How union politics are different from electoral politics.
Nolan is right on the money, and why supporting and wanting to aid a bunch of people who are being bombed out of existence is anti-semitic is beyond me. Most Israelis want to get rid of Netanyahu--does this make them anti-semitic to be against the maiming and killing of children and innocent adults? No it does not! As a Union member for many years, I'm ashamed of this particular Union crisis.
I left my union recently because it took on the bad structures of electoral politics.
Any actions or statements went through an Executive Committee. The EC deliberates on its own schedule, and members were not invited to those deliberations. Those bringing proposals were not allowed to participate in deliberation unless invited, and we only received the up-or-down vote.
In some cases, issues were not decided in a timely fashion because the EC did not meet or took up new issues. The union squandered opportunities and goodwill among members because of the hierarchical structure.
I left because our union's lack of transparency, unresponsive hierarchy, and absence of reform mechanisms meant improving the union was the same struggle as improving the workplace overall. I might be wrong in what unions should look like, but a union that resembles the company is probably not a good union.
Tbh aside from expressing sympathy for the Palestinian people, the BDS movement--as a labor movement--barely makes sense in the context of the majority of people and businesses supporting it considering neither country has a tremendous amount of relevant exports and factual inaccuracies many people do not even bother to look into.
This includes the Ahava store (a small Israeli skincare brand almost no one knows unless you are Israeli or a Jew) that is situated within the confines of the Israel border outlined in the 1949 Armistice Agreement within the Masada National Park on the Western border of the Dead Sea. You can see Jordan from the shore. It has nothing to do with Gaza, which means, no, it’s not in “occupied territory” unless you consider Israel’s entire existence to be occupying land, which many of them do—another problem with the #freepalestine movement that I refuse to co-sign. When you ask a bookstore how exactly BDS solidarity factors into their purchasing decisions of books and products they never would have carried in the first place, you realize it’s not actually about BDS at all.
The BDS movement as a labor movement has such a small and meaningless impact on labor aside from it sounding cool. The FLA, which may be less flashy to the general public, addresses actual forced labor issues around the world--something that BDS just doesn’t even care about because their only focus is making people hate Israel, even when the employees (who include Palestinians) are treated fairly with better benefits than most Americans. This is probably why the FLA doesn’t really address it because it’s not about labor unless you want to do the mental gymnastics to argue that everything is labor.
Is silencing them helpful? Probably not. But I think people give them way too much lip service because they feel helpless in a war they have no control over and are about two steps away from the “by any means” extremists.