The WFTU/FISE representative at the Congress of the General Union of Palestine Teachers taking place in Ramallah on the 16-18 January 2012, addressed the following speech:
“Dear brothers and sisters,
On behalf of the WFTU and the World Federation of Teachers Unions (FISE) allow me to convey to you a fraternal militant greeting from the class-oriented trade union movement and wish to your Congress every success for the benefit of the teachers and the people of Palestine, the Arab world and internationally.
We meet today for the first time but our organizations have long common history with many powerful struggles. The WFTU and its sectoral teachers organization has always stood firmly on the side of the Palestinian people. It has never been neutral. It is always supporting the fair Palestinian struggle against the Zionist Israel and the imperialist USA.
The Palestinian case has always been in the centre of our struggle. The stronger the WFTU gets the stronger this solidarity becomes.
Only the last years the WFTU has organized in coordination with its affiliate the General Union of Palestine Workers (GUPW) international action days with activities in many countries for the liberation of the Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli jails, international conferences in Ramallah in solidarity with the Palestinian people and for the women’s rights; it has organized international conferences in the ILO during its Conference as well as a long international Campaign for the recognition of the Palestinian state as a free, democratic, sovereign state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
It is not enough, we must do more. For this, we need to strengthen our relations and our cooperation with the General Union of Palestine Teachers, in order to be able to work together hand in hand for the strengthening of the international solidarity expressed by the workers around the world and the teachers unions.
Dear brothers and sisters,
Today the working people lives are affected by two main factors: the international capitalist crisis and the aggressiveness of imperialism. Hit by its own problems, capitalism is in a deep crisis worldwide, particularly in Europe and USA. While the profits of the capitalist drop and the competition amongst them intensifies, the policy of the governments puts more burden to the poor and working people: more taxes, less salaries, pension cuts, attack against the social security systems, privatizations of the health, education, transport and public enterprises.
The competition for the control of the natural resources (oil, gold, uranium etc.) brings more fire, more deaths, more destruction by the USA, the European Union, NATO, France etc. in North Africa, West and Central Africa, in Middle East.
In this conditions, the working class must respond with class unity, powerful class-oriented unions, international solidarity and coordination in action against the capitalist barbarity and exploitation.
The WFTU struggles for these objectives with all its means. It was weaker in the past but since 2005 more than 150 organizations have affiliated to the WFTU. International action days have been organized with strikes and demonstrations around the world. We make steps, we have a long way to go in the struggle for the satisfaction of the needs of the working people.
On the contrary, the ITUC with its headquarters in Brussels, working together with the IMF and the World Bank, is supporting the plans of the imperialists and the multinationals. It supports Israel by claiming that the Palestinian people are also to blame for the situation. ITUC has in its leadership as Vice-President, Ofer Eini of Histadrut. In Syria, as well, it is spreading the lies of the imperialists who don’t want democracy and peace, they don’t want the Syrian people to decide their future, they want to steal the natural resources.
ITUC and its global unions are working to maintain capitalism in a more modern form but capitalism does not have a human face. Such organizations cannot help the struggle of the international working class.
We believe that the Palestinian people have nothing to gain, have no relation with such organizations of imperialism; that they have no place in the same organizations with the Zionists.
Dear brothers and sisters,
The WFTU and FISE, we will keep on fighting on your side until all Palestinian children have safe schools, well-paid teachers, parents with jobs that will satisfy their needs, safe houses with water, electricity. We will continue to fight for books that don’t spread the lies of the Zionists Israel but teach the truth about the Palestinian struggle. We will continue to fight until there is no check point! Until Palestine is a free, democratic and independent state. Until the end of the exploitation of human by human.
Be strong, our struggle is fair, the victory is ours!”