French telecommunications company Orange has announced the termination of its franchise with Israeli company Partner Communications. The move confirms another Boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) victory.
The company Partner provided telecommunications support, subscription fee waivers and entertainment services to Israeli soldiers during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014. From 2010 dozens of campaigners in France and across the Middle East organised a mass boycott of Orange highlighting the companies complicity in the occupation. After 6 years of protest actions, petitions, lobbying and through a number of media publications activists were able to successfully put pressure on Orange.
Guman Mussa, the Arab World campaigns officer with the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), said: “This news is a significant success for the BDS movement and shows that international companies and investors are waking up to the fact that being linked to Israel’s regime of colonisation, occupation and apartheid is bad for business…We congratulate and thank all of the activists and organisations involved in this inspiring 6 year international campaign…Pressure shall continue until the termination agreement is fully implemented and we further urge Orange to end its complicity with Israeli violations of international law as quickly as is feasible.”
Veolia is another French company, which after mounting pressure by BDS groups ended all its illegal operations in Israel in 2015. The French companies Orange and Veolia marks a growing BDS victory in companies choosing not to be apart of Israel’s illegal occupation and colonisation of Palestinian lands.