At its its national convention in Baltimore this August, UE, the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers endorsed the worldwide BDS movement – Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions – to pressure Israel to end its apartheid over the Palestinians just as similar tactics helped to end South African apartheid in the 1980s. UE represents more than 30,000 workers across the country in a range of private and public sector occupations.and is now the first U.S. national union to endorse BDS. SWANA Region Radio spoke to Michael Letwin, co-founder of Labor for Palestine and member of the Organizing Collective of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, about this remarkable victory for the BDS movement. We also discuss the progress being made on the cultural boycott and the current campaign to persuade Kanye West to respect the Palestinian call for a cultural boycott of Israel by canceling his planned September 30 concert in Israel.
Michael Letwin is a public defender in Brooklyn, New York; and a veteran Vietnam antiwar, South Africa anti-apartheid, and racial justice activist since the 1960s.
He is former president of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW Local 2325 (1990-2002); and a co-founder of New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW) (2001), Labor for Palestine (2004) and Jews for Palestinian Right of Return (2013). He is affiliated with Al-Awda NY, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, and MENA Solidarity Network US; and a member of the Organizing Collective of the U.S. Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel. Together with Jews for Palestinian Right of Return he is seeking to persuade Kanye West to respect the Palestinian call for a cultural boycott of Israel by canceling his planned September 30 concert in Israel. You can find and sign that petition at change.org and we have posted a link to it at the show’s website at kpfk.org.
SWANA Region Radio is on KPFK, in Los Angeles, 90.7 FM, in Santa Barbara, 98.7FM, and 93.7 FM in North San Diego. We stream live at kpfk.org or http://kpfk.org/. The show is available on audio archive for 90 days at http://www.kpfk.org/index.php/programs/166-radiointifada#.Uyy1FI2T6qk Previous interviews with Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Ali Abunimah, Jess Ghannam, Alex Lubin, Paul Amar, Manzar Foroohar, Steven Salaita, Loubna Qutami and others are still available.