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BDS Egypt announces G4S as new target for boycott campaign - Daily News Egypt

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BDS Egypt announces G4S as new target for boycott campaign

Second annual conference commemorates Nakba Day

The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement held a conference in which it announced a new target for the anti-Israel movement: the security services company G4S.

Activists and politicians from different political parties and movements gathered at the headquarters of the Doctors Syndicate on Saturday as they enter the second year of the campaign in Egypt, hailing “the struggle of the Palestinian people as well as the Egyptian”.

Speakers have promoted the campaign’s work since its launch last April. Opening the conference, the movement’s founding member and spokesperson Ramy Shaath said the campaign chose to hold the conference on the same day as Nakba Day to shed light on the ongoing crisis of the Palestinian people.

Shaath praised five of the campaign’s members and co-founders who are currently imprisoned over freedom of expression related charges including prominent activists like Haitham Mohamadein and Taher Mokhtar.

Former assistant to the foreign minister and member of the Popular Current party Ma’asoum Marzouk said that while the conference also commemorates the Nakba, Egypt is witnessing its own version of Nakba in the form of “selling Tiran and Sanafir islands”.

The Egyptian-Saudi maritime demarcation agreement that saw sovereignty of Sanafir and Tiran islands transferred to Saudi Arabia, triggered public anger and nationwide protests that were met with a strict security clampdown.

Photo by Jihad Abaza
Photo by Jihad Abaza

Hatem Tallima, member of the Revolutionary Socialists movement, also made a link between the Palestinian and Egyptian political situations as he compared the stone-throwing children of the intifada to the “Street Children” satirical band who were recently prosecuted in Egypt for publishing videos that made a mockery of the state’s policies, including the maritime demarcation agreement.

G4S next after Orange

Mobinil and, then, its parent company Orange were announced as the target of the campaign last year for profiting from the actions of Partner Communications, through their franchise Orange Israel.

The boycott campaign made a victory of prompting both Orange and its affiliate in Israel Partner Communications to end a franchise contract through which the French company had its name in the Israeli market.

On Saturday, BDS announced it is going to target the British multinational security services company G4S through steps of shedding light on the company’s activities in Israel which they say includes security services for Israeli prisons, detention centres, and border sites.

The campaign also said it calls on citizens to sign on a popular petition to support the campaign’s demands which are for the British company to cut its ties with Israel and for the Egyptian companies to not use G4S services until so.

BDS called on the Egyptian people to report if they see G4S operating in Egypt. A large part of G4S work in Egypt is providing security services for mega malls.



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  • EGYPTian

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  • Ron Barak

    Re ‘hailing “the struggle of the Palestinian people as well as the Egyptian” … to shed light on the ongoing crisis of the Palestinian people.’

    The boycott, divestment and sanction movement is ostensibly a campaign against Israel perpetrated for the supposed purpose of advocating for Palestinian rights. Considering its emphasis on human rights, it is ironic that this movement focuses its efforts on the only democratic state in the Middle East and ignores known human rights violators and oppressive governments such as Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iran and Pakistan – all of which imprison and torture political dissidents, deprive freedom of speech and religion, discriminate against women, religious and ethnic minorities, and deprive citizens of access to an effective rule of law.

    Even if the only concern of those involved in BDS is the oppression of Arab Palestinians – vis¬ à ¬vis other oppressed people groups – then one would think that they would work to relieve the suffering of those who live in Lebanon, Jordan and what is left of Syria, where governments deny Palestinians the right of citizenship, thereby perpetuating their refugee status generation after generation.

    If they truly believed in opposing violators of human rights, these self-proclaimed advocates for Arab Palestinians should be boycotting, divesting from, and sanctioning the governments of Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Gaza and the Palestinian Authority, because these entities all restrict political and religious freedoms and deny Palestinians basic human rights the State of Israel secures for all its citizens. They would also highlight the fact that the Constitution of the Palestinian National Authority (approved in 2003) calls for the implementation of Shariah which privileges the rights of Muslims over non ¬Muslims and the rights of men over women.

    But as their actions demonstrate, proponents of BDS are not actually concerned about violations of human rights laws in general, and have no particular problem with the oppression of Arab Palestinians by any of the government bodies under which they live. If they did, they would expose those violations, and advocate for the rights of all Palestinians, not just the ones living under the control of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.

    Instead of recognizing that their own governments are responsible for the hardships experienced by Palestinians, BDS activists focus all their attention on alleged violations of human rights in Israel, the one country in the Middle East that secures freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and human rights for all citizens regardless of gender, ethnicity or religion.

    Does BDS Actually Help Palestinians?

