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Barclays bank no longer listed as Elbit Systems shareholder #BDS #Palestine3 days 2 hours ago
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Palestinian student unions send greetings to NUS conference and urge support for #BDS #Nusnc155 days 18 hours ago
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BDS movement

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The Palestinian BDS National Committee website
Updated: 3 hours 10 min ago

Barclays bank no longer listed as Elbit Systems shareholder

Wed, 22/04/2015 - 11:58am

Groups across the UK occupied and held protests at Barclays banks as part of the campaign

UK high street bank Barclays is no longer listed as a shareholder in Elbit Systems, the major Israeli military company that manufactures drones used in Israel’s attacks on Palestinians and helps Israel build its illegal Apartheid wall.

The news follows a high profile campaign launched after Barclays emerged as the named owner of $2.9 million worth of shares in Elbit.

More than 1.7 million people signed a petition organised by Avaaz calling on Barclays to divest from Elbit Systems and campaigners have occupied and protested at bank branches across the UK.

On November 28 last year, campaigners held occupations and protests at more than 15 Barclays branches across the UK.

It recently came to light that Barclays is no longer a listed shareholder of Elbit. However, Barclays is yet to make a public commitment that it won’t own shares in Elbit in the future and still holds shares in other arms companies that supply Israel.

Mahmoud Nawajaa, coordinator with the Palestinian BDS National Committee, the Palestinian civil society coalition that leads and supports the BDS movement, said:

“The fact that Barclays is no longer listed as a shareholder in Elbit Systems is a welcome development. Elbit plays a key role in Israel’s brutal massacres of Palestinians and in the proliferation of drone technology across the world, and is helping Israel to construct and maintain its illegal apartheid Wall.”

Stickers about Barclays’ investment in the arms trade with Israel have been spotted across cities in the UK

“The creative campaign against Barclays, including the huge Avaaz petition and the occupations of its branches, has really tuned the heat up on the bank.”

“We hope that Barclays will now commit to not allowing clients to buy or sell Elbit shares on its platform and to making it clear to all its clients that Elbit is deeply complicit with Israeli violations of international law.”

“We call on Barclays to sell its shares in all other arms companies that supply the Israeli military, including Raytheon and BAE Systems.”

The Barclays shareholders meeting takes place on April 23.

Palestinian student unions send greetings to NUS conference and urge support for BDS

Sun, 19/04/2015 - 8:43pm

19 April 2015 – We the undersigned Palestinian student unions and youth groups wish you a successful conference. We salute your struggle for a more democratic form of education – one that is based on the needs and aspirations of its student body and faculty, and not on the needs of corporate power. As students whose education and lives are shaped and impacted by living under an oppressive colonial and apartheid regime, we share your appreciation of the value of education.

Since its inception in 1948, the state of Israel has systematically targeted Palestinian students, intellectuals and academic institutions. Israel’s recent military assault on Gaza killed more than 2,168 Palestinians, including many students and young people, and injured over 10,895 people, and also destroyed many university buildings, schools, and other educational buildings. Israel’s siege of Gaza makes it virtually impossible for students to continue their studies abroad or in the West Bank.

In the West Bank, Israel’s brutal military occupation presents grave problems for students, who face severe restrictions on their freedom of movement and arbitrary imprisonment. Palestinian citizens of Israel face systematic discrimination in universities from their fellow students and from the university administration itself.

Israel is only able to maintain its illegal regime of occupation, colonialism and apartheid because of international support. Governments fail to hold Israel to account, and corporations and institutions across the world help Israel oppress Palestinians. International solidarity is urgently needed.

Supporting the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement is one of the most important steps that student unions internationally can take to stand in solidarity with our struggle for freedom, justice and equality.

Students in the UK, Palestine and around the world have long been at the forefront of the struggle for justice and liberation. In the 1970s and 1980s, the NUS took a principled position in support of boycotts and divestment against the apartheid regime in South Africa and helped to build the anti-apartheid movement.

It has been heartwarming to see the huge recent growth of support for BDS within the UK student movement. More than 25 student unions have voted to support BDS in recent years. The NUS Executive Committee, Black Students Campaign, Women’s Conference and Postgraduate Conference have all voted to support BDS tactics in recent months.

This support for BDS is increasingly being matched with successful campaigns that have pressured universities to drop contracts with companies such as G4S and Veolia that participate in Israel’s crimes against Palestinians. We look forward to working with you to build even more successful and visible boycott campaigns in the months to come.

We ask delegates at the NUS conference to continue to stand in support of our struggle. Your solidarity and support for BDS strengthens our ongoing resistance to Israel’s repressive, apartheid and colonial rule and our struggle for liberation.

