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Campaign for the Boycott of Israeli products

10.08.2009

LALIT sent a letter to Mr Surat, calling him to stop importing fruits from Israel.This initiative forms part of a worldwide campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) for Palestine against Israel.


30-June-2009
SKC Surat & Co Ltd
B6 Road, Curepipe, Mauritius
Phone: 670-6700

Dear Sir,

We are writing you this letter with reference to your company import of fruits from Israel.

We wish to inform you that there is a worldwide campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) for Palestine against Israel. The BDS campaign is calling on people of conscience around the world struggling
against all forms of oppression to boycott Israel and divest from it and from companies profiting from its oppression until Israel fully abides by its obligations under international law and recognizes the inalienable
rights of Palestinians to their land. This campaign is building up and is gaining mounting support throughout the world. The boycott campaign in Mauritius on fruits from Israel represents our active support to groups in Palestine and in Israel engaged in resistance actions to put an end to Israel 40-year illegal military occupation and 60-year colonisation of Palestine. By your company importing fruits from Israel you are directly helping to perpetuate gross violations of human rights upon Palestinians. So we urgently request you to reconsider
your commercial ties with Israel. Commercial and business ties with Israel mean support for persistent abuse of basic human rights by the state of Israel.

We draw your attention that there are also fruits produced on Israel`s illegal settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. These fruits are labeled "Made in Israel" in contravention of excise and customs regulations. These settlements have been built on land expropriated from the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. Not only are they illegal under international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, but their existence and
continuing expansion, a symbol of the ongoing occupation, has been identified as a major obstacle to peace at this sensitive time. International positions make it clear that settlements are not part of Israel, and therefore are not covered by any trade agreement. By importing fruits directly or through intermediaries, your company is in effect assisting illegal settlement expansion through subsidising the settler economy.

The time for the world to fully adopt and implement the Palestinian call for boycotts, divestment and sanctions has become an urgent part of every struggle for justice and humanity. LALIT in 2006 and December 2008 has called on the government of Mauritius to freeze its diplomatic relations with Israel and to initiate boycott of Israeli products. In December 2008 during the massive attack against Gaza, the government of Mauritius did freeze relations with Israel representative in Mauritius. Call for boycott,
divestment and sanctions must be sustained until Israel provides free access to Gaza, dismantles the Apartheid Wall and ends its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands; until it recognizes the right of the Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and respects, protects and promotes the rights of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties.

We look forward to receiving your assurances that you will no longer be supporting Israeli apartheid and you will be finding suitable replacements for fruits you are importing from Israel. Failing this, we will have no alternative but to boycott fruits from Israel, and encourage others to do so.

We are attaching three recent cases showing how activist boycott campaigns in France, Ireland, Sweden and Belgium have urged companies and supermarkets to reconsider their ties with Israel.

Yours faithfully,



Ragini Kisnasamy, Alain Ah-Vee
for LALIT


Ireland - March 2009
The decision to pass off the Israeli fruit as Cypriot appears to have come after a widespread boycott of Israeli goods in the aftermath of Israel`s invasion into Gaza in December. Since then, shoppers across Ireland especially, have been turning their backs on Israeli products such as fruit, vegetables and electronics. Reports in the Israeli press this week said some 20 per cent of the country`s exports had been affected by the boycott.

France - June 2009
A European corporation scrapped a railway project that was to be built on occupied Palestinian territory to link Israeli settlers after a global boycott campaign succeeded in mounting enough pressure on the company to cost it considerable losses.
From Haaretz http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1091186.html
"The light rail projects for Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are both facing difficulties. In a body-blow to the future Jerusalem light rail, the French company Veolia, which was supposed to run the train system after its construction, is abandoning the project...

Two months ago a French court heard a lawsuit by a pro-Palestinian group, demanding that the light rail project be halted. The organization based itself on an article in French law that allows the court to void business agreements, signed by French companies, that violate international law.
The political pressure on Veolia has been mounting in another direction. According to various reports abroad, the French firm had been losing major projects in Europe because of its involvement in the Jerusalem job. Observers claim that`s the real reason Veolia opted out."

You may also be interested to know that Veolia lost the contract to operate the city of Stockholm subway and an urban network in Bordeaux. Although these were reportedly "business decisions" there were also results
of activist boycott campaigns in both Sweden and France. The Galway city council in Ireland decided to follow Stockholm`s example. The "Derail Veolia" campaign has been the movement`s biggest success to date. Veolia and its subsidiaries are estimated to have lost as much as $7.5 billion.

Connex, the company that is supposed to operate the light rail, is being targeted by Australian activists.

Belgium - June 2009
Dexia Israel stops financing Israeli settlements The Belgian-French financial group Dexia has announced it will no longer finance Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories through its Israeli branch Dexia Israel. This is the result of a months-long campaign in Belgium, supported by NGO`s, political parties, local authorities, trade unions and other organisations. Dexia`s management states that financing Israeli settlements is indeed against the bank`s code of ethics and it will stop giving loans due to this.

The Israeli barcode starts with 729. Products with barcode 729 denote Israeli origin.