust and the current scourge of anti-Semitism around the world, especially in Europe and the United States. However, we also understand that the solution to these realities cannot be the theft of another people’s land and the expulsion of those people from their land. We believe that the support of a Zionist settler colonial state, in fact, allows Europe and the U.S. to evade accountability for their failure to deal with anti-Semitism in their own countries, past and present. A history of anti-Semitic violence and genocide in Europe and the U.S. does not justify the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.
Anti-Semitism, Nazism, colonialism, racism, imperialism, and exploitation are linked by the foundational forces of neoliberal capitalism and white supremacy. As rank-and-file workers, we recognize that these are the weapons that the ruling class uses to divide, exploit, and brutalize workers and the oppressed across the globe. It is therefore the duty of every rank-and-file caucus and every union to stand with the Palestinian people against their oppressors.