Trade Union Journey: September 2017


Tree of Life Trade Union Journey

August 31 to September 9, 2017
Optional Extension to Golan Heights Sept 9- Sept 11

  John Fussell, a labor attorney and TOL Board member and The Rev. David W. Good, President of Tree of Life Educational Fund will lead a labor delegation to the Palestinian West Bank.  

Palestinian worker at an early morning checkpoint

Palestinian worker at an early morning checkpoint

Trip background…

In 2013, the Connecticut AFL-CIO partnered with the Tree of Life Educational Fund to invite the Palestinian General Federation Trade Union (PGFTU) representative to address the 400 delegates of the Convention. Those who attended heard Mahmoud Abu Odeh describe the terrible conditions that Palestinian workers endure under the Israeli occupation. In 2015, the PGFTU invited Connecticut Labor leaders to visit Palestine and to meet with labor leaders and visit worksites to learn more about the condition of labor for Palestinians under occupation. That visit resulted in the submission and passage by the Connecticut AFL-CIO at its convention of the Resolution for a Just Peace. That Resolution was subsequently voided by the National AFL-CIO

The PGFTU has requested the solidarity of trade unionists throughout the world to assist in helping to bring a fair resolution to the ongoing Israel/Palestine tragedy. In that spirit, a second labor delegation will travel to Israel and Palestine to meet with both Israeli and Palestinian trade unionist in order to further the goals of international solidarity, peace and justice. The trip is planned over the labor day weekend leaving from JFK on August 31 and returning Saturday, September 9, 2017

The cost for the journey will be $1470, which includes ground transportation, lodging, breakfasts, dinners, speaker fees, and most tips. Participants can expect to spend approximately $1,100 on round-trip airfare to Tel Aviv.

Extension to Golan Heights, occupied Syria Sept 9- Sept 11 Estimated cost for ground travel and accommodations $350

For more information, please contact John Fussell —, David W. Good – or Mary Tomassetti, Tree of Life Executive Director –

Tentative Itinerary…

August 31st (Thursday) Depart from JFK – non-stop flight to Tel Aviv. 

September 1st (Friday)  Arrive Tel Aviv.  Transfer to hotel in Nablus. Dinner and overnight Al Qasr Hotel.

September 2nd (Saturday) Tour Nablus with Majdi Sheila, International Cultural Coordinator and Civic Education Trainer, Nablus Palestine. Meeting with PGFTU at their headquarters to deliver messages of solidarity and to discuss conditions of workers in Palestine.  Tour soap factory. Eat lunch. Drive to Qalqilliya and tour the separation wall and the checkpoint with PGFTU. Dinner with leadership of Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU). Overnight in Al Qasr Hotel in Nablus. 

Taybeh's Nadim Khoury

Nadim Khoury, co-founder of Taybeh Brewery

September 3rd (Sunday)  Drive to Taybeh to meet with Maria Khoury and tour Taybeh Brewery, the first Palestinian brewery in the West Bank.  Meet with Taybeh residents and their families to hear their employment challenges in crossing through checkpoints to work in Israel. Dinner and overnight in Taybeh Golden Taybeh Hotel.

September 4th (Monday) Drive to Bethlehem to meet with Mazin Qumsiyeh to learn about non-violent resistance movement and Palestine Museum of Natural History.  Overnight at St. Gabriel’s Hotel in Bethlehem.

September 5th (Tuesday) Visit Hebron with Breaking the Silence. Meet with Youth Against the Settlements, possible visit to Glass Factory or Kefiyyah Factory in Hebron.  Overnight at St. Gabriel’s Hotel in Bethlehem.

September 6th (Wednesday)  Early departure to Tel Aviv to meet with Assaf Adiv National Director of WAC-MAAN. Meet with journalist Gideon Levy of Haaretz. Meet with Arab Knesset member Aida Touma-Sulieman to learn about condition of Palestinians Israeli citizens. Return to Jerusalem, dinner and overnight in Holy Land Hotel.

September 7th (Thursday) Field Visit with Ivan Karakashian of Defense for Children International – Palestine.  Meet with Omar Barghouti to discuss BDS movement and its implications. Dinner and overnight Holy Land Hotel.

September 8th (Friday) . Meet with Jeff Halper of Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.  Free time in Old City. Dinner and then transfer to airport for flight back to U.S.

Arrive JFK on Saturday September 9


Optional extension to Golan Heights

 September 9th (Saturday) Early morning departure for the Golan (occupied Syria) to meet with Golan for Development leader, Taiseer Maray and other members of the Syrian community.   Visit Syrian market.  Overnight in Golan

September 10th (Sunday) Tour with Taiseer Maray of Golan Heights and surrounding area. More details to come. Leave Golan for transfer to airport for flight back to U.S.

Arrive JFK on Monday September 11


To apply for the trip, fill out this fillable PDF application and follow instructions for submitting:

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