Washington, DC (April 2) — The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and allied organizations participating in a national boycott campaign against Motorola welcomed news that Motorola Israel Ltd. has sold its Government Electronics Department, which made several products that enable Israel’s military occupation of and human rights abuses against Palestinians.
The reported sale of the Motorola Israel department occurred just two days after a globally-coordinated day of action to promote campaigns of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel and corporations that profit from its human rights abuses of Palestinians. This day of action and the growing global BDS movement were inspired by the 2005 call from Palestinian civil society for BDS campaigns targeting Israel, similar to campaigns targeting South Africa’s apartheid regime during the 1970s and 1980s.
In Brooklyn, the New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel (NYCBI) launched a city-wide boycott campaign against Motorola, and cell phones stores selling Motorola products were picketed in places such as Cambridge, MA and Santa Clara, CA. The protests called on Motorola and its fully owned subsidiary, Motorola Israel Ltd., to end their sales of bomb fuses, communication devices, and surveillance equipment to the Israeli military. Human rights activists argue that these technologies are used by the Israeli military to violate human rights and international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Human Rights Watch researchers found shrapnel with Motorola serial numbers on it at the site of bomb blasts after Israel’s recent assault on the Gaza Strip, dubbed “Operation Cast Lead.” For additional information about the case against Motorola, click here.
In February, Hampshire College divested from several companies involved in Israel’s military occupation, including Motorola. Hampshire College Students for Justice in Palestine member Bryan Van Slyke had the following response to Motorola’s recent actions: “Hampshire Students for Justice in Palestine are proud that, following the historic successful divestment campaign from the Israeli occupation at our college, another milestone has now been achieved by the global BDS movement. This proves that activists around the world can and are truly making an impact in the cause for Palestinian self-determination.”
According to Katherine Fuchs, National Organizer for the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, “Motorola is a corporation with a history of supplying products to human rights abusing regimes. Consumer pressure forced Motorola to sever its relations with the South African apartheid regime and the military junta in Burma, and we won’t stop until they do the same with Israel. The sale of Moto’s Government Electronics Department is a positive development and a sign that Motorola is being forced to respond to our boycott campaign. However, we will continue to investigate Motorola’s remaining ties with the Israeli military and illegal Israeli settlements; we will continue our campaign until we find that Motorola no longer profits from human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”
The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is a national coalition of more than 270 organizations working for a U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine and responsible consumer choices to support human rights, international law, and equality for all in Israel/Palestine. For more information about the US Campaign, please click here.