ASU Motion calling for immediate Ceasefire in Palestine

6 December 2023

Passed by ASU Executive 4 December 2023

It has been over 40 days since Israel launched an unrelenting air and land campaign against the densely-populated Gaza strip, killing at least 12,000 people, including over 5,000 children. In this time Israel has prevented Gazan’s from accessing basic supplies of food, water, electricity and medicine; and displaced 1.1 million people. Israel's disproportionate response to Hamas attacks has created an urgent humanitarian crisis for Palestinians – a combination of violent air and ground assault together with denial of basic necessities. 

Union members in South Australia and the Northern Territory are gravely concerned with what is unfolding before our eyes. As trade unionists we stand on the side of justice, both in word and in deed, both in Australia and abroad.

This latest escalation is part of a decades-long conflict that must be brought to a just outcome through dialogue and respect for international law, including human rights.

We call on the Australian government to exercise all avenues of diplomacy to stop the bombing and the ground assault by Israel into Gaza and call for an immediate ceasefire. We call on the Australian Government to break all military ties with Israel.

We call for an end to the occupation of Palestine and a just and sustainable peace in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions. We call for a removal of illegal settlements. We call on all countries, without delay, to recognise Palestine as a sovereign state.

We stand behind the urgent call from Palestinian Trade Unions (issued on 16 October 2023) to End all Complicity, Stop Arming Israel. This call was made:

“in the belief that the struggle for Palestinian justice and liberation is not only a regionally and globally determined struggle. It is a lever for the liberation of all dispossessed and exploited people of the world.”

The Australian Services Union SA + NT Branch commits to:
1. Issuing a public statement:
  • in solidarity with the Palestinian people; 
  • which urges the Australian Federal Labor Government to publicly condemn the war crimes of Israel, demand a ceasefire and an end to the blockade of Gaza, and break all military ties with Israel including the building and transporting of weapons destined for Israel;
  • expresses support for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel (as per the UN list of complicit companies) to bring it in line with its obligations under international law;
  • expresses support for ASU members working in international aid agencies and human rights organisations who support Palestinians – including Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA, Australian Palestinian Advocacy Network, Red Cross, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Amnesty International, and Welcoming Australia;
  • which makes it clear that the ASU stands against all forms of Antisemitism and Islamophobia and will actively campaign against discrimination in all form.
2. Facilitating union members to speak out and take action in our workplaces, in our communities, and in public demonstrations.

ASU members wanting to take further action on this issue can support the following organisations:
You can also search social media for ASU Action for Palestine – this is a group of self-organised ASU members who are taking action in workplaces and the broader community, attending local rallies together etc.

The ASU is an affliate of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) - The ACTU has also called for a ceasefire and the cessastion of arms sales, you can read their full statement here.