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It turns out there's another UK-based company linked to the Israeli Occupation whose name starts with EDO...
EDOM-UK are an Israeli Agricultural exporter. EDOM's Uk partners, Essex-based Valley Grown Salads and Herts-based Glinwell, were picketed today (Tuesday 22nd November) by Palestine Solidarity activists. Also targeted was Macilvin Moore Reveres, reps for bankrupt Israeli agribusiness Carmel Agrexco's new owners, Bickel. The event was promoted by the regional solidarity campaign - Brighton-Jordan Valley Solidarity.
The global campaign hold Israel to account for its crimes has stepped up a notch recently, as the wordwide Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS- please, no tittering) Movement gains momentum in the run-up to the BDS Day of Action on the 26th of November. The slogan chosen by the BDS Movement is “Take apartheid off the menu”. The Israeli fruit and veg market is much more vulnerable than most industries to a consumer boycott because it sells to supermarkets and other such fickle consumer havens. Companies that sell produce from Israel's settlements face an additional hurdle in that their trade flagrantly violates International Humanitarian Law- which explicitly prohibits an occupying power from fucking with its occupied territory. Companies that have been contacted by BDS activists have gone to strenuous links to deny their links to settlement produce.
Activists targeted the UK-Israeli fruit & veg depots to get across the message to company staff and consumers that boycotting Israel is necessary for the freedom, justice and equality for Palestinians and Israelis alike. The activists tried to deliver letters to company directors, and encourage them to divest away from companies that are complicit in profiteering and ethnic cleansing. Unsurprisingly this message didn't go down too well with the staff, who had their best goes as volunteer private security grunts, trying to manhandle the protesters out of their depots.
At Bickel UK, after delivering their letter to the director's secretary protesters got hold of his telephone number and left him an answer phone message reciting their letter. A small picket was held outside the offices with a banner, placards, a megaphone and some flyers handed out to people.
At Glinwell PLC, protesters entered the nursery after when doors opened up for a truck. The campaigners bumped into a burly henchman who grunted at them. They asked him to speak to the person in charge or the manager. The employee who came listened to the protesters by ultimately insisting he wasn't into politics even though he could understand where they were coming from. He told them that they grew all their vegetables right there and didnt have anything to with illegal settlements. Quite a few sentences later he went on to say they got peppers from Tomer settlement. To cap it all off nicely he said to the anti Occupation campaigners "I do understand where you are coming from, I'm ex-military". It was all quite amicable.
At Valley Grown Salads a protester rang the bell and when asked the reason for her visit she said 'I'm with a group from Brighton who are interested in vegetables', she got buzzed in. The protesters walked up the stairs away from the factory floor to office located upstairs. They entered and asked to spoke to the manager. After explaining who they were they got angrily asked to leave by an employee who kept asking "How do you know about EDOM? Who told you this?", the reply was "It was on your website".
The situation felt very hostile straight away, the main man speaking had adopted an attacking behaviour, kept shouting, walked around the front desk and told one of the protesters "I will push you down the stairs if you don't leave right now". Another of the employees tried to grab the camera from a campaigner. The man threatening the protester had to be constrained three of the staff there as he'd started violently pushing. He was locked in a near-by office. Eventually they were escorted off the premises with some shoves and pushes thrown in for good measure.
They didn't call the cops though, no doubt they're worried about their own illegal activities. The companies' owners have seen what happened to Carmel Agrexco, the public/private giant of the Israeli agricultural export business that went under after after repeated hits from a direct action campaign, (there was something about massive systemic corruption as well). Scrutiny of any kind is the last thing these companies want; they've been managing just fine hidden out of the public eye. But it looks like those heady days are numbered for the UK's Israel-linked firms.
Companies which trade with Israel, and Israeli companies that operate abroad are facing ever increasing scrutiny following following the recent publication of a two year long Corporate Watch investigation, entitled “Targeting Israeli Apartheid”, which exposed the business practices of companies and industries linked to Israeli state and public corporations.
In recent weeks both the Russell Tribunal on Palestine and the Palestine Freedom Rides have hammered home the message that Israel is an apartheid state in the same way as South Africa was. For years struggle the struggle in Israel-Palestine has been changing from a Palestinian national liberation movement to a struggle for Palestinian civil rights.
The boycott was the most effective tactic for grassroots international activists to embrace in apartheid South Africa, and it is the most effective tactic for activists to embrace against Israel. The group, Brighton-Jordan Valley Solidarity is taking that message to Israel-linked companies around the country.
For those who wish to discuss the implications of the global boycott of Israeli apartheid with the companies mentioned in this article, their addresses are here:
Bickel Flowers /Macilvin Moore Reveres
7 St Johns Road,
Valley Grown Salads
Sedge Green Road
St Albans, Hertfordshire
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