Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Just in case somebody stops by...

The e-mail came to me a while back from B'nai Brith.
Two questions:
(1) What happened to this wicked resolution?
(2) Why haven't bloggers and the media covered this?
I suspect many high-profile bloggers are more concverned with sucking up to the OSSTF and other unions than in doing thr right thing.




Follow-up:

The resolution was turned down
This was the right thing to do. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict won't be solved by the OSSTF, especially by the union passing resolutions that are so blatantly biased towards one side.
Israel-Palestine is an issue that many people are very emotional about. Palestinian and Muslim children, and Jewish children, attend Ontario's secondary schools. Jews and mid-East Muslims teach in those schools. There should be places where all sides can feel sheltered from this ugly fight, and the schools are one such place. The union should stick to issues of salaries and working conditions, and not take up sides in an issue that doesn't directly affect its members in the course of their work. CUPE, too, is playing out of its league.

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On Thursday, January 18, 2007, the Council of the Secondary Teachers Bargaining Unit (STBU) (part of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation – District 12 Bargaining Unit) will be voting on one-sided motions that vilify Israel. In December, 2006 we alerted you about a similar motion calling for support of the CUPE-Ontario’s boycott of Israel. Your vocal opposition made the difference and that motion was removed from the agenda. It is time to make your voices heard once again.

What can you do to oppose these motions, which does not advance union interests, but instead seeks to delegitimize the Jewish State of Israel?

FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH THE ISSUES.

The STBU Council which is made up of local union representatives from the district will be meeting beginning at 4:30 pm on Thursday, January 18, 2007. The agenda and motions before the STBU Council can be viewed at http://www.osstfd12.com/artman/documents/council/agen_jan_07.pdf

The proposed motions are in step with the anti-Israel propaganda that has increasingly been advanced at the union level, often at times not reflecting the point of view of individuals belonging to these unions and in whose name the vicious anti-Israel falsehoods are being spread.

Five Points Against the STBU Anti-Israel Motions

Similar One-Sided Motions on the Arab-Israeli conflict have been widely condemned by international human rights groups.
This proposed motion casts Israel as the lone villain solely responsible for hostilities in the Middle East. Notably, it fails to mention the use of terror by Palestinian factions or Hezbollah. Recently, such one-sided resolutions of the Arab-Israeli conflict have been widely condemned. Note:

Amnesty International’s condemnation of a similarly worded resolution taken at the United Nations Human Rights Council concerning Israel-Lebanon conflict which “put politics before lives.” Source: http://news.amnesty.org/index/ENGMDE020142006
Human Rights Watch concluded that another one-sided Human Rights Council resolution on the situation in the Palestinian Territories “failed to address acts of violence by Palestinian armed groups or to recognize that Palestinian authorities can help to resolve the situation.” Source: http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/07/06/isrlpa13701.htm

Every Country has the Universal Human Right to Live in Security
The Resolution neglects any mention of Israel’s right to defend itself - a right accorded to all states - and instead calls its response to continued rocket attacks and kidnappings “aggression.” It makes no mention of the legitimate rights of all people to security and assumes Israel has built a security fence which serves no purpose but “separation” and the intentional imposition of hardship on the lives of Palestinians.

The Proposed Motions Support Sponsoring Terrorist Organizations:
The call to end sanctions by Canada is a call to support Hamas, a terrorist group outlawed by Canada, which has consistently refused to recognize the state of Israel, is infamous for its use of suicide bombers to maximize civilian casualties, and advocates the destruction of Israel. This position not only goes against the position of government bodies internationally, it also violates Canadian government policy. Furthermore, the OSSTF resolution implicitly advocates a policy that is in direct contravention to Canadian anti-terror legislation.

The Proposed Motions Introduces a Biased View of the Conflict into Ontario Classrooms.
Rather than serving the cause of peace and understanding, this motion calls on the provincial Human Rights Committee to develop pedagogic materials that pick sides. These motions violate equity policies that govern teachers in their classrooms.

The Incoherence of the Proposed Motions.
Why do these motions isolate Israel, a Western democracy, when gross violators of human rights such as Sudan, China, and Iran are regularly ignored by the union? Why is there a double-standard when it comes to Israel? Teachers in Great Britain had the moral clarity and courage to defeat similar resolutions and reject any suggestion of boycotts for just these reasons. Do Canadians?

Other points to consider

It follows on the Canadian Union of Public Employee’s Ontario (CUPE-Ontario) Resolution 50 which was passed this summer. B’nai Brith Canada charged that the resolution was inherently biased and discriminatory, betraying a politically-charged agenda, which did nothing to advance the cause of Middle East peace. At the time, B’nai Brith Canada circulated a Manifesto denouncing the CUPE-Ontario boycott and reaffirming support for democratic Israel, which was signed by more than ten thousand Canadians. The Manifesto exposed the boycott for what it was: a thinly veiled attempt to delegitimize the Jewish State of Israel. This document can be accessed by clicking on the following link: http://www.bnaibrith.ca/CUPEPetition.html.

The OSSTF-D12 in its newsletter (“The D12 Voice”, Volume 8, No. 2, November 2006) published articles in support of the CUPE-Ontario boycott. The CUPE article in D12 Voice refers to Israel as the “racist, violent system”. This is in the face of relentless terrorist activities against Israeli civilians and the brutal killing of young children by Palestinian “militants” just in the news. Individuals wanting to consult this material for background purposes can click on the following link:

http://www.osstfd12.com/artman/documents/D12_voice/2006_2007/November_06.pdf

The resolution also follows on CUPE’s Educators for Peace and Justice “education tour” launched last month which furthers the anti-Israel campaign.

Clearly this one-sided campaign that furthers untruth and propaganda must be stopped. . This issue directly affects members of the OSSTF-D12 union, but resonates far beyond – impacting on the Ontarian and Canadian community as a whole.

MAKE YOUR VOICE COUNT. Express yourself in an informed but at all times civil manner.

IF YOU ARE A MEMBER OF THE OSSTF:

i)Be sure to make your views known to your local bargaining unit and president. It is your local rep that will be voting on the motions. Contact your local union representatives and the executive of OSSTF (District 12). Tell them that such motions have no place in your union. The contact information for the OSSTF executive is available by clicking on the following link:
http://www.osstfd12.com/artman/publish/article_89.shtml

IF YOU ARE A CONCERNED COMMUNITY MEMBER:

ii) Share the information provided here as widely as you can: via email, phone or fax. Call the OSSTF-D12 office to express your concerns. Write letters so that the immediate impact of these letters will be felt.

Phone 416-393 8900

Fax 416-393-8912

Email the District 12 president Doug Jolliffe at djolliffe@osstfd12.com.

*Further Contact info for executive officers is available by clicking on the following link:

http://www.osstfd12.com/artman/publish/article_22.shtml.

iii) Write letters to the editor of the d12 Voice voicing your opposition: d12voice@onebox.com OR send via fax 1-877-302-3681. Don’t stop there. This is a wider community issue. Write letters to your local newspapers as well.