March 28, 2017, Beirut, Lebanon — Last week, the Doctors’ Syndicate in Beirut decided to end its relationship with G4S, one of the world’s largest multinational security companies, following a campaign by activists in Lebanon concerned with the company’s ongoing complicity with Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights. The “Lebanese Campaign to Boycott the Supporters of Israel” has announced that the decision by the Syndicate to not renew its contracts with G4S is an important milestone in the global campaign against the company. The group noted that several other institutions, including the Arab Bank, UNICEF and the Dunes Complex in the Verdun neighborhood of Beirut have also distanced themselves from G4S over the past few months. The global campaign against G4S was launched in 2012 after a call by Palestinian political prisoners to boycott the company over its role at the time in providing equipment and services to Israeli prisons where Palestinian political prisoners are routinely held without trial and subjected to torture and ill-treatment. G4S has also been involved in servicing Israeli military checkpoints and illegal settlements built on stolen Palestinian land.
Under strong pressure from BDS activists participating in the international Stop G4S campaign, G4S has for the last several years been losing major deals and investments around the world. In 2016, the company was forced to sell most of its business in Israel, but still services the Israeli Police Academy and invests in the Shikun & Binui group which builds illegal settlements. As such, G4S remains complicit in Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights, and will continue to be a BDS target due to its persisting complicity.
The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society and the leadership of the global BDS movement, welcomes this victory and salutes the efforts of activists in Lebanon. The BNC further confirms that the campaign against G4S will continue, both regionally and globally, until G4S completely ends its complicity in Israel’s regime of apartheid, military occupation and settler-colonialism.
The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC)- 28/03/2017
April 19, 2017 – Today, in light of the Barcelona City Council’s vote to condemn Israel’s occupation, call to end complicity in Israel’s violations of international law, and affirmation of the legitimacy of the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian human rights, the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) released the following statement:
Recognizing how similar measures have contributed to ending apartheid in South Africa, Palestinian civil society salutes the Barcelona City Council for its historic decision to end complicity in Israel’s occupation and human rights violations by voting to:
“Condemn the Israeli occupation and policies of colonization of Palestinian territories and the plunder, exploitation, destruction and depletion of Palestinian natural resources and wealth, including land and water.”
The council also voted to ensure that its public procurement policies incorporate clauses guaranteeing respect for human rights in order to “prevent the Barcelona City Council from having any kind of complicity with this occupation, violation of human rights and plundering of resources.”
The motion encourages local authorities and municipalities to introduce human rights clauses within all public procurement contracts, which would rightly exclude from public tenders corporations profiting from Israel’s illegal settlements and abuses of Palestinian human rights.
In an unmistakable reference to the right to advocate for Palestinian rights through BDS tactics, the Barcelona City Council recognized the legitimacy of “nonviolent campaigns promoted by Palestinian and international civil society for defending international and human rights law in Palestine.”
With this landmark decision, the Barcelona City Council joins more than 70 local authorities across the Spanish state that have adopted diverse measures to end local complicity in Israel’s regime of occupation, apartheid and settler-colonialism. Tens of these local authorities have passed motions in support of the BDS movement for Palestinian rights and declared themselves “Apartheid Free Zones”.
Rafeef Ziadah, member of the International Secretariat of the BNC said:We warmly welcome this victory for human rights and salute the Barcelona City Council for taking this significant step forward to uphold Palestinian rights under international law. After 50 years of Israel's military occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and decades of its regime of apartheid and settler-colonialism, it is heartening to see people of conscience adopting the logic of nonviolent pressure promoted by the fast-growing BDS movement.
Following similar positions by the European Union and the governments of Sweden, Ireland and Netherlands, the Barcelona City Council’s recognition of the right to advocate for Palestinian rights through BDS campaigns is a triumph for free speech and democratic rights in Europe. It gives further recognition to BDS as an inclusive, inspiring, anti-racist movement rooted in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that upholds the basic principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity.
At a time of shrinking democratic space for citizens and civil society across Europe, it is empowering to witness how citizens and elected officials are recognizing that ending their institutions’ involvement in Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights intersects with domestic agendas that promote gender, social, economic and environmental justice.
Read the statement by Spanish state Palestine solidarity groups in English and in Spanish.
BDS Movement- 19/04/2017
Social media outlets have circulated a pamphlet from Pizza Hut- "Israel” that ridicules the hunger strike of Palestinian prisoners and one of their leaders, Marwan Barghouti.
The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) in Jordan has announced it will no longer contract with G4S.
The group Jordan BDS hailed the decision as a victory for its year-long campaign, which included a meeting with WFP officials and an open letter signed by dozens of Jordanian organizations to urge the UN agency to end the contract.
This makes WFP the fourth out of six UN agencies in Jordan to ditch the world’s largest security company, following pressure from the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.
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