Head Office Circular No: NP/184/23
TO ALL BRANCHES AND REGIONAL COUNCILS
18th October 2023
Israel and Palestine
In common with the international trade union movement, RMT is horrified by the current situation in Israel and Palestine and the continuing loss of thousands of lives, and we send our condolences and solidarity to all those impacted by these events.
We condemn the targeting of civilians which has resulted in the loss of thousands of lives and we urge all parties, including the international community, to work to stop the bloodshed and to prevent the conflict escalating to other parts of the region.
We condemn the attacks by Hamas and their targeting of civilians. There can be no justification whatsoever for such an attack and we call for the release of all hostages.
We condemn the collective punishment of Palestinians by the Israeli government which is leading to a humanitarian disaster in Gaza, with the deliberate blocking of water, fuel and healthcare, and continued bombing leading to more loss of life and displacing over a million citizens who have already been subject to years of blockade.
We call for an immediate end to hostilities on all sides, an end to the siege of Gaza, an end to the continued bombing and the threat of ground invasion. We call for the immediate opening of humanitarian corridors to allow for the supply of essential goods, energy and medical aid.
RMT believes in peaceful solutions to conflict and that this long-standing conflict can only have a just resolution through dialogue and respect for international law, including the end of the illegal occupation of Palestinian land and instead support for a two-state solution, with security for both Israel and Palestine and equal rights and labour rights for all in line with UN resolution. We will support those voices on both sides who have shown tremendous courage in promoting peace and dialogue and a just settlement and a democratic solution.
RMT opposes the rise in Anti – Semitism and Islamophobia which has been exacerbated by the war and continuing occupation. Renewed violence and extreme rhetoric will only make matters worse. RMT will work with the wider anti-racist and trade union and labour movement to campaign for peace and a just settlement to the conflict and against the current crisis leading to a rise in racism and fascism.
The union will seek to reflect and pursue this policy including through organisations that we are affiliated to such as the TUC, STUC, WTUC, Palestine Solidarity Campaign and trade union international federations. We will support demonstrations by these organisations calling for peace and actively promote fundraising for emergency medical aid to Gaza.
Finally, it is important to note that the union has members serving on Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships that have been sent to the region and the union will do all it can to support and protect the welfare of our members. We call on the British Government to stop its support of hostilities including halting of UK arms sales to Israel to bring about immediate peace and a just settlement based on UN resolutions and international law.
Palestine Solidarity Campaign demonstration
RMT is affiliated to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign as well as Stop the War and CND and I can advise you these organisations have called another demonstration in London on Saturday 21st October at 12pm, meeting at Marble Arch. On the demo there will be trade union bloc and RMTs Senior Assistant General Secretary will be speaking at the rally. More information can be found here: https://www.stopwar.org.uk/events/national-march-for-palestine-stop-the-war-on-gaza/
Medical Aid for Palestinians
RMT is also supporting Medical Aid for Palestinians Emergency Appeal which is responding to the current emergency in Gaza, where hospitals are struggling to cope with an influx of serious injuries. Branches and members are encouraged to donate to this important cause and can do so here https://www.map.org.uk/donate/donation-details/484