Amjad Samhan
Al-Arabiya (Analysis)
November 15, 2011 - 1:00am

Dozens of Palestinian and Israeli activists are gearing up for the launch on Tuesday of a campaign against transportation companies that serve settlements in the West Bank in protest of the continuation of the occupation and the construction of more units in the Occupied Territories.

The campaign aims at obstructing means of transportation affiliated to Egged and Veolia, two Israeli public transportation companies that transfer Jewish settlers from the West Bank to East Jerusalem and Israel.
Those two companies, according to the organizers of the campaign, earn money from the occupation and therefore their sources of income are illegitimate and violate international law.

“The campaign aims at obstructing the Israeli transportation system that takes part in violating human rights through serving illegal settlements and also inflicting severe financial losses on Israel which earns money at the expense of our people and our land,” one of the organizers of the campaign, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Al Arabiya.

The activist added that campaign aims at highlighting the discrimination practiced against Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.

“We are not allowed to use public transportations and to exercise the right to freedom of movement in our own land.”

He explained that Egged is violating a recent contract it signed with the Netherlands and which prohibits the company from banning anyone from using its buses.

“The contract was for 10 million dollars and by exposing the company’s violation of it, it is going to sustain lots of losses,” the activist said.

This initiative, he added, was inspired by the peaceful resistance by African-Americans in the United States which was called Riding for Freedom and was launched on November 15, 1959.

“We are already coordinating with anti-discrimination associations in the United States with the aim of exposing the Israeli apartheid in front of Americans who know the price Blacks paid in order to gain their freedom and the rights granted to them by international laws.”

Several youth groups in the Palestinian territories have been recently involved in several peaceful resistance campaigns that aim at inflicting financial losses upon the Israeli occupation.

One of those campaigns is called Boycotts, Divestments, and Sanction (BDS) which calls for international boycotting of Israel and the companies that support its persecution of Palestinians. BDS was launched in 2005 by Palestinian and foreign associations.

Another campaign that also focuses on the financial dimension is called Bader, Arabic for “make an initiative,” and calls for the boycott of all Israeli commodities in Palestinian markets.

Palestinian MP Mustafa al-Barghouthi, who is also one of the organizers of Bader, stressed the necessity of inflicting losses on the Israeli occupation.
“After all ways of resistance and negotiation failed, it is now time for comprehensive boycotting and civil disobedience.”

Barghouthi pointed out that the Palestinian market is the second biggest for the Israeli economy and that is why if Palestinians boycott Israeli products, Israel is bound to lose hefty amounts of money.

“The Israeli economy gains around 3.5 billion dollars from Palestinian markets.”


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