Veolia withdraws bid for North London waste contract under boycott pressure

Israel/Palestine
on 21 Comments
20121221 062324 pm
No 2 Veolia Action Group (No2VAG) celebrate a huge victory. London Dec.21, 2012 (photo:No2VAG)

During the last 2 years, a great campaign by the No to Veolia Action Group (NO2VAG) has worked hard in pressuring councilors to exclude Veolia from a £4.7 Billion contracts in north London. They have also submitted letters to North London Waste Authority (NLWA) documenting the illegal actions this Israeli profiteer has been committing and collected a petition signed by several thousand local people against selection of the company.

Less than 2 months ago, Veolia failed to win Canterbury Council’s 40 Million GBP contract after facing determined opposition from the local community, including Palestinian rights campaigners, over its complicity with illegal activity in Jerusalem and the West Bank.


In an announcement published 21st Dec, the NLWA confirmed Veolia Environmental Services had withdrawn its attempt to submit final tenders for both NLWA’s waste services and fuel use contracts. Veolia had been shortlisted for both contracts.

The news came after increasing resistance to the bid by No2VAG, headed by Yael Kahn who said,

“As the chair of Islington Friends of Yibna (IFY) my focus is on occupied Gaza, especially Rafah where Yibna refugee camp is. So when I found out that Veolia was bidding for contracts in north London, which includes Islington, I was reluctant to get involved. This is because the reason so many are outraged about Veolia is the infrastructure it builds in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank. But my dilemma became more personal when there was no sign of a campaign building up. I could not envisage that my own home borough, Islington, would become complicit with the company that facilitates the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. I took further encouragement when Palestinians from Gaza stated that in spite of the siege and the Israeli bombardments, it was important for them that Veolia was blocked.
“Veolia got the message that this campaign was too strong for it to ignore and made it impossible for it to win the colossal £4.7 Billion contracts in north London. We won. Veolia pulled out. This is the biggest victory yet against Veolia and I’m so pleased we succeeded in blocking it in north London. We have received a notification that Veolia Environmental Services will not be submitting final tenders for either NLWA’s waste services or fuel use contracts. Now, Veolia dumps itself from NLWA contract bids.”

I spoke with Yael Kahn and asked her if there was proof that the campaign is what led to Veolia pulling out the bid. Kahn responded “We have been informed by a few councillors from across the 7 north London boroughs that it was our campaign that drove the latest changes in the NLWA plans and Veolia’s withdrawal. We always believed that Veolia was desperate to avoid any publicity that would expose its complicity with the Israeli violations of international law and that is exactly what had occurred in the last few weeks. There is no doubt in my mind that this was one of the key reasons it withdrew, as well as our campaign exposing the technical shortfalls of its solutions.”

In response to this same question of proof No2VAG spokesperson Caroline Day responded by email: “It is significant that Veolia will not provide any reasons for their withdrawal. If the withdrawal had been for legitimate reasons, the company would have immediately made such a justification of its costly abandonment of the lucrative contract. Moreover, it has been clear throughout the campaign, especially during the suppression of the deputation, that the company and its Zionist supporters wish to avoid public scrutiny of its bad business in the illegal settlements.The fact that the campaign had recently attained such wide coverage, support from the UN Special Rapporteur on Palestine and charity War on Want and had revealed damaging information to the public, all suggests that Veolia was keen to limit the damage further scrutiny that the No2VAG would have brought to bear in the coming months”

Update: I have just received this message from Yael Kahn who confirmed that Councillors told Irfan Akhtar of Waltham Forest Council of Mosques that it was No2VAG campaign that did it, Yael Kahn just forwarded along an email, Akhtar writes: “I have been getting phone calls from WF councillors congratulating me on a successful campaign. One senior Cllr said our efforts exposing Veolia did the job and the momentum against it was all too evident – the petitions, the first deputation, the media coverage in multiple boroughs and off course the international angle supplied by the UN – I was actually looking forward to the next few months!”
 

Why Veolia?

In a letter sent to the NLWA from the Coalition of Women for Peace in Occupied Palestine, “Veolia Environment and its subsidiaries are involved in violations of international law and human rights and have a record of discriminatory practices… Civil society organizations have been campaigning to encourage Veolia to cease from these practices… and its blatant disregard of ethical guidelines and international standards of social corporate responsibility.”

