As New York nurses, we have watched as the genocide continues to escalate in Gaza, as hospitals are bombed, as people are denied access to food, water, and freedom of movement^, while in the US new waves of repression face those speaking out. On Nov 22, NYSNA leadership quietly “endorsed” California Nurses’s Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee’s November 13th “Statement on the Crisis in the Middle East” and made a donation to Doctors Without Borders, which has admitted its aid cannot reach Gaza at this time. NYSNA still maintains financial and political ties that support the genocidal actions of the Israeli state.
We, the undersigned New York nurses*, know that our union can do better than these symbolic actions, and make the following demands of NYSNA:
- Issue our own statement calling not only for a permanent ceasefire, but also for an end to the occupation and apartheid system inflicted on Palestinians by the state of Israel, a call that the CNA/NNOC statement falls short of.
- Commit to providing real material relief, directed by Palestinian nurses and healthcare workers, in the form of medical convoys and supplies to the Gaza strip as soon as such relief becomes possible.
- Withdraw support from elected officials who accept money from AIPAC, who work with white supremacists, and who have refused calls to sign onto a ceasefire.
- Divest our pensions from corporations that benefit from oppression and colonialism of Palestine, such as BlackRock and allow union members full transparency regarding their pension investments.
- Provide legal support to nurses who are experiencing retaliation in their workplaces for pro-Palestinian speech and activism.
- Participate in organizing labor for Palestine demonstrations, actions, and political activity, in order to be consistent with their messaging around support for an ongoing ceasefire.
All nurses at any level of practice in the state of New York are welcome to sign this statement, as we recognize that NYSNA is the most powerful union in our region whose actions also shape conditions for nurses outside of its membership. However, we do ask that you indicate in the signature field if you are a member of NYSNA. For those not in New York, please feel free to republish our demands addressed to your own healthcare union.