Not many people know about the role of IT giant HP in Israel’s grave violations of Palestinian rights and its system of military occupation, racial segregation and oppression.
Just as many companies profited from the South African Apartheid regime, HP is today profiting from Israel’s apartheid policies towards Palestinians. It supplies Israel with technology, equipment and information that is used in its ongoing violations of Palestinians’ rights.
July marked a year since Israel adopted its Jewish “nation-state” law, giving constitutional status to its apartheid policies towards Palestinian citizens of Israel. Internationally, solidarity activists marked the occasion by stepping up their struggle against Israel’s occupation and colonisation against Palestinians and against complicit corporations such as HP.
Here, BDS Australia has launched a pledge to not buy HP products and to step up information actions outside retailers where HP products are sold. We have written to the CEOs of Officeworks and JB Hi-FI, letting them know that we are organising local actions outside their stores.
We are urging people not to buy HP laptops, scanners, printers or ink cartridges.
We want Officeworks and JB Hi-Fi workers to know that they are not the target of our action. Rather, we would like them to become well-informed and join our campaign.
Both HP and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) — the successor companies to Hewlett-Packard since 2015 — have ongoing ties with Israel.
HPE provides the exclusive Itanium servers for the Aviv System of Israel’s Population and Immigration Authority. This system is the backbone of the apartheid regime that racially discriminates against Palestinians and other non-Jewish citizens of Israel.
This apartheid system is at its worst when the basic rights of Palestinian “residents” of occupied Palestinian East Jerusalem can be revoked arbitrarily.
HP provides computer hardware to the Israeli army that maintains the illegal occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
HPE also maintains the Yesha database, which compiles information on Israeli citizens in illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank. International law has condemned these as war crimes.
Both HP companies mention human rights as a core value to their work. And yet they profit from Israel’s racism and violent denial of Palestinian’s human rights.
Until HP-branded companies and subsidiaries end their ties with Israel’s crimes and commit to human rights and international law we shall continue to encourage people to boycott and divest from them.
We are seeking your help to raise awareness about HP’s role because, at the moment, very few people realise its complicity with the Israeli state.
As well as spreading the pledge and taking local actions outside retailers, we are looking for university students and staff to take up the campaign on their campuses.
We have leaflets and stickers available, and are looking for people to initiate local actions in coordination with our organisation.
[Hilmi Dabbagh is the convenor of BDS Australia. The online pledge can be found at bdsaustralia.net.au. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.]