War on Want

Tens of thousands call for immediate ceasefire

An urgent petition signed by over 35,000 people and backed by 16 leading agencies was handed in today to Tony Blair, pressing him to call for an immediate ceasefire in the current Middle East crisis. The petition, signed following advertisements published in three national newspapers just four days ago, reflects public unease about the UK’s failure to seek an immediate ceasefire. War on Want’s Louise Richards said: “More innocent lives will be lost unless there is an immediate ceasefire. The longer violence continues the further political leaders will be from resolving not only the present crisis, but its fundamental cause, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” 

High street companies accused of complicity in Israeli war crimes

High street names such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Connex and Caterpillar are implicated in Israel’s war crimes against the Palestinian people, according to a new report on corporate complicity in the Occupation of Palestine from campaigns group War on Want. The report, Profiting from the Occupation, details the extent of the humanitarian crisis currently facing Palestinians as a result of Israel’s intensified operations against them, and examines the role which companies have played in supporting the Occupation. Corporations such as Connex, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Caterpillar, Volvo, and Daewoo are involved in business practices that help to sustain occupation. 

Profiting from the Occupation: The corporate interests fuelling conflict in Palestine

We hear little from the Palestinian Occupied Territories other than endless death, destruction, poverty and despair. While living standards plummet and the death toll rockets, it’s difficult to imagine a less likely place to make a profit. But despite the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding, and the international attention it receives, names familiar on high streets across Europe and the US are actively supporting Israel’s Occupation of Palestine through their business practices – threatening to prolong the misery of the Palestinian people for many years to come. 

Crime in the Valley: Life on the Other Side of Palestine

Beyond the barren Judean Mountain range, east from Jerusalem, lies the Jordan Valley, an area which receives almost no media coverage, despite being home to 52,000 Palestinians and accounting for 30% of West Bank territory. I am taken there by Stop the Wall campaign, in a battered mini bus with Egyptian music blaring out of the radio and the blazing heat burning our skin through the window. As we drop down from the mountains vast plantations of palm trees, citrus fruits and grape vines stretch as far as the eye can see. Every plantation is also surrounded by electrical fencing, barbed wire and “Danger” signs. 

We don't need no occupation: Roger Waters graffitis the Israeli Wall in Palestine

Roger Waters founding member, with Syd Barrett, of the super group Pink Floyd visited the West Bank city of Bethlehem on June 21, 2006. He called for an end to the on-going Israeli Occupation. Waters moved Thursday’s concert from Hayarkon Park outside Tel Aviv after discussions with Palestinian artists, as well as Israeli refuseniks, who called on him to use the gig as a platform to build solidarity with those fighting the injustices of Israeli foreign policy. 

Campaigners welcome Church divestment vote on Caterpillar

Campaigners today welcomed the Church of England’s overwhelming vote in favour of divesting its £2.2 million shares from bulldozer manufacturer Caterpillar. The vote, supported by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, sends a clear message to Caterpillar that profiting from human rights violations is not compatible with socially responsible business practice. The General Synod of the Church of England voted yesterday evening (6 February 2006) “to disinvest from companies profiting from the illegal occupation, such as Caterpillar Inc, until they change their policies”. The Church Commissioners now need to enforce the Synod’s decision. 

Church of England fails to rise to Caterpillar challenge

Anti-poverty campaign group War on Want today expressed shock and £2.2 million investment from the construction firm Caterpillar. The Church’s Ethical Investment Advisory Group (EIAG) has been examining whether its investments in Caterpillar are consistent with the Church’s ethical investment policy, which prohibits investment in arms companies. The EIAG has now rejected calls for divestment, even though Caterpillar has refused to rule out future sales of its products to the Israeli army. 

Church of England urged to follow ACC divestment recommendation on Caterpillar

The Church of England should follow the recommendation of the Anglican Consultative Council and vote to divest from companies supporting Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine during its General Synod this weekend, campaigners will say at a fringe meeting at York University on Friday (8 July). The Church of England’s Ethical Investment Advisory Group has been examining whether the £2 million of shares currently held in Caterpillar are consistent with the Church’s ethical investment policy, which prohibits investment in arms companies or companies making ‘weapons platforms’ such as naval vessels or tanks. 

Lawyers challenge EU and UK over inaction on Palestine

One year after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling that Israel’s Separation Wall is illegal, the EU and UK have failed to take the action required of them under the Geneva Conventions to ensure Israeli compliance with international humanitarian law. Lawyers acting for campaigns group War on Want will today (Monday 18 July) send letters to President Jose Manuel Barroso of the European Commission and UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw challenging them to provide evidence of any action they have taken to curtail human rights abuses against Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation. 

Mother of murdered activist launches boycott call

Cindy Corrie joined War on Want and Caterkiller activists today in delivering a simple message to John Lewis Department Store: stop selling Caterpillar products, until Caterpillar stops selling bulldozer’s to the Israeli Army. Cindy’s daughter, Rachel Corrie, was killed by a Caterpillar bulldozer while protesting against house demolitions in Occupied Palestine 2 years ago. War on Want Campaigns Officer Nick Dearden said “Caterpillar’s Chief Executive is fully aware of the uses his bulldozer’s are put to, yet he still claims that his company is ‘doing well by doing good around the world’. We think that Britain’s consumers have a right to know about the real Caterpillar…”