Bob Crow: a two states for two peoples trade unionist

Bob Crow wasn’t just a class fighter. He was proper two states for two peoples trade unionist when it came to Israel and Palestine.

Bob Crow wasn’t just a class fighter. He was proper two states for two peoples trade unionist when it came to Israel and Palestine.

Under his leadership the RMT and the International Transport Federation (ITF) supported union to union links, opposing moves to break links with the Histadrut.

Read this 2010 resolution he co-sponsored with Nasser Younis of the Palestine General Union for Transport Workers at the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) congress in Mexico City praising joint Israeli-Palestinian trade union work and welcoming a recent statement made by the Israeli trade union federation (the Histadrut) calling for the establishment of two independent democratic states.

The motion was proposed by Nasser Younis of the Palestine General Union for Transport Workers and seconded by Bob Crow of the RMT.

As well as calling for a “lifting of the blockade on Gaza in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1860 (2009) and the opening of all Gaza ports, and for Israel to end the occupation of the West Bank and to remove all settlements”, the motion also rejected boycotts of Israel and instead calls for “universal recognition of Israel’s right to exist, next to an independent viable Palestinian state, acknowledging that this is essential to achieving a peaceful solution”.

Sometimes seen as a mere bruiser, Bob Crow understood something huge that many on the left today have forgotten; a democratic programme – two states for two peoples, the right to national self-determination – is still the only way to ‘clear the decks’ (Lenin, whom he liked quoting) for the class struggle.

Alan Johnson is the editor of Fathom – For a deeper understanding of Israel and the region

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