Edition 01 – February, 2008
Boycott âIsrael at 60â celebrations
The BDS National Committee has issued an appeal to international civil society, calling for a boycott of the âIsrael at 60â celebrations. Adopted from a PACBI initiative and supported by 104 organizations, this appeal is the core call from Palestine for 2008. It is backed by a wide range of Palestinian civil society groups, trade unions, popular committees and political organizations from across historic Palestine as well the diaspora.
The appeal urges âinternational civil society in all its components, particularly institutions and individuals working in the arts, academia, sport, trade unions, and communities of faithâ to boycott any events associated with the âIsrael at 60â celebrations. Support of these events undermines the Palestinian resistance while strengthening Occupationâs hold on Palestine.
In February, Carmel-Agrexco participated in the trade show Fruit Logistica in Berlin. Fruit Logistica, an international trade fair for fruit and vegetable marketing, is one of the forums Agrexco in Europe uses to enhance its self-image of innovation and sustainability in Europe. Last year, Carmel-Agrexco took part in the Horti Fair in Amsterdam. The Horti is one of the top professional flower and horticulture trade fairs in the world, bring in around 50,000 trade visitors from over 100 countries. At this fair, Agrexco took 3 awards in floral design categories.
Carmel-Agrexcoâs participation in these European trade fairs is integral to solidifying its image as a respectable firm. Incidentally, Carmel-Agrexcoâs largest markets are found in Western Europe, and it is engaged in cooperation on a number of projects with growers in Italy, Greece and Spain. The companyâs push to further integrate into the European markets is well served by the positive press it obtains at these trade fairs.
Carmel-Agrexcoâs crimes in the West Bank have been well documented and they should be brought to light to the organizers of these trade fairs. The 2008 Horti Fair is happening in Amsterdam from the 14th to the 17th of October under the theme of âGrowing Sustainably.â Considering its success last year, doubtless Agrexco will be present. Bad press at this event would not only be embarrassing for the company, but also undermine its image in front of the entire industry.
Hang Up on Motorola campaign
The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation has begun a new effort to target Motorola. The company is involved with producing fuses for aerial explosives and munitions, communication devices for the military and radar equipment for the Wall as well as the West Bank colonies. For more details see the US Campaignâs letter and the response from the company. [MORE] and
Israeli water companies
Israeli water companies to increase their share in the world market, aiming to double exports to $2 billion by 2010.[MORE]
Israeli stores worldwide
A number of Israeli stores opened up across the world in 2006. This article contains a list of âwho opened what and whereâ.[MORE]
Marks and Spencer in Israel
Marks and Spencer is looking to open stores inside the 1948 lines sometime in 2008. Possible locations are Raanana, Haifa and Jerusalem. [MORE]
MILITARY AND ARMS TRADE NEWS
Cut military ties with Israel!
On March 5th, Indian progressive parties held a press conference calling for an end to the military and security ties between the Indian government and Israel. The conference, which was organized by the All India Peace and Solidarity Organisation and the Committee for Independent Foreign Policy, marks the beginning of a mass campaign that includes gathering signatures in parliament to enrol support for cutting Indo-Israeli military ties.
The conference came only days after the major Palestinian civil society networks and the Palestinian National and Islamic Forces had released a joint appeal to the Indian people and government to cease all military trade and relations.
Since the 1990âs, India has been one of the most important countries in the Israeli arms trade. India has purchased Israeli weapons, vehicles and military technology and continues to work with Israel in missile and other types of research. Most recently, the Indian Space Research Organisation assisted a government-run Israeli firm in launching a spy satellite. [MORE]
New York City Labor Against the War
Joins the Congress of South Africa Trade Unions in denouncing Israel’s recent massacres in Gaza: [MORE]
Lockheed Martin and Israeli Navy
In November, The U.S. Navy recently awarded Lockheed Martin a $2.3 million foreign military sales contract to continue concept and preliminary design work on the proposed Israeli Navyâs Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). The length of the contract is 9 months. In the past, Lockheed Martin has provided Israel with missiles and F-16 fighter jets. On the 27th of this month, four new F-16s arrived in Israel from the United States, part of the deal signed in 2000 with Lockheed Martin to purchase 102 planes.
[MORE] and [MORE]
US, UK and Israel F-35
Since 2001, Israel has been involved as a âsecurity cooperation participantâ in a 12-year project with the US, UK and other countries in the designing, testing and building of Boeingâs F-35 multi-role stealth aircraft.
Park Air Systems, the Europe-based subsidiary of Northrop Grumman, dramatically increased its market share in the Middle East, providing to navigation equipment to Israel and other countries in the region. Northrop Grumman maintains important connections with the Israeli military establishment. In April of 2007, the firm initiated an exclusive teaming agreement with state owned Israeli Arms Industry (IAI) in order to produce satellites for the US based on IAIâs TECSAR radar imaging satellite.
FREE TRADE AGREEMENT NEWS
Opposing Mercosur-Israel FTA
In December 2007, Israel signed a free-trade accord with Mercosur. Mercosur is one of the largest regional trade agreements in the world, whose permanent members consist of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. Israel, whose largest trade partner of the quartet is Brazil, primarily exports agricultural chemicals, communications equipment, and plastics to the South American bloc.
This particular FTA has been in the works since 2005. In 2006, following the brutality of the Lebanon war, civil society in Mercosur countries mobilized against the FTA. Palestine solidarity groups, Arab organizations, trade unions and anti-globalization groups spoke out against the dealings with a criminal state. Many have taken up the Palestinian call for BDS. This pressure combined with disagreements on the state level between the signatories of the agreement, resulted in the FTA being put off until a later date.
2007 saw the reestablishment of talks and the signing of the accord as well as the continuation of resistance as the agreement has not yet been ratified. In Brazil, the movement is lead by ComitÃª de Solidariedade aos Povos Ãrabes, an umbrella organization for MOPAT, Institute for Arab culture, MST, trade unions, the Palestinian Federation, parliamentarians and left wing political parties.
Israel participating in EU research
Between now and 2013, the Israeli government is to contribute 440 million euros (652 million dollars) per year so that it can participate in the E.U.âs so-called framework program for research. The research will focus on security related issues and Israel will be included despite the fact that under an earlier research program, which was funded by European taxpayers, firms operating in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 received funding from the program. [MORE]
Canadaâs FTA with Israel
âThe Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement aims to legitimize Israeli territorial control over all of historic Palestine. Within the body of the trade agreement, there is an implicit legitimization of Israelâs occupation through defining Israel as the territory where Israelâs custom laws are applied [which technically includes the West Bank and Gaza Strip given Israel is the occupying power].â
On the relationship between the ghettoization of Palestine, the planned industrial zones and free trade. [MORE]
Israel – Japan FTA
Israel is trying to develop a free-trade agreement with Japan. [MORE]