Monday, 5 December 2016

As G4S, ends most of its illegal business with Israel because of Global BDS Campaign: Time to keep up the Pressure..


More good news following hearing yesterday that the Dakota pipe line had been stopped. Security company and long time boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS target G4S has sold, but not all, of its business with Israel, where it was extensively involved in Israel's notorious prisons and provided services to Israel's checkpoints, settlements, and apartheid wall, among others. in Israel within the next two years, but has denied that it is because of a years-long boycott campaign.
G4S made the announcement when it released its end-of-year results last Wednesday, saying that it is selling its interests in Israel as part of a wider assets sale to increase profits. It also said that it would suspend some other controversial projects, such as US youth-justice centres, in a bid to boost profits after shares fell 12 percent in part due to growing costs of providing contract housing for destitute asylum seekers.
This tremendous news comes after years of BDS campaigning worldwide targeting G4S at every level, causing the company which reportedly employs 8,000 people in Israel with a turnover of $143mn, enormous reputational damage and costing it many millions in lost contracts.
Mahmoud Nawajaa, a spokesman for the Palestinian BDS National Committee, said that BDS had undoubtedly pressed G4S into closing shop in Israel. “As at the height of the international boycott of apartheid South Africa, BDS pressure is making some of the world’s biggest corporations realise that profiting from Israeli apartheid and colonialism is bad for business,” he said.
“Investment fund managers are increasingly recognising that their fiduciary responsibility obliges them to divest from Israeli banks and companies that are implicated in Israel’s serious human rights violations such as G4S and HP because of the high risk entailed. We are starting to see a domino effect."
The campaign has resulted in  G4S losing clients  including private businesses, universities, trade unions, and UN bodies, with the Bill Gates Foundation divesting a stake worth $170m from the company following protests. The domination of G4S’ annual general meetings over several years by protests against the company’s involvement in Israeli prisons was undoubtedly a contributing factor in the company’s announcement.
Representatives of Palestinian civil society launched BDS in 2005, calling upon “international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South African in the apartheid era,including embargoes and sanctions against Israel.
As we celebrate we must still keep targetting G4S because despite the the sale of its subsidiary, G4S will  still remain directly complicit in Israel's violations of Palestinian rights through Policity, the flagship national police training centre it co-owns, and the settlement-profiteer Shikun & Binui group. given its ongoing role in Israeli police training and settlement construction in Palestine; guarding the Dakota Access pipeline construction; aiding ICE and Homeland Security with immigrant deportations; running youth detention facilities and providing prison technology as part of the U.S. prison industrial complex; and other repression worldwide, as outlined on the intersectional website released by the US Campaign and partners earlier this year
It is validation though that BDS does actually work.It follows other successes.Veolia, a French corporation, came under the spotlight because of their involvement in the development of a tram system connecting West Jerusalem to Israel’s illegal settlements in occupied East Jerusalem.
This was met by a seven year campaign to persuade public bodies not to renew their transport or waste management contracts which, cost Veolia more than $20 billion. In September 2015, Veolia sold off all of its businesses in Israel.
Even an Israeli company, Sodastream, moved its factory out of one of Israel’s most notorious illegal settlements, after an advertisement for their product featuring the actor Scarlett Johansson led Oxfam to part company with her as their ‘ambassador’.Other companies based in settlements live in fear of publicity. One company promised a human rights organisation to move their factory in order to avoid being mentioned in a report on companies operating in illegal settlements.
Well done to to activists around the globe who have been a part of the BDS campaign illustrating the tremendous ability of grassroots organizing to make an impact on multinational corporations, sending out the strong message that profiting from apartheid is not so profitable after all. We must continue to hold G4S and other corporations accountable for their ongoing abuses. Maybe occupation profiteer  Hewlett -Packard  could be the next win if we continue to keep the pressure up. .And if Israel wants the ongoing BDS Campaign to end,it must stop its occupation of Palestinian land and end its human rights abuses in compliance with international law and  recognize the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and  respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their land as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

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