17 Churches around the U.S. have signed a pledge to become HP-Free after calls from Palestinian Christians to boycott.
July 19, 2017 — Seventeen churches around the United States, representing seven different denominations, have signed a pledge to boycott Hewlett-Packard (HP), joining an international boycott movement meant to pressure the tech company into ending its complicity in Israel’s human rights abuses against Palestinians.
The individual pledges are part of a larger campaign organized by Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA), an ecumenical organization led by Palestinian Christians seeking justice and peace in Palestine. In pledging to boycott HP, the churches have joined the rapidly growing international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. Christian denominations in the United States have been a big part of this effort. To date, the United Church of Christ, Unitarian Universalists, Presbyterian Church, Alliance of Baptists, Quaker Friends Fiduciary, and, most recently, Mennonite Church USA, have all voted to divest from HP due to its human rights violations against Palestinians, while three regional Methodist conferences passed resolutions supporting the boycott of HP products.
HP profits from selling information technology to the Israeli military and government that is then used to support violations of Palestinian human rights. HP biometric data technology is used to racially profile Palestinians at checkpoints in the West Bank. HP also provides servers and maintains IT systems for the Israeli military and its prisons as well as for illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The HP-Free Church campaign calls on churches to refrain from buying HP printers, computers, inks, and other products until the company and all of its branches end contracts with Israel’s military and cease operations in the occupied West Bank.
Peace United Church of Christ in Santa Cruz, California, was the first to sign the pledge. Said Rev. David Grishaw-Jones, senior pastor at the church, “We can’t continue to preach solidarity and act as if it’s optional in the church. We can’t continue to denounce occupation and participate in it—with our investments and our choices and our spending habits...solidarity requires action.” Of the campaign, FOSNA National Organizer Rochelle Watson stated, “We are so grateful to see churches across denominations joining the HP Free Church campaign, bringing the boycott and divestment decisions at the denominational level to the congregational level, especially given the recent call by Palestinian Christians to take urgent action to uphold Palestinian human rights.”
A full list of the churches that have signed the pledge to boycott HP is available here.
Friends of Sabeel, North America (FOSNA) - 19/07/2017
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