The letter outlined many unethical activities by Veolia, such as its involvement in the construction of the Jerusalem Light Rail which has been designed to connect the illegal settlements built on East Jerusalem with the Israeli territory of West Jerusalem. This violates International Humanitarian Law and the fourth Geneva Convention, article 49, regarding the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. This is not the end of Veolia’s deep complicity with Israeli settlement activity since the company also operates bus services to illegal settlements as well as dump waste on Occupied Land at the Tovlan landfill.

Veolia also published a racist classified advertisement for drivers that specified “completion of military service” and Hebrew as a mother tongue. It also announced that it would operate “kosher” train routes – segregated sitting areas for men (in the front of the train) and for women (in the back of the train).

No2VAG

Kahn continued, “After this seismic loss of contracts we expect Veolia to finally realise that complicity with the Israeli war crimes is not only unethical, but is extremely expensive.” Veolia has not commented yet. In a report by Marcus Dysch published in The Jewish Chronicle Online, “Veolia has given no reason for the withdrawal, which was announced on Friday, and a spokesman said the company would not comment.”

I asked Yael about her feelings, “I am ecstatic knowing that this biggest campaign against Veolia was won.” But did you think that you’d win the battle? I asked, “I never entertained the thought of not winning – this fight was simply too important.”

Caroline Day, the spokeswoman for No2VAG said, “This is a huge victory for local democracy. Powerful lobbies representing unethical interests in the illegal settlements may have won a short-term victory in silencing me*, but in standing up for their right to see their money invested ethically; local people have achieved a victory for justice for the Palestinian people. Companies are becoming increasingly aware that being complicit in Israeli war crimes is bad business.”

In my email exchange with Day, she added:  “We are delighted that justice has prevailed and Veolia has withdrawn from the procurement process in north London. Despite apologists for the Israeli settlements in my own borough management to stop me from making criticisms of the company and silence reference to its complicity in violations of international law, our strong collective local voice was, in the end, too loud for them to ignore.”

Engineer Rob Langlands and secretary of No2VAG said, “North London residents want an environmentally responsible and cost effective solution to waste disposal. The Veolia technical proposals were not on track to provide this. I am especially delighted, because of the ongoing Veolia involvement in the illegal Israeli settlements, that the Veolia bids have now been consigned to the rubbish bin.”

Maseeh Walehdy, one of the No2VAG campaigners expressed his happiness at the news, “Today’s announcement that Veolia have pulled out of the bidding for a multi-billion pound contract goes to show that no matter how big the corporation, a small group of people who truly believe in a cause will be your downfall. We spent months chasing after councilors and committee members to explain to them Veolia’s complicity in occupied Palestine and I guess sheer dedication does pay off.”

Fenya Fischler a student at SOAS in London also involved in a campaign to block Veolia in Colchester told me “I think the decision today is fantastic news and it shows in a true sense how dedicated sustained grassroots activism can achieve real tangible results. I’m very glad to have followed the campaign for a couple of months and it is clear that it is part of a growing movement, including BDS, that we’re seeing at the moment, showing genuine practical solidarity with Palestinians and condemning the continued Israeli occupation.”

Izzat Ismail, a student at UCL and an activist who supported the No2VAG campaign said after the success, “Surely Veolia’s withdrawal is the result of an intense campaign and strong opposition from No2VAG campaigners exposing Veolia’s grave misconduct in the illegal Israeli settlements, its poor safety record and its financial incapabilities. Not to mention that Veolia’s technical proposal is even worse for the environment and is not a cost effective solution for North Londoners. The fact that Veolia was shortlisted in the final stage has tarnished the image of the NLWA as a public body that itself is obliged to ensure the procurement process complies with the 2006 Public Contract Regulations. Veolia is a parasite and never welcome in North London, I’m glad that Veolia realized this fact!”

