New Internationalist

BT – Disconnect now!

A new campaign is launched today urging British Telecommunications to end its partnership with Israeli company Bezeq International, whose parent company supplies phone services to illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The following letter appeared in the Guardian newspaper:

As BT announces its half-year profits, we call on the company to end its complicity in the illegal occupation of Palestinian land and cut its partnership with Israeli telecommunications firm Bezeq International. BT has allowed Bezeq International to join its exclusive alliance programme, affording preferential access to BT’s products and services. Bezeq provides telecommunication services to Israel‘s illegal settlements, which are widely condemned as obstacles to peace (Report, 10 November). By allowing Bezeq into the alliance programme, BT is supporting the infrastructure which enables illegal Israeli settlements to exist. BT will remain complicit in Israel’s breaches of international law unless it cuts all ties with Bezeq International immediately.

John Hilary, War on Want
Rev Canon Garth Hewitt, Amos trust
Hugh Lanning, Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Diana Nelsen, Jews for Justice for Palestinians
Ken Loach
Mark Thomas

Full details are available on the Disconnect Now website, but in summary, the campaign states:

In January 2010, BT welcomed Israeli company Bezeq International into its Global Alliance.

Bezeq International is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bezeq, which provides telecommunication services to illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

BT claims to conduct its business according to high ethical standards, placing a commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility – as well as respect for human rights – at the heart of what it does.

The settlements are not just illegal under international law – they violate the human rights of Palestinians living under military occupation. Settlements are also an obstacle to a just peace.

A Just Peace for Palestine with War on Want, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, and Palestine Solidarity Campaign are calling for BT to sever its ties with Bezeq International and end its complicity in severe breaches of international law and the violation of human rights.

BT – disconnect from occupation!

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About the author

Jo Lateu a New Internationalist contributor

Having joined New Internationalist in 1998 as distribution manager, Jo moved into the editorial team in 2008, where she tries to keep her colleagues in order. Failing that, she edits, proofs and commissions pieces for the magazine and website and waters the plants when she remembers.

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