Today, 29 November, is the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is observed by the United Nations on or around 29 November each year, in accordance with mandates given by the General Assembly in its resolutions 32/40 B of 2 December 1977, 34/65 D of 12 December 1979, and subsequent resolutions adopted by the General Assembly on the question of Palestine.

The date of 29 November was chosen because of its meaning and significance to the Palestinian people. On that day in 1947, the General Assembly adopted resolution 181 (II), which came to be known as the Partition Resolution. That resolution provided for the establishment in Palestine of a “Jewish State” and an “Arab State”, with Jerusalem as a corpus separatum under a special international regime. Of the two States to be created under this resolution, only one, Israel, has so far come into being.

The Solidarity Day has traditionally provided an opportunity for the international community to focus its attention on the fact that the question of Palestine is still unresolved and that the Palestinian people is yet to attain their inalienable rights as defined by the General Assembly, namely, the right to self-determination without external interference, the right to national independence and sovereignty, and the right to return to their homes and property from which they had been displaced.

At the United Nations, Palestine has received messages of solidarity from numerous countries, governments, foreign ministers and civil society organisations.

Sadly, no messages of solidarity came from the Australian Government, nor from the other major Australian parties. In fact, the Australian Government has voted against a UN resolution proclaiming 2014 as the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

We welcome the Australian message of solidarity from the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network.

The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, urged us “to reflect on the critical situation faced by the Palestinian people and to consider our collective contributions and responsibilities as Governments, international or civil society organizations, towards Israeli-Palestinian peace. … I ask all in the international community to work together to translate the solidarity expressed on this occasion into positive action for peace and justice.”

As trade unionists in Australia we believe in solidarity:

We stand firmly with the people and workers of Palestine, continuing in the best traditions of the Australian trade unions in supporting struggles for peace, justice and independence in Indonesia, Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Timor-Leste. We offer our warm solidarity to working people in Israel fighting against militarism, occupation and inequality. We stand firmly with the people and workers of Palestine in recognising the rights of indigenous peoples, acknowledging the wrongs of the past and supporting indigenous people’s struggles for self-determination and sovereignty.
[text from Our Statement]

As trade unionists in Australia, we offer our solidarity to the Palestinian people in their ongoing struggle for peace with justice.