ACTU Assistant Secretary checking anti-Israel Union Activists

December 7, 2010 by J-Wire
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Anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions activists in Australia have begun an email campaign targeting union leaders and trade union supporters of Palestine.

Michael Borowick

Hundreds of unsolicited emails were sent out last week across Australia to union in-boxes introducing their new  group, called Australian Unionists Supporting Palestine (AUSPalestine).

The emails say they want the ACTU and Australian unions to promote ‘pro-Palestinian policies’, and they want to see an end to what they call ‘ partisan one-sided support for Israel.’

If that’s the case they are probably not going to be happy with the result of elections for the ACTU this week.

Almost at the same time that AUSPalestine has set out to increase their influence in Australian unions, a new pro-Israel ACTU Assistant Secretary, Michael Borowick, has just been elected.

Borowick joined the top elected leadership of the Australian national trade union centre, at this week’s ACTU Executive meeting.

Earlier this year Michael Borowick – formerly the Assistant Secretary of the Victorian Branch of the Australian Workers’ Union – organised and led a tour by eight Australian unionists to Israel and Palestine.

The Australian delegation was part of a British Trade Union Friends of Israel (TUFI) organised tour, and then stayed on for a few extra days.

Borowick is a well-known long time Melbourne pro-Israel activist, a modern orthodox Jew, who began life as a political activist during his student days as part of the Australian Union of Jewish Students.

Pro-Palestine union activists have no time for Israeli workers

The AUSPalestine website says it advocates for Palestinian workers – but makes no mention on its website of Israeli workers, and their workplace rights.

Nor does the AUSPalestine website statement of principles seem to envisage support for an end to the Middle East crisis through a peace outcome involving a two-state solution.

Comments

2 Responses to “ACTU Assistant Secretary checking anti-Israel Union Activists”
  1. Rita says:

    Mr. Michael Borowick, congratulations to your election!:)

  2. Mona Peli says:

    You say that the AUSPalestine website “makes no mention on its website of Israeli workers, and their workplace rights.”

    Back to remedial reading – on the front page of http://auspalestine.org, the fifth objective of the organisation is clearly stated
    “For equal social and political rights of everyone living within Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories”.

    Presumably Michael Borowick was elected to his union positions to represent the interests of Australian workers, not the interests of the government of Israel. It was only yesterday I saw citrus fruit from illegal Israeli settlements in the Jordan valley in two Sydney shops. Palestinian workers in the Jordan valley have two choices – work for illegal under-award wages or don’t work. By advocating boycotts of Carmel-Agrexco citrus (Jaffa and Carmel brands) we are looking after the interests of Israeli and Australian workers whose wages are being undercut by this unscrupulous company. And I think it is the AWU which is responsible for looking after agricultural workers in this country. Whose side are you on, Michael Borowick, whose side are you on?

    Were you paid by the AWU while leading that delegation to Israel and furthering your private political interests (as “a well-known long time Melbourne pro-Israel activist, a modern orthodox Jew, who began life as a political activist during his student days as part of the Australian Union of Jewish Students.”) or were you on holiday? Who were the other members of the delegation? Did they pay their own way or did their members pay for them? Are they ready to own up?

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