APWU is the first big union to call for Gaza ceasefire
It's estimated that about 420 children are killed or injured every day in the Gaza Strip, according to the World Health Organization. | Public News Service via Adobe Stock

WASHINGTON—The Postal Workers have become the first big union to demand a ceasefire occur in the Israeli war on Gaza. And it demands a ban on using U.S. “tax dollars for more war.”

APWU’s official stance thus puts the union in line with a growing popular movement demanding U.S. action to pressure Israel to stop its brutal retaliatory invasion of Gaza and cease firing. That same ceasefire movement also opposes more U.S. military aid to Israel, a stance a majority of both parties in Congress reject.

“As working people, we stand with the oppressed and the innocent, thousands of whom have lost their lives in the last month,” the statement on the union’s behalf, issued by President Mark Dimondstein, Executive Vice President Debby Szeredy, and Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Powell, begins.

After saying it “unreservedly condemns” Hamas’ October 7 invasion and “its kidnapping of more than 200 people,” the union then continues, as a matter of social justice and human and labor rights, to declare the Israeli retaliation “makes the prospects for peace” in the region and between Israel and the Palestinians “more remote.”

Given the right-wing nationalist base of the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who flatly rejects a two-state solution which would produce a state of Palestine on the West Bank and Gaza, the APWU statement about the harm to peace prospects is an understatement.

APWU then condemns the Israeli refusal to allow humanitarian aid to flow to Palestinian refugees from northern Gaza who are fleeing its retaliatory invasion. It says denial of such aid is “a war crime.”

It demands the Democratic Biden administration, as the U.S. is Israel’s main supporter, back a ceasefire.

Biden has rejected that stance, instead endorsing so-called “humanitarian pauses” to allow needed food, water, and some other aid to reach the refugees. Meanwhile, it continues to supply the weapons Israel is using to slaughter the people of Gaza.

“Israel has shut off the flow of food, water, fuel, and medical supplies to the Gaza Strip, a war crime. A humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding every day in Gaza. Thousands more innocent civilians stand to die wholly preventable deaths,” besides the 11.000 civilian Palestinian dead so far.

“We call on our government, which is the primary foreign benefactor of the Israeli government, to use all its power to protect innocent lives and to help bring about peace in the region, and not use our tax dollars for more war.

“We join the calls for an immediate ceasefire, the release of hostages, and urgently needed massive humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza. The cries of humanity demand nothing less,” APWU concludes.

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Mark Gruenberg
Mark Gruenberg

Award-winning journalist Mark Gruenberg is head of the Washington, D.C., bureau of People's World. He is also the editor of the union news service Press Associates Inc. (PAI). Known for his reporting skills, sharp wit, and voluminous knowledge of history, Mark is a compassionate interviewer but tough when going after big corporations and their billionaire owners.