Nov 27, 2010

#BDS: Veolia and Alstom feel the heat – BNC calls for intensifying pressure!

Occupied Palestine, November 2010 - Veolia and Alstom, the two French companies involved in the construction and management of a tramway linking west Jerusalem with illegal Israeli colonial settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territory, described by the UN Human Rights Council as a “clear violation of international law and relevant United Nations resolutions,”1 have both recently been reported to be selling their shares in the consortium that manages the project. There can be little doubt that Veolia and Alstom are responding to the overwhelming campaigns launched against them by the Palestinian-led global movement for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel until it complies with international law (BDS). Campaigners have successfully lobbied for the exclusion of Veolia and Alstom from several large public sector contracts and investment funds – the BDS movement has shown that there is a price to pay for actively supporting Israel‟s system of occupation, colonisation and apartheid.
Disguised as a municipal infrastructure project, the Jerusalem Light Rail (JLR) is designed to serve the needs of the approximately 200,000 illegal Jewish settlers who reside within and around occupied East Jerusalem, reinforcing the unlawful Israeli annexation of Jerusalem and facilitating plans for further colonial expansion.2 Construction on the first of seven lines of the JLR is complete and when it opens next year will facilitate travel between west Jerusalem and illegal colonies including Pisgat Ze„ev, Neve Ya„akov and Ramot.3 The former head of the Jerusalem Municipality, Uri Lupolianski, referred to construction of the JLR as “the fulfilment of Psalm 122”, a religious reference to the taking of Jerusalem.4

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