Palestinians call for boycott of Hyundai

Israeli authorities use a Hyundai bulldozer to destroy the home of a Palestinian citizen of Israel in the town of Lydd, 10 February 2015. The house was built with donations from relatives and neighbors, to help a single mother and her four children. It was built on family-owned land, but without a permit that is extremely difficult to obtain due to Israel’s discriminatory policies.

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Palestinians are calling for a boycott of Hyundai over the company’s failure to stop its construction equipment being used by Israel to destroy their homes and communities.

“The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Committee of Palestinian Citizens of Israel (BDS48) calls upon our Palestinian people in the homeland and the Diaspora, the peoples of the Arab world, and people of conscience worldwide to boycott and divest from Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), until it ends its involvement in Israel’s violations of our human rights, particularly in Jerusalem and the Naqab (Negev),” says an action alert released on Tuesday.

The alert calls on people around the world “to boycott Hyundai products” and urges institutions, including investment funds and churches, to divest from Hyundai shares.

Municipal bodies should exclude Hyundai from public tenders, the action alert states.

Complicity in ethnic cleansing

While Israel’s abuse of the South Korean company’s products has been documented for years, BDS48 says the campaign comes “at this particular moment in light of the extensive use of Hyundai equipment by the Israeli authorities in the recent demolitions” of many homes of Palestinian citizens of Israel in the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran in the southern Naqab region, and in the town of Qalansawa further north, last month.

Another wave of demolitions in Umm al-Hiran is expected imminently, part of Israel’s plan to destroy the community and replace it with a town for Jews, to be called “Hiran.”

In December, Israel also used Hyundai equipment to demolish a home in the occupied Golan Heights.

The BDS48 action alert, which was disseminated by the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), notes that Hyundai has been presented with evidence of its “persistent complicity in Israeli ethnic cleansing policies against Palestinians and Syrians in the territories occupied since 1967.”

But the company “has failed to stop its business-as-usual involvement,” the alert states.

Hyundai “has thus forfeited its responsibilities as stated in the UN Global Compact and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights” – standards that are supposed to promote sustainable development and halt corporate complicity in state abuses.

Tarnished brand

Until the early 2000s, Hyundai was a single group encompassing such activities as vehicle production, shipbuilding, construction, steel, finance, retail, aerospace and defense.

It was broken up into five major companies, including Hyundai Heavy Industries, which makes ships and construction equipment, and Hyundai Motor Group.

But all the companies continue to be controlled by a few members of the founding Chung family as part of a complex web of entities.

All the spin-offs trade on the goodwill of the famous Hyundai name, a brand that risks being tarnished by association with Israel’s crimes.

Consumers around the world would be most familiar with cars made by Hyundai Motor Group and its affiliate Kia.

In recent years, Hyundai has shot into the world’s top five automakers.

It is a popular brand in Middle East countries, with Saudi Arabia accounting for more than 40 percent of its regional sales.

In 2016, Hyundai saw its first dip in auto sales in almost two decades. Its workers have also staged widespread strikes over wages.

The BDS48 action alert urges Hyundai workers and the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions “to stand in solidarity with our peaceful struggle by pressuring the Hyundai management to stop the company’s complicity in Israeli violations of human rights.”

“Our campaign is not intended at all to harm the interests of the company’s workers but to protect the rights of our people as stipulated in international law,” it states.




These companies are making their money off other people blood, sweat, and tears.
Greed knows no bounds. Boycott all companies that are complicit in these crimes, they are breaking international laws.


I saw no Hyundai equipment present at the long awaited eviction of illegal settlers from the Amona outpost.No demolition of homes there while the former residents standby watching.

Nope , far too cruel to do that to Jewish folks.


It is about time the BDS movement abandoned its fantasy that Caterpillar is [exclusively] responsible for home demolitions in the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel itself. Adding Hyundai is just the first step. I have seen machines from Volvo and machines from another Korean manufacturer painted orange destroying houses. Just scanning Google images under "Israel house demolitions" shows machines from still other manufactures.
Those images are instructive because they show more Hyundai machines than other brings, with Volovo and Caterpillar a distant second and third. It always seemed dishonest that American BDS focused solely on Caterpillar when these and equivalent images have been publicaly available for over a decade.
Also, of the hundreds of images, there are only a few of a Caterpillar D-9 tractor - the machine that BDS put all its focus on.


Caterpillar had missiles on their bulldozers and they are an American company - a lot easier to target than a foreign company. The issue is results and the ability to shed a light on what's going on in Israel. It's a form of ethnic cleansing.

BDS is working - which is why so many are fighting against it. There are those that feel sanctions don't work - but a small country like Israel that has become so dependent on foreign aid, remittances and reparations can be reined in through financial means. It worked in South Africa and it will work here. Next should be lawsuits in Europe and a diverting of funds to Israel to an account held for Palestine when it has elections. Or after statehood. There will be plenty of money in it to start an airport, seaport, cultivate natural gas and water infrastructure.

I believe that we will see a Palestinian state in my lifetime. I'm in my 50s. Now's not the time to lose hope. I remember having a conversation with two South Africans about how they thought that things would never change in SA. Five years later, Nelson Mandela was president.

BDS. It works. It really does.


The orange machines that I could not remember the brand of last night are manufactured by Hitachi, a Japanese company.


It is indeed hitting them where it hurts most. Some companies have already folded because of protests. It is time all Muslim nations stopped doing business (Saudi Arabia?) with the occupier, and Muslims all over the world must organize and boycott Israeli products including produce and dates.



Wrong. If any Caterpillar D-9 bulldozers are armed with missiles, the missiles were installed by Israel. Caterpillar does not sell armed D-9s. And I have never seen a missile launcher on a D-9.

You should check the facts. Israel is not "dependent on foreign aid, remittances and reparations." Israel has a GDP per capita of $37 K, similar to France and Japan, that is based on its industry.

Comparing Israel to South Africa is comparing a well-off country to a poor country. South Africa had a GDP per capita of $6-6.5 K in the 1970s, 1980-s, and 1990s when Apartheid was ending. Sanctions had a role in ending apartheid in South Africa, but the circumstances were way more complex than you tacitly imply.

I support your idea for European lawsuits against Israel, but why not in the U.S.

Far more central to Palestinians gaining their freedom is for Palestinians to demand it. They can start by having a unified political structure and massive popular demonstrations that involve 100,000 people and go on week after week.