Socialist Worker

Veolia withdrawal in Jerusalem marks victory for campaign

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2469

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.

Join the protest in Cardiff on Sunday 6 September at 2pm with a march from the City Hall to Cardiff City Stadium. There will be a rally until kick-off at 5pm. For more details and information about transport go to palestinecampaign.org/events/cardiffrally and rcir.org.uk

If you enjoy Socialist Worker, please consider giving to our annual appeal to make sure we can maintain and develop our online and print versions of Socialist Worker. Go here for details and to donate.

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.