Central Bottling Company (CBC) is an Israeli manufacturer and distributor of soft drinks, dairy products and alcoholic beverages.
Coca-Cola profits from the occupation by working with CBC which sells its drinks in Israel. CBC has a Coca-Cola factory in Atarot illegal Israeli settlement. Israeli settlements are built on land stolen from Palestinians and are illegal under international law as they violate the Fourth Geneva Convention, which bans an occupying power from transferring its population to the area it occupies.
Currently, there are between 600,000 and 750,000 Israeli settlers living in at least 250 illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
By having it’s Israeli franchise in an illegal settlement, Coca-Cola ignores international law and profits from the illegal occupation.
FOA is calling for Coca-Cola to cut ties with CBC.
Buying from companies which work in settlements such as Coca Cola means we as consumers are turning a blind eye to the illegal occupation of Palestinian land.
Here are questions we posed in 2014 when a Coca-Cola factory was opened in Gaza. These questions are completely relevant today.
Some questions to ask Coca-Cola:
1. Where are these construction materials being purchased? We believe it’s Israel so isn’t Coca-Cola simply supporting the Israeli economy to a far greater tune than the Palestinian economy?
– Raw materials such as sugar will be purchased from Israel, thereby enriching the Israeli economy.
2. How much water is required to run the bottling plant and where will water come from?
– Palestinians in Gaza face a chronic shortage of freshwater, and rely on desalination plants. Reports from around the world show that communities living around Coca-Cola bottling plants are adversely affected by water shortages due to Coke’s demands on the water infrastructure.
– The World Bank has reported on the dire state of the water and sewage infrastructure in Gaza following Israel’s various attacks. Access to water is limited on average to 6-8 hours for 1-4 days a week for the population of Gaza.
In light of these statistics, how does Coca-Cola plan to operate its factory? And will the factory divert vital resources from Palestinian families, while drawing a profit from its products?
3. Where will the factory’ electricity supply come from?
-The only power plant in Gaza is only able to supply 30% of the population intermittently, leaving 1.2million Palestinians in darkness. Hospitals continue to run on emergency generators.
4. Will Coke be given preferential access to water and electricity, which will disadvantage Palestinian civilians and hospitals?
-The indications are that it will, and this is indicated by the passage of materials into Gaza to build the factory, while essential building materials for hospitals are barred.
5. As predicted Israel has now bombed the factory during the May 2021 bombardment on Gaza.
What guarantees has Israel provided that it won’t bomb the Coca Cola factory? Israel has a track record of destroying businesses in Gaza. Before the blockade in 2006, 3,600 factories operated in Gaza. Now, there are less than a hundred.
– Israel bombed a biscuit factory in Gaza which employed 450 people, leaving them unemployed. Can Coca Cola guarantee that its 400 workers won’t be left in a similar position?
6. Coke’s investments in the West Bank and Gaza are dwarfed by its economic activity in Israel. At present, Coca Cola is profiting from the occupation by abiding by Israel’s occupation regime.
‘If Coca-Cola is serious about investing in the Palestinian economy, it will call for a lifting of the siege on Gaza so that its operation there can really flourish and provide Palestinians with more than jobs, but with future economic prospects – as it is doing for Israel.’ said Shamiul Joarder, Head of Public Affairs at FOA.
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HP supplies software and hardware to Israel, which is used at military checkpoints, watchtowers, outposts, fortified gates and the apartheid wall. The technology provided by HP makes it possible for the occupying forces to monitor and control the Palestinian people.
HP’s Basel System is the software that is installed within the biometric sensors that are in place throughout Israeli checkpoints. Palestinians are required to pass through these biometric sensors, powered by HP, whenever they wish to travel within the West Bank.
These biometric sensors, supported by HP technology, allow occupying Israeli forces to police, track and trace the movement of Palestinians.
HP also provides Itanium servers for Israel’s Aviv System. This technology allows Israel’s Population and Immigration Authority to monitor, classify and segregate the population within occupied Palestine through the Yesha database. This compiles information on Israeli citizens within illegal settlements, allowing the apartheid Israeli state to effectively promote its two-tiered system of laws which prioritise the Jewish population over the Palestinians.
Furthermore, HP exclusively provides desktops to all branches of the Israeli military. By providing the Israeli army with the equipment to monitor the imprisonment of over two million Gazans, HP is an active accomplice in Israel’s illegal military blockade of Gaza.
In addition, HP also maintains and profits from the IT infrastructure of Israel’s prison system, which currently holds more than 4,500 political prisoners, including at least 150 children.
By providing the occupation forces with the technology that is used to monitor and regulate the movement of Palestinians, HP is supporting Israel’s brutal colonisation of Palestine.
A huge thanks to Unite the Union, the 1.2m members strong union, who are part of the campaign to oppose Hewlett Packard’s (HP) complicity in the occupation of Palestine. The union passed a resolution to stop any purchase of HP products until HP end their involvement in Palestinian human rights violations.
The #HandsoffAlAqsa campaign is about educating people about the significance of Masjid al-Aqsa as the third-holiest site in Islam, which is currently physically deteriorating under the Israeli occupation.
We want to put al-Aqsa on the global political agenda in order to protect Masjid al-Aqsa from occupation and preserve this fundamentally sacred space.
For the past six years FOA have also been running an annual event focused on the plight as well as the importance of masjid Al-Aqsa. Aqsa Week is a week full of workshops, talks and activities dedicated to this sacred sanctuary. We hope you always get involved in this important event and spread the word!