Trade Union Friends of Palestine (TUFP) was established by the Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions in 2006 in order to help promote the policy adopted at its Biennial Delegate Conference in 2005 to “campaign in solidarity with the Palestinian people”. ICTU was subsequently mandated by conference to also establish TUFP in the Republic of Ireland.

Since its formation TUFP has worked within the trade union movement to educate the membership, to highlight the injustices inflicted on the Palestinian people, to promote further policy motions to help address Israeli human rights abuses and to mobilise solidarity activity. This led to the adoption by Congress in 2007 of a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) policy that committed Congress to “actively and vigorously promote” both a boycott of Israeli goods and divestment from Israeli companies, and indeed all companies that are complicit in and profit from the occupation. Subsequent policy conferences reinforced this position by the adoption of motions that committed Congress to allocate officer time to the campaign (2009 Conference), to promote broader civil society involvement in the BDS campaign, and to hold divestment seminars in both jurisdictions (2011 Conference).

TUFP has worked closely with the trade union leadership in mobilising mass protest action at the destruction of civilian life and infrastructure by the Israeli armed incursions and bombing of Gaza, described as genocidal by former UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk.

We know all too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians – Nelson Mandela