An anti-boycott group has criticised the Trades Union Congress’ plans to visit Gaza alongside Palestine Solidarity Campaign members.
Delegates voted unanimously to back a motion for a Gaza trip, moved by Communication Workers’ Union general secretary Billy Hayes at the TUC conference in Brighton on Tuesday.
But the Fair Play Campaign Group, which opposes Israel boycotts, said: “A visit only to Gaza, ignoring the West Bank, Israel and the Sinai, is a distorted snapshot of a complex situation; it would be the sort of trip which conceals as much as it reveals. PSC trips are necessarily biased and one-sided, meeting only those parts of Palestinian society that support their views.”
The PSC held a fringe meeting sponsored by unions including Unison, Unite, the Fire Brigades Union and the National Union of Teachers.
Israel’s deputy ambassador to Britain, Alon Roth-Snir, told Trade Union Friends of Israel’s (Tufi) fringe session that unions needed to co-operate rather than boycott Israel. Tufi chairman Roger Lyons said that the TUC had failed to recognise that Gaza was hampered by Hamas’ rocketing of Israeli civilians.