The Secretariat of Students’ Unions and Blocs – Gaza Strip
Palestinian Students’ Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel (PSCABI)
Palestinian Youth Struggle Union
Herak Youth Centre
Fateh Youth and Student Movement
Almubadara Youth
Alquds University Student Union
Hebron University Student Union
Al-Najah University Student Union
Birzeit University Student Union
Bethlehem University Student Union
Arab American University Student Union
Palestinian Students Liberation Front
Palestinian democratic Youth Union
Student’s Struggle Block
Palestine Polytechnic University Student Union
Students Unions in Al-Quds Open University in the following branches: Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron, Jericho, Ramallah, Nablus, Salfeet, Toubas, Qalqilia, Jenin, Toulkarem, Bedia, Doura, Yata, Biet Sahour, Alezarieh.

20 businesses across South Africa join G4S boycott

Fri, 17/04/2015 - 9:02am

Over 20 South African businesses have terminated their contracts with G4S Security over its involvement in Israeli prisons and human rights abuses. The SA businesses terminated their contracts, totalling more than R7 million ($500,000) per year, after approached by representatives of the human rights and Palestine solidarity organisation BDS South Africa as well as the KZN Palestine Solidarity Forum. BDS South Africa makes this announcement on the eve of the international Palestine prisoners day due to be commemorated on 17 April.

In 2007 G4S was contracted to provide and maintain Israeli prisons, torture centres and detention facilities. In 2010 Palestinian prisoners and prisoner support organziations called for a boycott of G4S as part of the larger international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel campaign. Last year the Methodist Church together with Amnesty International and the European Union were among some of the organisations that terminated their contracts with G4S. In June 2014, Bill Gates withdrew his R1.9 billion stake from G4S after being called on by BDS South Africa and the larger BDS movement. Locally in South Africa the Trauma Centre in Cape Town ended its relations with G4S in 2013. This was followed by South Africa’s ruling party, the ANC, in November 2014 resolving that G4S (among other companies that do business in the Israeli occupied territories) be excluded from doing business with the South African Government.

The over R7 million worth of cancelled G4S Security contracts include contracts for more than 140 sites across the country ranging from restaurants, factories, supermarkets and other stores.

Piet Modiba, representing a nationwide manufacturing company said on the cancelling of their G4S contracts: “We come from a very dark and painful past, part of the pain was inflicted by companies that insisted on aiding the apartheid regime. G4S today is doing the same by maintaining relations with the Israeli Government.”

Moosa Sabir, general manager of a chain of hardware stores said: “We were contacted by customers and the general public who saw G4S vehicles at our store. They complained that G4S was complicit in Israel’s torture and illegal detention of Palestinian children. When we investigated the matter we found that G4S was guilty and we could not continue the business relationship in good faith. All and any businesses complicit with Israeli Apartheid should be shunned by peace and justice loving people. We hope more businesses follow our lead.”

Nkosikona Madikizela, a manager of one of the stores that ended their G4S relations said: ” We are fed up with the attitude of Israel and multi national companies like G4S that think they can act with utter impunity. The BDS Movement is proving to hold these international companies accountable for their trade and involvement with Israel. Companies such as G4S, Woolworths and others choosing to trade with Israel, in violation of the nonviolent BDS boycott, must realise that there is a price to pay. ”

Aziz Ismail, owner of a Limpopo hardware store in Polokwane said: “Palestine needs us now more than ever, we must intensify the non-violent boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign. If we are being called by the BDS movement to boycott Woolworths, we should. If we are being called to end relations with G4S we should. The strategic and focused boycott of Apartheid South Africa contributed to our liberation, we can do the same now in the BDS boycott of Israel.”

Welcoming the announcement by BDS South Africa of the G4S boycott victories were the Palestinian Embassy in South Africa as well as the anti-Apartheid icon, Ahmed Kathrada:

Tamer AlMassri of the Palestinian Embassy said: “ In 2012, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights added G4S as one of the international companies that should be boycotted for their illegal involvement in Israel, Israeli settlements and prisons. We welcome the announcements of these South African companies ending their relations with G4S and supporting the BDS campaign. It is also encouraging that South Africa’s ruling party the ANC has called for G4S to be excluded from Government and State contracts.”

Ahmed Kathrada and his Foundation, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, said: “That the annoucenment of cancelled G4S contracts comes on the eve of the international Palestinian political prisoner day should not be understated. We hope to see the release of all political prisoners such as Marwan Barghouti from Israeli prisons secured by G4S. Over 750 000 Palestinians (roughly 40% of Palestinian men) have been imprisoned by Israel at one point in time. About 100 000 Palestinians have been held by Israel in “administrative detention” (the equivalent of Apartheid South Africa’s “Detention without trial”). Similar to the experience of Black families under Apartheid, almost every Palestinian family has been affected by the Israeli imprisonment of a relative.”

