Head Office Circular No: NP/195/23
TO ALL BRANCHES AND REGIONAL COUNCILS
10th November 2023
In advance of the National March for Palestine tomorrow I would like to reshare your unions NEC policy statement on Israel Palestine which was published on 18th October 2023:
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.
National March for Palestine and Palestine Solidarity Campaign
RMT, alongside other trade unions have been consistent in condemning the atrocious violence and for calling for a cessation of violence and for a lasting peace in both Israel and Palestine and we are conscious that we will have members who may have been personally impacted by the horrific situation in the region. The union has a longstanding policy on affiliation to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign approved by the Annual General Meeting, our union’s supreme governing body, made up of rank-and-file members elected by RMT Branches. The stated aims of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign include an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine and for peace and justice for everyone living in the region.
As you may be aware, we have got active members serving on Royal Fleet Auxiliary off the coast of Palestine and Israel right at this moment. We have ensured a message of solidarity has been sent out to our members there clearly highlighting that our union supports a peaceful resolution to the Israel – Palestine conflict and we will continue to urge all parties, including the international community to work to stop the violence.
As a union will be taking full part in Remembrance memorials this weekend across many venues. We have many members that are also military veterans themselves and we are very proud and always hugely respectful of that.
We believe the National March for Palestine tomorrow, whose objective is to call for a ceasefire, maintains this respect as the main commemorations take place on Remembrance Sunday, not on the Saturday, when the march is taking place and the march has intentionally been routed well away from the Cenotaph and starting much later than the 11am National two minutes silence for Armistice Day.
More information on the National March for Palestine can be found here
Trade Union bloc
There will be a Trade Union Bloc on the National March for Palestine that will begin forming up from 11:20am at Speaker’s Corner, Hyde Park. Please bring flags and banners.