Cold Hard Wonk

No sentiment but politics

Deploremus Union

Posted by JJ in Doubletake/Doubletalk, Vague Check, Crossroads of Culture (Sunday May 28, 2006 at 12:37 pm)

The Frosty Wonk won’t get into the more serious issues at stake here (many others will). The real questions are:

1. Why are unions taking action on non-labour related foreign affairs questions?
2. Can we trust them to?

The answers:

1. Umm. . .they’ve got nothing better to do?
2. No.

While the first is far from certain, the latter is clear at once.

Having decided to support a boycott of Israel until it recognizes the Palestinian right to self-determination (which it has already done, actually, if you read this), CUPE Ontario “will develop an education campaign about the issue”.

Any problems? Well, yes:

1. CUPE seems to be confused about the history in question:

As noted above, the right to self-determination has been recognized. That’s what the Palestinian elections have been about. What CUPE really seems to be talking about is the right of return:

. . .the right of refugees to return to their homes and properties.

Which is controversial not only because it involves potential compensation issues, but because it involves the counter-claim for Jews evicted or forced from their own homes in the West Bank and other neighbouring countries in 1948.

2. CUPE seems to be a bit confused about the geography in question:

In Ontario, the liquor control board carried more than 30 Israeli wines, many produced in the occupied Golan Heights, CUPE said.

Quite so. But the occupied Golan Heights were not part of British mandate Palestine as divided by the UN in 1947 — they were part of Syria. Were Palestinians evicted by Israelis from a part of Syria twenty years before Israeli forces entered the area? However nicely you ask Israel to grant Palestinians access to the Golan Heights, they can’t let people back into homes they never had.

However you slice it, CUPE clearly doesn’t know what it’s talking about, yet wants to produce an educational pamphlet on the subject.

And that’s why unions might not be the best candidates to conduct foreign relations. Just in case you were wondering.

3 comments for Deploremus Union »

  1. Fair enough. But to whome, if not community groups, should we reserve debate over the conduct of foreign relations?

    Members of parliament? (link)

    Comment by quetico — 5/28/2006 @ 5:28 pm


    Comment by quetico — 5/28/2006 @ 5:28 pm

  3. My preferred method is consultation with a magic 8-ball. It’s virtually immune to political pressure by special interest groups and can be quickly and easily brought up to bilingual standards.


    Comment by JJ — 5/29/2006 @ 12:05 pm

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