Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Palestinian BDS movement asks Gulf states to boycott firms that work on Jerusalem light rail

Light Rail bridge in West Jerusalem built by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. The bridge is part of the light rail system that is to run partly through occupied territory. Under: carriage delivered by Alstom.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in Palestine, a grouping of Palestinian civil society organisations, has turned its focus on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which is preparing to build a multi-billion dollar railway to link its six members.
The BDS campaign has called on the GCC and its member states to shun French transport giants Alstom and Veolia, both of which are involved in the construction of the Jerusalem Light Rail (JLR), an Israeli project that is expected to link the eastern and western parts of Occupied Jerusalem as well as Jewish colonies on the West Bank.

The BDS campaign has proven successful in Europe, where companies have excluded the two transport companies from tenders and divested from them, leading to a loss of $7 billion to $8 billion in opportunity cost, according to campaigners. 'Despite these important achievements in the West, no Arab state, especially in the Gulf, has to date excluded Alstom or Veolia from bidding for their public contracts,' the movement said in a press release. The two companies are facing a lawsuit in France filed by the Palestine Liberation Organisation and a French advocacy group, Association France-Palestine Solidarité for their activities in Occupied Jerusalem.

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