Palestine: Profiting from Occupation
Israel’s occupation of Palestine is propped up with the help of international corporations and financial institutions. This project profiles international and UK-based companies complicit in the occupation and analyses the role of international trade projects in institutionalising the Israeli apartheid regime.
1. Israeli companies: Since the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights in 1967, Israeli companies, hand in hand with the Israeli state, have exploited the Palestinian economy and workforce. Agricultural companies have set up farms on land expropriated from Palestinian communities and have crippled Palestinian agriculture, already decimated by the military occupation and closures, by flooding Palestinian markets with cheap Israeli goods. These companies have taken advantage of the EU-Israel Trade Agreement to export large quantities of their produce to the European market.
2. International Corporations: Many international companies have taken the opportunity to profit from the suffering of the people of Palestine. Arms companies sell weapons to Israel in full knowledge of Israel’s ongoing war crimes; construction companies accept contracts for the building of illegal settlements; and multinationals open branches on illegal settlements. Some settlement produce is also marketed as ‘organic’ on European supermarket shelves.
3. States: Several foreign governments plan to set up new industrial areas inside the West Bank on territories under Israeli military occupation. In the occupied Jordan Valley, the Japanese government plans to facilitate the setting up of an industrial area where Israeli and international companies will take advantage of the desperate Palestinian workforce. The construction of this industrial area will entail further entrenchment of the Israeli apartheid system through the development of settler roads linking the zone to 1948 Israel. The German, British and French governments have expressed interest in setting up similar industrial areas elsewhere in the West Bank. These zones will exploit Palestinian workers, whose livelihoods have been destroyed by the Israeli military occupation and who often have no choice but to work for settler companies for low wages and with no protection or right to unionise.
There is an established and growing movement in solidarity with Palestine. Since 2004, the focus of this movement has been a Palestinian call for ‘Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions‘ (BDS). The call was made by hundreds of Palestinian civil society organisations and all major Palestinian trade unions. Campaigners around the world have engaged in diverse forms of solidarity action in line with this call. Corporate Watch’s research intends to strengthen and provide a resource for the growing BDS movement and the wider international solidarity movement.
Obama clearly defined lines appear to offer little hope to Palestine
President Obama more closely aligned himself with the Israeli government’s terms for resuming peace talks with the Palestinians Thursday as he continued his visit to the region. Speaking in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Obama urged Palestinians to drop their longstanding demand for Israel to halt settlement construction on Palestinian land as a precondition for talks.
President Obama: “What I shared with President Abbas, and I will share with the Palestinian people, is that if the expectation is, is that we can only have direct negotiations when everything is settled ahead of time, then there’s no point for negotiations. So I think it’s important for us to work through this process, even if there are irritants on both sides.”
Obama had previously backed the Palestinian demand for a settlement freeze at the start of his first term. On Thursday, Obama said the Israeli settlements are not “constructive” or “appropriate,” but he stopped short of calling them illegal, a point stressed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
President Mahmoud Abbas: “Regarding the issue of settlements, it is not only our perception that settlements are illegal, but it is a global perspective. Everybody considers settlements not only a hurdle, but even more than a hurdle, towards the two-state solution.”
Whenever I campaign for Palestinian justice as a trade unionist I always get a small number of members asking why. Some people take the view that when we have limited resources and time at our disposal trade union reps should simply focus on the home front. Furthermore there are those members who for whatever reason take sides and side with Israel.
The struggle of the oppressed is our struggle. That struggle against capitalism takes many forms and cannot simply be straightjacketed to local issues. We live in a shrinking world thanks to modern communications and globalisation. In the past imperialism was obvious as the sun never set on the British but nowadays imperialism isn’t recognised by everyone. The USA impacts on the world like few other countries ever have and its imperialism lives strong.
Israel was born out of British imperialism and is maintained by American imperialism, including massive aid by way of arms. The suffering of the people of Palestine originates from the same system of economics and government and international relations that trade unionists are fighting every day.
The Palestinian people have suffered much as the Nakba that started on the day Israel was created continues to the present. Their suffering can be seen via the apartheid system that has developed in the boundaries of the country the ruling class calls Israel and it can be seen starkly in the Gaza Strip, blighted by siege conditions for years and now bombardment once again.
If we dare to fight oppression when we see it caused by capitalism then we must also dare to fight it when we see it caused by imperialism and backed up economically and militarily by nations advancing a neo-liberal agenda. For these reasons the struggle for justice in Palestine is our struggle. Fighting austerity and fighting injustice at home whilst standing in solidarity for the rights of those living in Gaza is not contradictory, it fits hand in glove.
The fight continues and our hearts go out to all the people suffering at the hands of Israeli aggression.
Sshhhh!! . . . . . . . . Don’t mention the Israeli War Criminals
As usual the Brits end up playing shill for unreasonable Israeli demands
Britain ready to back Palestinian statehood at UN
Britain — a source of so much of the modern Middle East’s woes — claims that they will back the Palestinians if they seek recognition at the UN, BUT only if they are prepared to jettison the rights all other nations have to pursue war criminals:
On Monday night, the government signalled it would change tack and vote yes if the Palestinians modified their application, which is to be debated by the UN general assembly in New York later this week. As a “non-member state”, Palestine would have the same status as the Vatican.
Whitehall officials said the Palestinians were now being asked to refrain from applying for membership of the international criminal court or the international court of justice, which could both be used to pursue war crimes charges or other legal claims against Israel.
Abbas is also being asked to commit to an immediate resumption of peace talks “without preconditions” with Israel. The third condition is that the general assembly’s resolution does not require the UN security council to follow suit.
Whereas France CLAIMS that it will recognise Palestine, apparently without condition. – http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/22/france-palest…21122
So Israeli War Criminals are obviously worried about their future, hiding out from International Courts doesn’t seem to hold the appeal it once might have