Dubai: A pressure campaign targeted at Gulf states was launched in Occupied Jerusalem on Monday by a coalition of 170 Palestinian organisations urging Arab states to boycott companies complicit in Israel's expansion in the holy city.
In a rare public pressure campaign, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in Palestine, a grouping of Palestinian civil society organisations, has turned its focus on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which is preparing to build a multi-billion dollar railway to link its six members.
The BDS campaign has called on the GCC and its member states to shun French transport giants Alstom and Veolia, both of which are involved in the construction of the Jerusalem Light Rail (JLR), an Israeli project that is expected to link the eastern and western parts of Occupied Jerusalem as well as Jewish colonies on the West Bank.
Critics say the JLR will hinder Palestinian aspirations to have occupied East Jerusalem as a capital of a future Palestinian state.
The BDS campaign has proven successful in Europe, where companies have excluded the two transport companies from tenders and divested from them, leading to a loss of $7 billion (Dh25.69 billion) to $8 billion in opportunity cost, according to campaigners.
"Despite these important achievements in the West, no Arab state, especially in the Gulf, has to date excluded Alstom or Veolia from bidding for their public contracts," read a press release issued by the movement yesterday.
The two companies are now facing a lawsuit in France filed by Palestine Liberation Organisation and French advocacy group Association France-Palestine Solidarité for their activities in Occupied Jerusalem.
Now instead of the silly anti-normalization campaign in Egypt, kept alive by dinosaurs over non-issues, let's see a national movement against selling gas to Israel and joining the BDS strategy.