The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement praised the EU on Wednesday for deciding not to renew a contract with the world’s largest security solutions company, because it also does business with Israel.
Group 4 Securicor (G4S), a UK-based company, has provided security services to the buildings of the European Parliament since 2008 – but lost the tender as of April 13, because it also provides security services to Jewish communities, security checkpoints and Israeli prisons at which Arab convicts from Judea and Samaria are held, according to BDS.
The BDS movement claims G4S, which has a contract with the Israeli Prison Authority since 2007, provides security systems for the Ketziot and Megiddo prisons, the Ofer prison, and the Koshon and Moskobiyyeh detention facilities, and provides equipment to Israeli security points in Judea and Samaria, as well as to private businesses in those areas.
According to claims posted on the BDS Movement website by the European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine (ECCP), a network of associations, NGOs, committees and international solidarity movements out of Belgium, 28 Members of the European Parliament issued a letter to then-EU Parliament President Jerzy Buzek, demanding that the Parliament drop its contract with G4S because of its dealings with Israel. Concurrently, ECCP hired a legal team and conducted a major campaign against G4S, in conjunction with Merton Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Waltham Forest Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, and Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods.
“The contract award notice (service contract 118611-2012) published on the EU official tenders’ website on April 13th shows that G4S hast lost its contract with the European Parliament” as a result of the campaign, according to the BDS movement website.
BDS and ECCP failed to mention during their campaign and in their letters of protest that G4S also does business in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Yemen, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan, as well as throughout Europe, in Russia, throughout Asia, in several Latin American countries, in Africa, in the US and Canada.
On Wednesday, a day they called “Palestinian Prisoners Day”, the BDS movement called for San Francisco to halt its dealings with G4S on its website.
The ECCP took the opportunity to praise Palestinians: “People of conscience across Europe are inspired by the new wave of peaceful resistance by Palestinian prisoners”.
About the Author: Malkah Fleisher is a graduate of Cardozo Law School in New York City. She is an editor/staff writer at JewishPress.com and co-hosts a weekly Israeli FM radio show. Malkah lives with her husband and two children on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
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