Adonis Diaries

Archive for September 5th, 2015

Veolia sells off all Israeli operations: Another victory to BDS movement

Occupied Palestine and the West Bank, 1 September 2015 —

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and its worldwide partners are celebrating the withdrawal of the huge French corporation Veolia from the Jerusalem Light Rail (JLR), an illegal rail system built to facilitate the growth and expansion of Israeli colonial settlements on occupied Palestinian territory.

The sale of its stake in the JLR project ends all of Veolia’s involvement in the Israeli market, including all projects that violate international law and the human rights of the Palestinian people.

The sale follows an extensive 7-year boycott campaign against Veolia, due to its complicity in the Israeli occupation, which cost it tenders around the world estimated to be worth over $20 billion.

Veolia sold nearly all of its business operations in Israel in April 2015 but had until now remained a 5% shareholder in the JLR project.

On Thursday evening, the human rights research group Who Profits reported that Veolia had liquidated its 5% share in the JLR project. Under BDS pressure, Veolia has failed to win massive contracts with local authorities across Europe, the US and Kuwait.

City councils across Europe have passed resolutions excluding the firm from tenders due to its involvement in Israeli human rights violations.

Following Israel’s massacre in Gaza in the summer of 2014, for instance, Kuwait’s city council excluded Veolia from a tender for the treatment of solid waste worth $750 million.

Veolia executives have admitted that the campaign has cost the company “important contracts”, and financial analysts have repeatedly spoken about the financial cost of the campaign to Veolia.

By the end of 2013, Veolia’s investment rating was reduced to “junk” status as a result of its reported massive debt of over $20 billion –almost equal to the total value of tenders lost by Veolia by then.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) General Coordinator, Mahmoud Nawajaa, described Veolia’s complete withdrawal from illegal Israeli projects as a victory for all human rights campaigners who have pressured the company: “Strategic and dedicated campaigning by the BDS movement has forced one of Europe’s biggest companies to abandon the Israeli market.”

“Veolia’s withdrawal from Israel sets an example to all companies that are complicit in Israel’s human rights violations. This is a victory for the BDS movement and all our partners from other rights movements who have helped in pressuring the company.”

Nawajaa added, “We call for legal action, by specialized organizations, against Veolia to compel it to pay reparations to the Palestinian communities adversely affected by its infringements of international law.”

The JLR is considered one of the most infamous colonial Israeli attempts to normalize and strengthen Israel’s hold on occupied East Jerusalem and tie the city’s settlements even more firmly into the state of Israel.

The United Nations Human Rights Council considered the project a service to Israel’s illegal colonies in the OPT. Veolia’s involvement in it, among other similarly illegal Israeli operations, had rendered the company complicit in Israel’s violations of international law.

The BDS campaign against Veolia was launched in Bilbao, the Basque region, in November 2008, to pressure the company to end its involvement in Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights.

In 2007, French solidarity group AFPS and the Palestine Liberation Organization took the company to court in France to compel it to end its complicity in Israel’s violations of international law.

As well as its involvement in the JLR, Veolia had also been targeted for its role in waste, water and bus services for illegal Israeli settlements.

Veolia transferred control of these projects to other companies as the campaign pressure on it mounted.

Riya Hassan, the BNC’s Europe coordinator, said, “Veolia is still a target for union activists, environmentalists and anti-privatization campaigners, due to its record of anti-labour policies and involvement in the privatization of public water. All those still being affected by Veolia’s policies and struggling for accountability and reparations can continue to count on our solidarity. The BDS movement takes cross-struggle solidarity to heart.”

– See more at: http://www.bdsmovement.net/2015/bds-marks-another-victory-as-veolia-sells-off-all-israeli-operations-13270#sthash.4d2MsArk.dpuf

Asad Ghsoub shared this link of Samah Idriss

…وفي الأثناء يحتفل ناشطو مقاطعة “إسرائيل” بأكبر إنجاز لهم منذ تأسيس حملتهم (BDS) قبل عشر سنوات: انسحاب الشركة الفرنسية العملاقة “فيوليا” من كل مشاريعها في الكيان الغاصب، بعد سبع سنوات من العمل الكثيف الذي خاضه الناشطون، وأدّى الى خسارة فيوليا أكثر من 26 بليون دولار من العقود في العالم (بما في ذلك في دولة الكويت)، بسبب سعيها إلى بناء سكك حديدية تربط المستوطنات بالقدس (بما يتعارض مع “القانون الدولي” نفسه).
هذا هو احد الملامح الأبرز لما ينبغي أن يكون عليه “الربيعُ” العربيّ الحقيقي. لا ربيعَ حقيقيًّا خارج الإسهام في تحرير فلسطين وهزيمة الصهيونية. العمل على الخلاص من سلطاتنا وفسادنا وزبالتنا (المادية والمعنوية) ينبغي أن يتلازم ويترافق مع العمل على الخلاص من الزبالة الكبرى في منطقتنا: “إسرائيل”.