    The BDS movement is not really concerned with Palestinian rights, and it doesn’t help Palestinians who suffer as a result of the policies of their own governments. As this Forbes article points out, “A push to ‘boycott, divest and sanction’ (BDS) Israeli companies has limited impact on the credit profile of Israel, yet it directly harms its intended beneficiaries, the Palestinians.” This piece goes on to explain:

    “The numbers speak for themselves: Israel (population 8.3 million) has GDP of $291 billion, the Palestinian Territories (population 4.1 million),$11.3 billion. In 2012, Israeli sales to the Palestinian Authority were $4.3 billion, about 5% of Israeli exports (excluding diamonds)less than 2% of Israeli GDP, according to the Bank of Israel. In 2012, Palestinian sales to Israel accounted for about 81% of Palestinian exports and less than a percentage point of Israeli GDP. Palestinian purchases from Israel were two¬thirds of total Palestinian imports (or 27% of Palestinian GDP). Such trade flow asymmetry shows Palestine needs Israel, economically speaking. Yet the BDS crowd would impair economic ties between these areas, despite evidence that trade between peoples lessens outbreak of war. BDSers want to obliterate the vast trade surplus Israel extends to Palestine and offer nothing in its place.”

    A well¬ known case that demonstrates how BDS hurts Palestinians – rather than help – is that of SodaStream, an Israeli company that manufactures awesome soda makers. SodaStream recently closed its factory in the disputed West Bank territory and relocated it in southern Israel. This move resulted in the loss of at least 500 jobs for Palestinians who received full medical benefits and were paid between three and five times the prevailing wage available in the Palestinian territories.

    A 2014 article in the Christian Science Monitor, written before SodaStream pulled out of the West Bank, quotes multiple Palestinian workers who said they would be the losers of a successful boycott of this Israeli company. One such example is a young man who previously earned 20 shekels ($5-$6) a day plucking and cleaning chickens. He earned nearly 10 times that at SodaStream, which also provided workers breakfast and lunch, as well as transportation to and from work. He said, “Before boycotting, they should think of the workers who are going to suffer.” Another worker added, “If SodaStream closes, we would be sitting in the streets doing nothing.” The author of the article adds: “Speaking anonymously on a largely deserted street, with no Israeli SodaStream employees present, all but one of those interviewed said they opposed the boycott, given the lack of alternative job opportunities in the West Bank. That underscores Israeli claims that a boycott would be counterproductive, undermining the cooperation and prosperity that could boost peace prospects in the region.”

    In other words, the boycott of Israeli companies not only hurts Palestinians economically, but it adversely affects conditions necessary for securing a lasting peace between these two peoples. SodaStream is just one of many Israeli companies that employ Palestinians. The 23 percent rate of Palestinian unemployment (in contrast to the Israeli rate of 7 percent) has prompted 69,000 Palestinian workers to seek work in the Israeli economy, where wages are at least twice what they are in the PA economy. And unlike those who used to work for SodaStream, they often have to spend a lot of time to get to and from those jobs.

    For example, Omar Jibaret, a resident of Azzariah, spends four hours in transit every day to get to his construction job in Tel Aviv. In comparing his situation with those who, at the time, worked for SodaStream, he said, “I would love to work for SodaStream. They’re quite privileged. People look up to them.”

    But in spite of the benefits the Israeli economy provides for Palestinians, both in Israel and the Judea and Samaria, members of the BDS movement continue to push their agenda. Regardless of how this campaign directly harms its supposed beneficiaries, the promoters of BDS willfully turn a blind eye to Palestinian suffering, motivated by their intent to destroy the Jewish State.

    (Source: http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_print=1&x_context=7&x_issue=19&x_article=3339 1/7)

    • Mohamed Abd El Monem

      Hasbara Hasbara. Truth is BDS is spreading all over the world, like it or not. It also supported by non-Arabs by the way.
      #BDS forever

      • Ron Barak

        Thank you for including me in the Hasbara ranks. Alas, unlike the BDS, which receive any BDShole into its ranks (viz., your ad populum logical fallacy: other things that are “spreading all over the world” are Islamic terrorism, MacDonalds, and the Zika virus), the Hasbara organisations are more discerning.

      • Toby Kahan

        BDS is funded by ex-Hamas members / supporters as well as Qatar. Equal numbers of Jews and Arabs were displaced from 1948 to 1967, the Jews were absorbed by the Jewish state and made citizens, the Arabs were left to languish in refugee camps and used as a political tool against the Jews.
        By the way, responding “Hasbara” is actually anti-Semitic since you are basically saying that Jewish opinions expressed online all belong to some secretive Jewish conspiracy instead of being the individual opinion of people who support Israel.

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