Wiesenthal Centre Urges Trades Union Congress to Condemn Pro-Palestinian Attack on Jewish Group and Ejection from TUC Tolpuddle Festival


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"TUC resolutions calling for boycott of Israel have led to anti-Jewish threats, and now violence in the UK"


Paris, 21 July 2015


In a letter to the British Trades Union Congress (TUC) Secretary-General, Frances O'Grady, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels protested the, “Violence and ejection of this weekend's Tolpuddle Trade's Union Congress of a registered Jewish group by pro-Palestinian rioters."


Samuels noted he first learned of the six Tolpuddle Martyrs - deported to an Australian penal colony for unionist activity in 1834 – as a teenage member of British Habonim – a socialist/Zionist youth movement, associated with many collective farm Kibbutz communities in Israel.


In the letter Samuels argued that the attacks in Tolpuddle on the 'Bournemouth

Action for Israel' (BAFI) volunteer group have tarnished the ethics and struggle of those martyrs and the words of their leader, George Loveless :- 'God is our guide from field, from wave.  From plough, from anvil and from furlough. We come our country's rights to save, and speak a tyrant faction's doom...' "


Samuels described a flash-mob from the Palestine Solidarity Company (PSC) stall, which threw BAFI leaflets to the floor, trying to destroy its stand, calling them 'fascists, apartheid, baby-killing'. BAFI on the other hand, presenting their campaign as 'pro-Israel, pro-Palestine, pro-Peace' and were consequently jeered into silence.


The letter explained, while BAFI was erecting its stand, the Festival organizers pleaded they were 'short-staffed on security', and told BAFI to, “leave in [their] own interest and their staff's safety".


The Centre is shocked that the TUC, "Apparently, never even called the police under the Civil Disorder Act", and questioned the Secretary-General, "Whom here is the 'fascist' denying 'rights to save', whom 'the tyrant faction'?"


Samuels continued, "This travesty has supplanted the TUC, once allied to the Histadrut Israeli labour movement.  This betrays the unionism and Ruskin cooperativism that I taught to Palestinian, Israeli and budding non-aligned leaders at the Afro-Asian Institute in Tel Aviv... The mask has been torn away from the several anti-Israeli resolutions of the TUC, especially calling for boycott of Israeli products.  They have had no effect on the Israeli or Palestinian economy.  But by osmosis, they have led to anti-Jewish threats, and now violence in the UK."


"Madam Secretary-General, we urge you to condemn the pro-Palestinian anti-Semitism at Tolpoddle, apologize to the Jewish community and take measures to ban the Palestine Solidarity Campaign of terror and fascist behaviour from next year's Festival," concluded Samuels.


For further information please contact Shimon Samuels 0033 609-770-158,  join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter feed.


The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).