Dear CAF executives,
We are writing to you as a group of citizens of Israel who are concerned about your complicity in the ongoing illegal colonial policies of our government. These policies are widely seen as amounting to war crimes and the crime-against-humanity apartheid. In particular, we oppose the expansion and entrenchment of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Central to this project is the systematic dispossession of the indigenous Palestinian population.
Very recently, these Israeli policies have been cast in a much graver light. As you must know, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has recently decided, after a long process, that Israel’s actions merit an investigation into the possibility that war crimes are being committed in the course of its occupation of Palestinian territories. You must also know that the light rail line which you are involved in constructing serves to cement Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem. In doing so, you are providing Israel with crucial support for the very actions it is being investigated for. Without support from abroad by companies and other institutions Israel would not have been able to maintain its occupation.
Moreover, the Spanish government (following EU guidelines) warns companies from participating in construction projects in the occupied territories: “Citizens and EU companies should ... be aware of the potential implications for their reputation in participating in economic and financial activities in the settlements.” (1)
Furthermore, the European Court of Justice ruled in 2019 that all products originating in the occupied territory must be labelled as such, it being part of the EU’s steps towards implementing and enforcing a policy of differentiation between “Israel proper” on the one hand and the “occupied territories” on the other hand– steps that could apply to services and agreements, such as the Jerusalem light rail.
We find it odd and troubling that at this particular time CAF chooses to embark on a long project in partnership with the government of Israel. This project, which directly involves CAF in the Israeli colonial project, is a long term commitment which contradicts the stated principles of CAF. The very recent election results in Israel indicate that Israel has no intention of scaling back its settlement project. On the contrary, prospective government coalition parties are advocating the criminalisation of the work of Israeli human rights and anti-occupation NGOs and accelerating the theft of Palestinian lands. As a long-term partner of the Israeli government, CAF is not only complicit in the current Israeli violation of international law but additionally it is signed up to the next policies which the future right-wing governments will enact.
We call on you to live up to your stated principles that "any action by CAF and its members will keep scrupulous respect for laws, human rights and public liberties.” (2); to be consistent with your principles, and to adhere to the recommendation of the EU and the Spanish government as well as comply with international law. In sum, we sincerely urge you to end your cooperation with the government of Israel and cancel your participation in the construction and operation of the light rail in occupied Jerusalem.
We will gladly address your comments on this matter.
Boycott from Within
Israeli citizens for BDS
http://www.exteriores.gob.es/Portal/es/PoliticaExteriorCooperacion/OrienteProximoMagreb/Documents/MENSAJES_SOBRE_INVERSIONES_ASENTAMIENTOS_ESP.pdf cited in “EU member state business advisories on Israeli settlements” by Hugh Lovatt, from the European council on foreign relations, https://ecfr.eu/article/eu_member_state_business_advisories_on_israel_settlements/
Cited by BDS movement : https://bdsmovement.net/boycott-caf#