Occupied Palestine, 1 September 2015 — The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)…
bdsmovement.net

Refugees Crisis: Asylum, camps, temporary stay, ending the tragedy from its roots…

An interview with a 13-year-old Syrian refugee is being widely shared on Facebook.

Al Jazeera interviewed Kinan Masalmeh in Budapest, Hungary, where he eloquently summed up what many people don’t realise about the Syrian civil war.

Kinan, who reportedly escaped the city of Deraa with his sister, told the network:

Please help the Syrians. The Syrians need help now, just stop the war. We don’t want to stay in Europe, just stop the war.

The police don’t like the Syrians in Serbia, in Hungary, in Macedonia, in Greece.

In the UK, a parliamentary petition to accept more asylum seekers and increase support for refugees in the UK has rapidly exceeded 200,000 signatures, meaning that the government will be forced to issue a response.

The petition states:

There is a global refugee crisis. The UK is not offering proportional asylum in comparison with European counterparts.

We can’t allow refugees who have risked their lives to escape horrendous conflict and violence to be left living in dire, unsafe and inhumane conditions in Europe. We must help.

Rouba Mhaissen posted from London, United Kingdom ·

I have been reading for days now from friends pointing that the real solution is not solidarity with the refugees, but rather it is to solve the problem from its root.

It is to stop the war in Syria because Syrians want to stay home if they could, and because solving the plight of a few tens of thousands does not end hundreds of thousands from dying under shelling, barrels, etc.

Yes guys! I fully agree! And yes, we know Merkel is not an angel, we know Germany sells arms, we know it’s all political…

We know those countries demographically need working aged populations. We know… But.

We live in a historical moment in the history of Europe- never have we ever seen people mobilise and sympathise with refugees, people from Europe calling and pressuring their governments to open their borders.

We should not make such a moment go to waste.

We have been calling day in day out for people in Europe to sympathise with Syria in the past 5 years, and very little happened. This is a start.

Pressuring governments in Europe through building on the momentum of solidarity now will

  1. scare politicians who want to protect borders.

It’s too close to home now… It’s so close that they might be actually pressured into finding solutions to keep syrians in syria. To find an end solution.

2- It might mobilize them to pledge more into improving the living conditions of Syrians elsewhere because those leaving are sometimes refugees for a year or two in Lebanon or Turkey and are escaping the shit lifestyle (excuse my french).

3- It is a way to build bridges between humans

4- It is a way to raise awareness about the cause, and a door for us to mobilize more people into action- if we get for instance, 60k londoner to get up from their couch, or join us instead of going to the pub… It’s changing minds, and it’s an opportunity to raise awareness and ask for the real solution to stop the war.. Why waste such a chance?

5- Finally, can we take a break from all this mess and sadness and be happy for a moment, naively happy, you can call it, band aid solution, you can call it opium, but I feel a bit of hope, and I feel a bit of humanity. Can we not enjoy a moment of naive simple human love?

Maha Shuayb commented:

It seems my comment was not posted. I fully agree, it should not be either or. By focusing on the refugees only we are forgetting those inside Syria who are suffering.

Also even if there is a political agreement now it will take a while before people can go back.

This is why the plight of the refugees should be addressed rathe than letting them drown or live in tents awaiting for a political resolution.

“If you are in Cairo, and take a low cost airline to anywhere in Europe, you can travel for €40 or €50. These people are forced to go on boats, they pay €4,000 or €5,000 and they die in these desperate circumstances. This doesn’t make sense.”

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, reacting to a picture of a toddler who was found dead on a beach in Turkey

 

Rearranging our prejudices

Instead of working on actual changes?

Change is the point. It’s what we seek to do to the world around us.

Change, actual change, is hard work. And changing our own minds is the most difficult place to start.

It’s also the only place to start.

It’s hard to find the leverage to change the way you see the world, hard to pull on your thoughtstraps. But it’s urgent.

“A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices…” William James


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