Currently, there are over 6000 Palestinians imprisoned by Israel; 454 of them are being held under Israel’s “administrative detention” (Apartheid South Africa’s “Detention Without Trial”) and 163 of them are children. In the last 11 years alone, more than 7500 Palestinian children have been detained in Israeli prisons and detention facilities (including being held in solitary confinement) with Muhammad Daoud Dirbas, at the age of six, being the youngest Palestinian child to have been detained by Israeli soldiers. Last year Ahmed Kathrada together with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Novelist Alice Walker; Linguist, philosopher and author Noam Chomsky; Author and Activist Angela Davis; Poet, painter and former South African political prisoner Breyten Breytenbach; Actor Miriam Margolyes; Author John Berger; and various others wrote an open letter to the Management of G4S calling on the company to end its Israeli contracts including those contracts with Israeli prisons holding Palestinian political prisoners.

Stop G4S factsheet

Thu, 09/04/2015 - 7:18pm

Veolia sells Israel businesses targeted by Palestinian-led boycott campaign

Wed, 08/04/2015 - 11:37am

  • BDS campaign has cost Veolia billions of dollars in lost contracts
  • But Veolia remains involved in Jerusalem Light Rail, boycott campaign set to continue

Palestinian civil society activists have heralded the decision by French corporate giant Veolia to sell off nearly all of its business activity in Israel as a huge victory for the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The sale follows a worldwide campaign against the company’s role in illegal Israeli settlements that cost the firm billions of dollars of lost contracts.

The boycott Veolia campaign was launched in Bilbao, the Basque Country, in November 2008, to pressure the company to end its involvement in illegal Israeli projects that serve settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT).

​Under BDS pressure, Veolia has failed to win massive contracts with local authorities across Europe​,​ the US​ and Kuwait​​. City councils across Europe have passed resolutions ​excluding the firm from ​tenders ​due to its involvement in Israeli human rights violations.

Veolia executives have admitted that the campaign has cost the company “important contracts”, and financial analysts have repeatedly spoken about the financial cost of the campaign to Veolia.

Veolia has now reported that the sale of its water, waste and energy contracts to Oaktree Capital, a Los Angles based investment firm, has been completed, leaving its stake in the ​illegal ​Jerusalem Light Rail as its only business interest in Israel.

Mahmoud Nawajaa, the general coordinator of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), a broad Palestinian civil society coalition that leads the global BDS movement, said:

“Grassroots BDS activism across the world made it very difficult for Veolia to win public contracts in some parts of Europe, the US and the Middle East, leaving the company no choice but to significantly scale back its involvement in illegal Israeli projects.”

“The BDS movement is showing that there is a price to pay for participating in Israel’s colonisation of Palestinian land. One of Europe’s biggest companies has been forced to sell its businesses in Israel that violate international law.”

Around 10 authorities in Ireland and the UK introduced official policy barring Veolia from public contracts. Councils in at least 25 cities including London, Stockholm and Boston opted not to award or renew contracts with Veolia following public campaigns that were backed by local community leaders, churches, trade unions and mainstream political parties.

Many investors including the Dutch ASN Bank and the Quaker Friends Fiduciary Corporation have divested from Veolia over its role in Israeli settlements, while other major banks and the Swedish AP pension fund have issued public statements condemning Veolia’s role in the settlements. Several “socially responsible investment” information providers have told campaigners they have listed the firm as having serious human rights concerns.

Veolia continues to remain involved in the illegal Jerusalem Light Rail that links Israeli colonies to west Jerusalem through its holdings in Veolia Transdev, but has announced its intention to sell its holding in the railway.

In 2014, Veolia stated in letters to BDS organizers that it had also “terminated its involvement in the Tovlan landfill … over three years ago.” Tovlan processes waste from Israel and its illegal settlements in the OPT. This claim was proven to be false, however, by official records obtained from the Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection in September 2013, which show beyond doubt that the operator of the illegal Tovlan landfill at the time was still Veolia’s subsidiary, T.M.M. Integrated Recycling Services.

Ownership of the Tovlan site and wastewater treatment contracts for illegal Israeli settlements is now expected to transfer to Oaktree.

“By buying up these businesses, Oaktree has become an active accomplice in Israel’s ongoing violations of international law,” Nawajaa added.

Mainly due to boycott pressure on it in the US and Europe, and particularly the campaign’s focus on its “apartheid bus operations,” which served Israel’s illegal settlements, Veolia had sold its entire bus operations in Israel in 2013.

Nawajaa explained that the campaign against Veolia would continue because the firm remains a shareholder in the illegal Jerusalem Light Rail project.

“The sole purpose of the Jerusalem Light Rail is to increase the appeal and facilitate the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements through the theft of Palestinian land. We will continue to boycott Veolia until it ends its participation in the Light Rail project and pays reparations to those Palestinian communities impacted by its support for Israel’s colonization of Palestinian land. International corporations cannot simply profit from Israel’s war crimes and then leave when the going gets tough, without being held accountable,” Nawajaa added.

“We warmly thank the impressive number of principled activists and civil society organizations around the world whose dedicated and strategic efforts have made the campaign against Veolia such a success,” Nawajaa concluded.

Texto em português aqui

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