Boycott Companies Supporting the Occupation of Palestine
Building the Movement for Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions
How Do Companies Further the Palestinian Occupation?
Corporations further the Occupation either by operating in or supporting the Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law, or by supporting the apparatus of control and oppression which is the hallmark of the Occupation.
That apparatus includes the Separation Wall, the hundreds of checkpoints set up to impair Palestinian travel, the system of Administrative Detention (imprisonment without trial for periods of six months, renewable without review), night raids that frighten children and disrupt normal life, a permit system imposing restrictions upon travel and normal building for Palestinians, the confiscation of homes and lands, and the demolition of houses, among others.
What Should Be Boycotted?
We encourage our members to support, specifically, the boycott of Caterpillar tractors (used to demolish homes, and also the instrument involved in the death of Rachel Corrie), of Motorola (which manufactures a multitude of parts used at checkpoints and furthers the Occupation with technology used in weapons, etc.), and of Ahava cosmetics (manufactured in the settlements using ingredients mined on occupied land).
To learn more about these and other companies, as well as the organizations involved in these ongoing campaigns, we recommend two online resources: www.whoprofits.org is a project of the Israeli Coalition of Women for Peace (of which WILPF Israel is a member) and www.endtheoccupation.org, -- the website of the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation (an umbrella group that is at the forefront of the BDS movement in the U.S.) The three campaigns are known as Hang Up on Motorola, the CAT Campaign, and Stolen Beauty.
What Else Can Members Do?
The U.S. Middle East Committee is looking at whether to target a specific company ourselves. Thanks to research by one of our interns, we have learned of several U.S. companies that are involved in furthering the Occupation. We are calling for branches to submit mini-grant proposals to the WILPF office to create our own BDS campaign on one of the following companies:
- ACE Hardware. This chain owns a store in the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Edomim. We don’t believe U.S. companies should be profiting from these illegal settlements.
- RE/MAX. This real estate company is a major seller of housing to Jews in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Since it is illegal for an occupier to move its citizens into the territory being occupied, we believe this activity should be curtailed. There are offices of RE/MAX in Ma’ale Edomim, French Hill, and Oramit settlements in the West Bank, and in the Ramot and Pisgat Ze’ev settlements in East Jerusalem. RE/MAX offers real estate for sale and rental in all major West Bank settlements. The owners of the Israeli franchise are Bernard Raskin and Pengold Holdings.
- EDS (a subsidiary of Hewlett-Packard). This company is the prime contractor in the Basel Project, the goal of which is to develop, install, and continuously support an automatic biometric access control system for Palestinian workers, with hand and facial recognition. This project was financed by the U.S. government following the Wye River Memorandum. During 2008, Hewlett-Packard completed purchase of EDS, which is now a part of HP.
What do you want to do to see the Occupation end? Submit a proposal! We have addresses for the companies listed above, if you need them to submit your proposal. Contact Barbara Taft, co-chair of the U.S. Middle East Committee, to get further information if you are planning to submit a proposal. Meanwhile, continue to support the ongoing activities led by other groups involved in the BDS Campaign.