BDS Newsletter #03 – May 2008
Posted in

BDS Newsletter #03 – May 2008

BDS NEWSLETTER

Edition: 03 – May, 2008

CORPORATE NEWS

Feature: Jayyous students call for boycott of Leviev
Students from Jayyous have written an open letter to the people of Dubai, calling for a boycott of Leviev’s diamonds. Leviev has been the target of a number of attacks for his dealings in Angola, business practices in New York City and his funding of settlement construction. On the lands of the village of Jayyous in the Qalqilya district, Leviev is constructing the Zufim settlement. According to the letter:

“Leviev’s money and investments are destroying the olive groves that have sustained our village for centuries. Many of our families are barred by the occupation forces from working our own lands that have been stolen by the Apartheid Wall for the ‘Zufim’ settlement. Mr. Leviev has heavily invested in this settlement and as such is funding the continuing dispossession of our people in Jayyous.

We hear that the government of the United Arab Emirates has stopped Mr. Leviev from opening his diamond stores in Dubai Emirate. We ask the government and the people of Dubai to prevent the sale to customers in Dubai of ‘Leviev’s rocks of apartheid,’ which will be used by Mr. Leviev to build more settlements on Palestinian lands.”

For more information on the NYC campaign, click here.
For the letter, click here.

Latest News

Major US city signs a multi-million dollar deal with Israeli company
NICE Systems Ltd. will provide a major US transit authority with the company’s Inform and other systems in a multimillion dollar contract. The name of the city has not been revealed. According to NICE systems: “The win is part of a comprehensive upgrade of the city’s transit system’s security infrastructure. The extensive security project is a massive initiative to outfit the transit authority’s operations with the latest technology to enhance safety and security, including combating terror related threats” [MORE]

Indian and Israeli company agree on joint venture
A joint venture between energy storage technology company Energtek Inc. and India’s Confidence Petroleum Ltd. will exclusively commercialize Energtek’s proprietary Adsorbed Natural Gas (ANG) technology supply solutions in India and surrounding nations. Confidence Petroleum is a manufacturer of cylinders.

Confidence Petroleum will provide an additional $23 million financing as part of the exclusivity agreement, on top of the original $2 million invested in the joint venture. The joint venture between the two companies will have exclusive rights to sell natural gas through Petah Tikva-based Energtek’s proprietary fast interchangeable tanks and low-pressure mobile pipeline systems in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. [MORE]

Israeli company wins large contract in South Africa
Orsus Solutions Israel Ltd. has won a contract estimated at more than $5 million to work with Transnet Freight Rail, an international rail operator based in South Africa. The project, now underway, is connecting three nerve centers in Johannesburg, Richard’s Bay and Cape Town, with surveillance cameras, digital video recorders, access control systems, fire systems, and electrical fence sensors deployed across 34,000 kilometers of railway lines. [MORE]

Boeing signs deal with El Al
The Boeing Company and El Al Israel Airlines have completed an order for four 777-200ERs (Extended Range). The Israeli airline has secured options for two additional 777s and holds conversion rights for the 777-300ER, a larger version of the 777 with increased payload and range capability. The order is valued at $850 million. [MORE]

MILITARY AND ARMS TRADE

Feature: $2.3 billion arms deal between India and Israel derailed
The campaign against military ties led by the Indian left parties is showing its first signs of success. The potentially biggest deal between Israel and India stalled as the corruption scandals surrounding the Israeli Aircraft Industry deals with India grew. The Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) probe into the Barak missile systems deal implicated an ex-navy commander as well as the defence minister.

The parties campaigning for an end to the military ties with Israel took up the issue in a joint press conference questioning the new deal with the Israeli military that would have provided Israel with a foothold in the air defence systems sector. The pressure lead the Indian government to decide to put the project on hold “for political reasons.”

The Israeli – Indian arms trade has come under criticism from Indian political parties and civil society since the beginning of 2007. At the height of the Israeli siege on Gaza, a call was issued to completely cut with military ties with Israel.

While the current project has been halted, other military deals continue. Israel is still bidding for at least 18 different military projects with India, including a massive jet fighter deal.

For more information, click here.
For information on Israeli arms trade, click here.

Ongoing Campaigns

Trial begins for Derry anti-war activists
In August of 2006, nine anti-war protestors occupied and closed down Raytheon offices at Springtown in Derry in a protest organised by the Derry Anti-War Coalition. The nine were charged under the Terrorism Act, which means that they may face lengthy jail sentences. Protests have been carried out in Derry since their arrests. The trial, which began on 19 May in Belfast, was also met with protests.

Raytheon plays a key role in arming the Israeli military. Guided bombs produced by Raytheon were used to hit the city of Qana, resulting in one of the worst massacres of the Summer War. Raytheon also produces a number of different types of missiles, all of which are used against the Palestinian population, these days most frequently in Gaza. [MORE]

For more information, click here.

