G4S to pull out of Israel
The private “security” conglomerate G4S has announced that they are selling off their Israeli subsidiary, and getting out of the U.S. and U.K. youth prison businesses within the next two years.
This is a huge win for the BDS movement.
Rebecca Vilkomerson of Jewish Voice for Peace says:
“The reason G4S made this decision could not be more clear: the worldwide coalition that has been putting on smart, tenacious, creative pressure for years to make it happen. I am so proud that all of us at JVP were able to play our part.”
As reported in the Financial Times,
“…the company is extracting itself from reputationally damaging work, including its entire Israeli business, which employs 8,000 people and has a turnover of £100m.”
Here’s a translation: the global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement for Palestinian human rights has enough power to force a company worth $2.8 billion to change course, and stop profiting from Israel’s human rights abuses.
This win shows the power of building coalitions in solidarity with one another based on a common principle – challenging mass incarceration and racist policing whether it is happening in the US, UK, or Israel.
It’s critical that we amplify this victory because there is still so much to do. In the words of Adv. Sahar Francis, Director of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association:
“The latest reports that G4S will sell its subsidiaries in Israel is welcome news but this has no immediate effect on those facing human rights violations inside Israel’s prisons today.”
G4S is still a reprehensible company making big money from prisons, detention centers, and mercenary armies around the world. The number of people in prisons – in Israel, the US, or the UK – is no smaller today than it was yesterday. So our job as activists for peace and human rights is to take wins like these, and use them as launching pads to our next, bigger impact.