Infrastructure firm Veolia has sold its shares in the Jerusalem Light Rail (JLR) network—meaning it has completely ended all business in Israel.
This is a victory for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.
The JLR is designed to link illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank with the Israeli state. It is a vital part of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land.
Veolia held a 5 percent stake in CityPass, the company that owns the JLR. But according to monitor group Who Profits, Veolia sold all its shares in CityPass last month.
The sale marks the end of Veolia’s gradual withdrawal from Israel under pressure from the global BDS movement.
BDS campaigners forced at least ten councils in Britain to end waste management contracts with Veolia.
And the campaign meant that the Israeli government was unable to find an international company willing to buy Veolia’s stake in the JLR.
A Who Profits statement said, “Due to the controversy surrounding the light rail, it appeared that international companies were hesitant to take on Veolia’s role”.
The victory proves that BDS campaigns can be effective. But the pressure must be kept up.
Campaigners were set to protest at the Wales vs Israel football match in Cardiff this Sunday.
And activists are preparing protests for Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, expected visit to Britain later this month.