Boycott News from Issue 115 Nov/Dec 2008
Boycott Israeli Goods Campaign Relaunch
The Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (PSC) have relaunched their Boycott Israeli Goods (BIG) Campaign.
On 9th June 2005, after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against Israel’s apartheid wall, a coalition of Palestinian civil society organisations issued a ‘Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against apartheid Israel until it complies with International Law’. BIG campaigns in line with this call. The campaign is also supported by “Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods”, an organisation of British and Israeli Jews resident in the UK.
The PSC wrote to all the major UK supermarkets in September calling on them to boycott goods labelled as produce of Israel or West Bank. According to the PSC, dates which are labelled ‘Produce of Israel’ are actually grown in the Jordan Valley area of the occupied West Bank of Palestine. Some supermarkets have recently changed their labelling policy to display country of origin as “West Bank” – suggesting they are the produce of Palestinian farmers. In reality this is more likely to mean produce from illegal Israeli settlements in West Bank.
While thousands of Palestinians are employed in Israeli settlements, they are compelled to work for the settlements because of the complete strangulation of Palestinian agriculture by the Occupation. They are often working on land which has been forcibly taken from their own communities. According to the PSC, Palestinian workers may be paid as little £4 a day, have no contracts, sick pay, holiday pay, or rights to unionise.
Kim Howells the UK Minister responsible for relations with Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, has stated that it “is essential to [ensure] that customers can make an informed choice between Palestinian produce and produce from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law”.
The PSC urge consumers who wish to support Palestinian farmers to buy from Zaytoun (Tel: 0845 345 4887), an ethical business established to support marginalized farming communities in Palestine.
Boycott Israeli Goods Campaign, Box BM PSA, London WC1N 3XX. Tel: 020 7700 6192
Burma Campaign UK launches Insurance Campaign
Two major insurers, XL and Chubb, are pulling out of Burma following the publication of the Burma Campaign UK report, 'Insuring Repression'. The report highlights how insurance companies have facilitated the flow of billions of dollars to the Burmese regime.
Insurance is vital for the companies that invest in Burma. The report launches a new campaign aiming to make it more difficult for companies to insure their operations in Burma and increase pressure on the regime to negotiate with Burma’s democracy movement.
“We know that at least two other members of the Lloyd’s (underwriters) market are involved with Burma,” said Johnny Chatterton of BCUK. “Lloyd’s is increasingly isolated and is seeing its reputation damaged as more and more insurers take an ethical stance”.
Insurers that have taken the decision not to provide insurance to companies in Burma includes AIG, ALLIANZ, AON, AVIVA,AXA, ING, Munich Re, SCOR, Swiss Re, and Willis.
The report is available online or by calling 0207 324 4714.
Boycott Herbal Essences
According to Uncaged’s new campaign, Herbal Essences “have massacred more than a thousand pregnant animals and their offspring to test a common chemical ingredient already known to be safe to humans”.
Order a free information pack about the Boycott Herbal Essences campaign and get a 10% discount voucher for cruelty-free Lush products from www.hurtfulessences.org. Or call Uncaged on 0114 2722220.
You can also sign an online petition to pledge to boycott Herbal Essences until the manufacturer, Procter and Gamble, ends all animal tests for cosmetics and toiletries.
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