HP, Motorola, and Veolia: 3 Companies Profiteering in Israel-Palestine

Sometimes, when there’s seemingly no solution in sight, we need to step back and look at the facts. The American discourse on the Israeli occupation of Palestine necessitates this approach. 

So, let’s get a couple things perfectly clear: 1) The Israeli government no longer profits financially from their occupation of Palestine; and 2) There are a bunch of companies from all over the world that do profit. You should know who these companies are. Here are three:

Veolia is a French multinational company that runs transportation and waste management services. They profit from the Israeli occupation of Palestine because they run Israeli-only buses throughout the West Bank. In 2004, the International Court of Justice found that the Israeli settlements on Palestinian land were illegal per Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which states an Occupying Power cannot transfer its own civilians into the Occupied territories. It is Veolia’s Israeli-only buses that transfer Israeli civilians from the illegal settlements back and forth to Israel. So, Veolia profits from activity that breaks international law. Also, Veolia plans to operate a light rail connecting the illegal settlements to Israel, which would be a financial boon for Veolia, but a devastating breach of international law for the region.

Motorola Solutions is an American company that produces data and telecommunications equipment. They, too, profit from the Israeli occupation of Palestine. They make motion detector equipment to protect the illegal Israeli settlements. This has two consequences: 1) It makes Motorola a very profitable company; and 2) It restricts Palestinians freedom of movement. This system is installed in over 20 illegal Israeli settlements and is also used to defend the Separation Wall in the West Bank. In 2004, the International Court of Justice also ruled that the Separation Wall was illegal because it prevented Palestinians from their human right to self-determination, which is detailed in Resolution 2625 of the UN General Assembly. Like Veolia, Motorola Solutions profits from these flagrant breaches of international law.

Hewlett Packard is an American company that produces computer products and provides IT services. HP provides IT services to the illegal Israeli settlements. They also run the identity check data that the Israeli army collects at checkpoints, places where people passing from Palestine to Israel are screened. HP helps implement and troubleshoot the Israeli system of collecting and analyzing biometric data at these checkpoints. Again, there are the same two consequences: HP makes money, and the Palestinians’ right to freedom of movement and self-determination gets abused.   

Tell your friends. Tell your family. Share your opinions. Personally, I find this deplorable. Foreign companies should not profiteer in conflict areas by breaking international law; it may be a financial boon, but it’s morally bankrupt.

Photo Credit: No Lands Too Foreign

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Jeff Mendelman

I am interested in many political issues. I have been active in rebuilding the Gulf Coast post-Katrina, most recently as a Teach for America Corps Member. I am also very interested in the potential of nonviolent freedom movements, especially the possibility for such in the Israel/Palestine conflict.

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