Latest News

Elbit Systems
Elbit Systems and its subsidiaries have made a number of deals this month. Subsidiary Tadiran Communications Ltd. has won a $127 million contract to supply tactical communications radio equipment and systems to a European country. The name of the customer was not disclosed. Also, the Elbit Systems unit Elctro-Optics has made an $87 million deal, consisting of three contracts, to supply cooled thermal imaging systems for reconnaissance and target acquisition to an unnamed “Asian customer.”

Additionally, Elbit Systems and General Dynamics took part in the first US demonstration of a new unmanned aerial vehicle for US armed forces personnel. In an event held in the state of Alabama, General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products and Elbit Systems of America, LLC, showed the Skylark II Small Tactical /Tier II-class unmanned aerial system (UAS). The Skylark II is based on Elbit’s experience with similar systems in the Second Lebanon War and in Iraq.

Ness Technology in foreign country defence deal
Ness Technologies Ltd. has signed a $30 million contract with an unnamed country to provide the company’s Integrated Command and Control System (ICCS) and build a national command and control centre. Ness will be the chief contractor for the project. [MORE]

U.S. looks set to offer Israel new radar system
The Bush administration is offering Israel a new missile defence radar system, produced by Raytheon. [MORE]

$1.5 billion arms deal between IAI and India’s Tata Industries
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in negotiations with Indian government for a $1.5 billion air defence systems deal. IAI has signed a framework cooperation agreement with India’s Tata Industries Ltd. for the joint development, manufacturing, marketing and support of defence products in India.

In February, IAI and Tata Industries signed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the joint venture in New Delhi during the Defexpo defence show. The cooperation agreement between IAI and Tata Advanced Systems Ltd. covers a wide range of defence and aerospace products, including missiles, radars, electronic warfare (EW) systems and homeland security systems. The companies will sign an agreement for the establishment of a joint venture in India shortly. [MORE]

FREE TRADE AND GOVERNMENT AGREEMENTS

Israel, EU agree on agriculture trade
This month, Israel and the European Commission reached a common understanding on mutual tax concessions in the fields of agricultural products, processed food products and fisheries. The agreement is expected to more than double local exports of processed foods and beverages to the European Union.

Under the framework of the agreement, 95 percent of processed foods, imported or exported, will be exempted from levies and quotas. Israel exports 75% of its fresh and processed agricultural products to the EU market. The agricultural agreement encompasses about $1 billion in Israeli exports.

Much of the produce exported under an Israeli label is grown in the occupied Jordan Valley. Israeli agro-business companies, most prominently Agrexco, work with settlements to grow and export produce. These sites profit from the ongoing occupation, gaining cheap and unfettered access to Palestinian land and water. Given that the occupation has destroyed the economy of the Jordan Valley, settlement agro-business also has access to a vast pool of unemployed Palestinians. These Palestinians, many of them children, are exploited as cheap labour.

For more information see on the agreement, click here.
For more information on Agrexco, click here.

Ongoing Campaigns

Continued efforts in Bahrain to reopen boycott office
Efforts to reopen the boycott office in Bahrain continue, led by the Society for Resisting Normalisation with the Zionist Enemy. NGO and government blocs have been involved in the past in fighting for a ban on Israeli goods as well as calling for adherence to the Arab League boycott. While the boycott has not been rescinded, many Arab countries have failed to uphold it. [MORE] and [MORE]

Petition against the Europe – Israel FTA
The EU-Israel Association Agreement forms the basis on which Israel and EU countries trade with each other. The agreement gives Israel preferential trading terms, and its stated objective is “to gradually integrate Israel into European policies and programmes.” There is also a financial assistance element which makes Israel eligible for €14 million in European Community financial cooperation over the next seven years. However, Israel is a constant violator of international law and human rights, which runs in contradiction of the conditions of the agreement. [MORE]

Latest News

Joint Israel – Italian research project
The Weizmann Institute of Science (Rehovot, Israel) and LENS lab (Florence, Italy) have signed a memorandum of understanding for the creation of a nanotechnology lab in Israel. The initial investment in the project will be €250,000. One third of the money will come from Israeli ministries, one third from donors residing outside of Israel and the rest will come from universities or institutes.

This current project is part of a long history of Israel – Italian cooperation. So far, there have been 30 joint scientific-industrial projects, which received around €6 million support from the Italian government. Dr. Stefano Boccaletti, scientific attaché at the Italian Embassy in Israel, expressed the hope that the two countries will set up a bi-national scientific fund. [MORE]

Opposition in Egypt attacks energy deal with Israel
The Egyptian natural gas consortium EMG began exporting to Israel Electric power stations in Ashdod and Tel Aviv. Opposition members of the Egyptian parliament attacked this move. [MORE]

en_USEnglish