Reposting the article by Andrew, 8th June 2016, from War's resisterer international
During her time working as an intern at War Resisters' International, Taya Govreen-Segal, a consceintious objector, delivered a talk to the “Britain and Palestine: Past History and Future Role” conference, held at Sarum College, Salisbury, UK, on 13th February. Below is a transcript, providing detailed analysis of the role of the arms trade in the ongoing occupation of Palestine.
The EU continues to fund Israeli companies and institutions that are directly involved in the maintenance of the Israeli regime of apartheid, colonialism and occupation. ECCP has worked on new research, Stop the Wall prepared new resources, a new campaign targets a shocking EU funded project aimed at unifying methodology of interrogation between Israeli police and European police forces.
As the EU-Israeli research funding programme HORIZON 2020 continues to allocate citizens tax money to big business, civil society keeps pressuring the EU to comply with its own ethical policies and its obligations under international law. Military companies - including Israeli military and security companies - are heavily funded by the EU. This is a direct channel to support the development of new technologies for Israel’s systematic oppression of the Palestinian People. Despite the EU ethics norms require avoidance of dual use, misuse or mission/function creep of the research results, the EU still fails to answer concerns that the new technologies may be used for war crimes.
More than 300 human rights and aid organisations, church groups, trade unions and political parties from across Europe have called on the EU to uphold its legal responsibilities and hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law and to defend the right of individuals and institutions to take part in the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for justice and equality.
As part of the calls for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions on Israel, Palestinian organizations and municipalities urge governments and public institutions to end cooperation with the Israeli state-owned water company Mekorot. This year, movements in Bahia, in the northeast of Brazil, have joined in the struggle against these dirty deals demanding their state water companies end a cooperation agreement signed with Mekorot in 2013.
On the occasion of Palestinian women’s celebration of 8th of March, the International Women’s Day, we the undersigned, Palestinian women organizations, centers and groups, call upon all women and feminists of the world, as well as women’s organizations and collectives, to endorse the BDS Call issued by Palestinian civil society in 2005 and join to the BDS movement to support our struggle for freedom, justice and equality.
In the latest victory at local authorities level, Avilés, located in the region of Asturias in the Spanish state, declared support to BDS (Boicott, Divestiment and Sanctions) Campaign and announced itself as an Israeli Apartheid Free Zone on January 22 of this year (1). Avilés and the other 27 Spanish cities have declared that they do not want to be accomplice to the occupation and Israeli apartheid.
In response to Israel’s ongoing campaign of violence and aggression, a new wave of Palestinian resistance has erupted. We, the undersigned, affirm our solidarity with this mass popular resistance, in all its creativity, vibrancy, and courage. We are inspired by the new generation of fearless Palestinian youth, marching in the footsteps of previous generations, as it asserts its right to self-determination and freedom from settler colonialism and apartheid.
Israeli arms exports take dramatic hit amid growing boycott campaign
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has been running highly visible campaigns against military trade with Israel that have seen 12 banks and pension funds exclude Israeli arms company Elbit Systems from their investment portfolio. Israeli owned arms factories have been blockaded, and a growing number of political parties and trade unions have called for an end to military ties with Israel.
The governments of Norway and Turkey have both announced military embargo policies against Israel in recent years.
Mahmoud Nawajaa, general coordinator with the Palestinian BDS National Committee, the largest Palestinian civil society coalition that leads the BDS movement, said:
“Israeli military companies market their products on the basis of their successful use in Israel’s massacres of Palestinian and Lebanese civilians, yet it now seems that growing public awareness of and opposition to Israel’s war crimes are starting to hit Israel’s military exports.”
Also don't miss the new briefing published by the BDS Movement on military cooperation and trade of Israeli weapons, tools of repression against the ongoing Palestinian protests. The military trade is at the heart of Israeli oppression: find out more on the military companies and the complicit international institutions, and on the campaigns that work against these and the military aid to Israel.
Whether the current phase of Israel’s intensified repression and Palestinian popular resistance will evolve into a full-fledged intifada or not, one thing is already evident—a new generation of Palestinians is marching on the footsteps of previous generations, rising up en masse against Israel’s brutal, decades-old regime of occupation, settler colonialism and apartheid.
This briefing marks another step in the effort to stop the EU's funding to Israeli military and security companies. It denounces the financial assistance awarded within the framwork of the Horizon2020 research and development funding scheme of the EU to Elbit Systems and other Israeli military companies through FLYSEC, an airport security project.
Stop the Wall collects here the relevant documentation - including briefings, letters, parliamentary questions and answers from the EU - for the campaign "Stop Supporting Israeli Apartheid - EU Funding For Elbit Systems". The initiative, developed in cooperation with the BNC and ECCP, aims to stop funding to Elbit Systems and other Israeli companies involved in the military-industrial-scientific complex of Israel, a country that systematically commits war crimes and is in ongoing violation of the basic norms of international law and human rights.
Such funding violates not only the growing call for a military embargo on Israel but as well the EU’s obligations under international law.
1.10.2015 Israeli police continue their violent crackdown on Palestinians protesting at Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. The British private security firm G4S has contracts equipping and providing services to the Israeli police and prisons, making G4S complicit in this violence.
In the framework of the programme to re-equip its army, France will take a decision by the end of 2015 on which model of drone it intends to purchase. In this arms race, we are glad to note that at least one Israeli corporation has already been excluded: Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). However, we are demanding via a petition (1) that the Israeli weapons manufacturer Elbit Systems also be excluded from the bidding.
From the European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine:
73 members of the European Parliament issued a letter to European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini and Jan Robert Smits – Director-General of DG Research and Innovation concerning EU support to Israeli military companies trough Horizon2020.
In an open letter to the Guardian leading intellectuals and artists have called for an arms embargo on Israel: "We call upon the UK government to stop arming Israel and extend all our support to the protesters who are using their voices and efforts towards ending the arms trade. All charges against the 19 people arrested should be dropped as the real crime is producing and exporting deadly weapons that destroy the livelihoods of an entire nation. We collectively demand an immediate arms embargo on Israel. We demand the right to allow the Palestinian populace to live."
The 8 PROPOSALS FOR THE NEW LEGALLY BINDING INTERNATIONAL INSTRUMENT ON TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATIONS (TNCs) AND HUMAN RIGHTS
are the written contribution of the Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity, of which Stop the Wall Campaign is part, to the first session of the intergovernmental working group mandated with the elaboration of an international legally binding instrument on transnational corporations (TNCs) and other business enterprises with respect to human rights.
This submission is part of the Peoples Mobilizations on the First Meeting of Stated on obligations to TNCs on Human Rights, 6-10 july 2015. Please see the full program here.
London Palestine Action, a Palestinian solidarity network based in London that thrives on creative action against Israeli apartheid, particularly through the usage of BDS campaigns, has organized a peaceful protest to be held on the 6th of July, 2015 at the Elbit factory in Shenstone near Birmingham.
Saturday 20 June 2015, thirty activists of the BDS French campaign (Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions) activists carried out a non-violent protest today at the Paris Air Show, surrounding the stand of the Israeli company Elbit. This company is the principal supplier of killer drones to the Israeli army, which used these weapons during the massacres in the Gaza Strip in 2014.