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US Union Leaders: We Continue to Support the Fight for Democracy in Israel

AFT JLC RWDSU Logos together.jpg

July 24, 2023: Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), and president of the Jewish Labor Committee, and Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), made the following statement today:

“Today was a dark day for Israeli democracy. The push to topple democratic consensus in Israel by a right-wing, extreme government, must be challenged. We are heartened that the Israeli public is challenging them at home, and we pledge to do everything in our power to stand with the pro-democracy protesters and to protect democracy in Israel.

“As American trade union leaders and as Jewish activists who care deeply about Israel, we are saddened and sickened by the Netanyahu government’s frontal attack on democracy. Workers’ rights will never be guaranteed without true democracy and untethered courts.

“We believe that Israel’s future is dependent on equality of opportunity and democracy for all of its citizens — Jewish and Arab, religious and secular. We are gravely concerned about the damage to be done to civil and human rights in Israel by this decision — and the implications for further entrenching the occupation of the Palestinian people.

“We know that there is another vision for Israel, and we pledge to stand with all those who promote it. We urge all those who care about Israeli democracy — inside and outside of Israel — to join us in embracing and encouraging the movement for democracy in Israel.”

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The Jewish Labor Committee, an independent secular nonprofit organization, is the voice of the Jewish community in the labor movement and the voice of the labor movement in the Jewish community. Whether through its national office in New York or local offices and lay-led groups across the United States, the JLC enables the Jewish community and the trade union movement to work together on important issues of shared interest and concern, in pursuit of our shared commitment to economic and social justice. http://www.jewishlabor.org/

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) represents 100,000 members throughout the United States. The RWDSU is affiliated with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW). https://www.rwdsu.info/

The American Federation of Teachers represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators. https://www.aft.org/