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BDS: Tunisian dock workers enforce a ban on Israeli maritime trade

Wednesday 26 September 2018, by siawi3


BDS: Tunisian dock workers enforce a ban on Israeli maritime trade

Thursday 9 August 2018,


Dock workers in the Tunisian port of Rades forced a cargo ship from docking in the port as it was chartered by an Israeli company.

The boycot came about as a result of a coordinated effort between Palestinian unions and unions in Tunisia. The dock workers, who are part of the major labour federation in Tunisia, UGTT, warned the dock officials of a strike if the ship was given berth at the port. This forced the ship to move out of Tunisia without unloading its cargo.

The ship, Cornelius A, is a Turkish registered ship. However, Zim, the company that chartered the ship, is an Israeli company known to employ ships of other countries to bypass trade boycotts. With vigilance and coordination, the dock workers were able to prevent the ship from unloading Israeli merchandise.

Tunisia is part of African and Arab countries that maintain a formal but unenforced boycott of Israel for its continued ‘occupation’ of Palestine and for the human rights violations. While the Arab boycott was forcefully enforced in the 1970s, it has been tacitly withdrawn by these governments over the decades due to pressure from western democracies as well as the need to profit from the economic opportunities. There are also calls from political elites in these countries to normalise relations with Israel, at a time when segregation by Israel is allegedly intensifying. Thus, the enforcing of the boycott falls upon the citizens rather than the state.