SF Labor Council Resolution Demanding Immediate Opening of Border Crossings into Gaza

San Francisco Labor Council
January 26th, 2009

Resolution Demanding the Immediate Opening of Border Crossings into Gaza

[Note: The following resolution was adopted unanimously, with two abstentions, by the delegates’ meeting of the San Francisco Labor Council on Jan. 26, 2009.]

Whereas, the San Francisco Labor Council delegates’ meeting on Jan. 12, 2009, adopted a resolution on the situation in Gaza in which it first notes that “the U.N. Security Council … has called for the opening of border crossings,” and then goes on to support “the call of the U.N. Security Council … to address the serious humanitarian and economic needs of the people of Gaza,” including the opening of borders; and

Whereas, the Israeli government announced on Jan. 23, following the ceasefire agreement, that it would not open the border crossings into the Gaza Strip “in the near future” (source:, Jan. 23, 2009); and Financial Times

Whereas, the three-week bombing and ground invasion of Gaza by the Israeli armed forces left 1,337 dead, according to U.N. officials, 40% of whom were women and children under the age of 18, with an additional 5,000 civilians injured, many of them maimed for life; and

Whereas, according to the New York Times (Jan. 17, 2009), an estimated 35% of all the infrastructure of Gaza was destroyed (with damages estimated at US$2 billion) during this military attack, leaving two-thirds of the country with little to no electricity, more than 500,000 people with no access to potable water, while sewage is running in the streets throughout the Gaza Strip, and hospitals cannot function for lack of electricity and lack of spare parts for their generators; and

Whereas, the humanitarian crisis in Gaza has not abated with the ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas, but is only getting worse by the day, with the risk of thousands of more deaths due to the unsanitary conditions and the lack of basic infrastructure to attend to the needs of the population; and

Whereas, there can be no relief from this humanitarian emergency in Gaza without opening all border crossings into Gaza, as “‘[l]ifting the Israeli closure of the Gaza Strip is necessary for the reconstruction and relief effort; much of the territory’s civilian infrastructure has been destroyed during the three-week Israeli offensive and without building materials and supplies, there is little hope of rebuilding the water, sewage and power networks, as well as private homes and key government buildings (source: Tobias Buck, “Israel Warns It Will Keep Gaza Crossings Closed,” Financial Times, Jan. 23, 2009); and

Whereas, governments the world over, as well as international human rights organizations — from the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), to Amnesty International, to major human rights organizations in Israel itself — are calling for the immediate opening of Israel’s borders to Gaza to allow the reconstruction and relief efforts to proceed post-haste.

Therefore be it resolved, that the San Francisco Labor Council reaffirms its call on the Israeli government to open immediately its border crossings into Gaza so that urgently needed humanitarian and reconstruction assistance can avert further pain and suffering by the Palestinian people in Gaza; and

Be in finally resolved, that a copy of this resolution shall be forwarded to all affiliates of this Council, and to the California Federation of Labor, the AFL-CIO, and Change to Win with a request that they take a similar position.

Submitted by

Alan Benjamin*, OPEIU Local 3
Frank Martin del Campo*, San Francisco LCLAA
Conny Ford*, OPEIU Local 3
Maria Guillen*, SEIU Local 1021
Kathy Lipscomb*, SEIU-UHW
Denis Mosgofian*, GCC IBT 4-N
Francesca Rosa*, SEIU Local 1021
Rodger Scott*, AFT Local 2121
Howard Wallace*, Pride at Work
Dave Welsh*, Letter Carriers Local 214

(* union local listed for id. only)

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