Update: Irfan Akhtar of Waltham Forest Council of Mosques: “It was inspiring and at times shocking to realise the amount of sleep Yael was getting by on! We at the WF council of mosques came on late in this campaign but are proud to work with such Stellar campaigners and be part of such a massive victor”

Difficulties

“As a group IFY decided to support the campaign to block Veolia on the grounds that fighting any of the Israeli war crimes would help in the fight against its crimes against Gaza. IFY then paid for the first legal work for No2VAG. While the Authority we were fighting, NLWA, refused to take into account the legal representations, it helped our understanding of the law and gave us the tools to challenge the NLWA.” Yael stated.

“This campaign was my hardest in 40 years of activism. The obstacles were from all directions. The Authority used every trick and was assisted by councillors’ indifference and media that was silent for a long time. As was exposed in the last few weeks, paid Israeli propagandists were lobbying against us from within, such as a councilor in one of the 7 boroughs, Luke Akehurst, who is employed by BICOM (Britain Israel Communications Research Centre) as the director of ‘We Believe in Israel’. But the hardest were those who were supposed to assist the campaign but failed us abysmally.”

More Contracts to Be Blocked!

Due to companies like Veolia, Palestinians suffer a severe humanitarian impact including house demolition, murders and injuries and restriction of movement by Israel. The existence and extension of Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank are illegitimate, making Veolia an inappropriate partner for any public institution. As Palestinians facing a brutal and illegal occupation, local authorities and institutions are urged to follow the model set by public authorities and European banks that have chosen to disassociate themselves from Veolia and not to award it any public service contracts. Such action would contribute to upholding the rule of law and advancing justice and fairness for Palestinians.

Yael’s message to the whole world was, “Now that we won a victory in most difficult circumstances I hope no one would give up without a sustained and focused fight against companies like Veolia – even when it looks impossible we can win and we shall.”

A Word from Gaza

In Gaza, people thank all who joined the campaign. Thank you for your support and dedication. This is a major blow to companies that profit from war and apartheid and now they have finally seen that there are repercussions and there always will be.
Hanan Abunasser, a BDS activist from Gaza, in response to my question on her feeling as a Gazan after this extraordinary success No2VAG has achieved, said “All the companies that are complicit with the Israeli occupation in a direct or indirect way should realize that this is not only immoral, but it costs a lot.”

What I can see now is people around me in Gaza are jubilant and proud of the activists who are playing a great role to help and support us in Palestine. Today’s success further shows that there are strong and renowned international solidarity movements calling for justice.

*[Ed note: Read Hackney Mayor backs Conservative bid to block anti-Veolia deputation for background]

About Malaka Mohammed

Malaka Mohammed, 22, is a Palestinian freelance writer living in Gaza. Follow her on Twitter @MalakaMohammed and on her blog at malaka383.wordpress.com.

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21 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    December 23, 2012, 1:47 pm

    It is notorious that FOI are “big” in UK’s national governance. This news suggests a split between UK national politics (where protection of Israel and its war criminals, for example, is normal) and UK local politics, where VEOLIA has just been thrown over. Just what recent “noises of disapproval” from UK of the proposed E-1 settlement building may mean — at the national level — remains to be seen.

  2. Annie Robbins
    December 23, 2012, 1:56 pm

    this is a fantastic victory for the bds campaign. it’s been a great week. first we heard about st louis link to mondoweiss.net
    and later that same day africa! link to mondoweiss.net and now:

    North London/No2VAG victory over Veolia on the 21st!!!!!

    just amazing. and thank you so much malaka for following these developments so closely, being in contact with everyone, and pulling this fabulous article together for us.

  3. Annie Robbins
    December 23, 2012, 2:26 pm

    we just added 2 updates to the story. emails flying!

  4. Annie Robbins
    December 23, 2012, 2:35 pm

    and i recommend everyone read the link at the bottom, and the Caroline Day embed for a fuller understanding of the complexities No2VAG’s victory over the lobby (BICON, UK Lawyers for Israel). they went up against a juggernaut of power and they won hands down!

  5. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    December 23, 2012, 3:26 pm

    After years of little progress – at least on the surface – BDS now seems to be snowballing. Exactly the same process happened with the boycotting of Apartheid South Africa. After years of being told they were fighting a hopeless case, momentum became unstoppable. Let’s hope the same will happen here.

  6. DICKERSON3870
    December 23, 2012, 4:33 pm

    RE: “Caroline Day, the spokeswoman for No2VAG said, “This is a huge victory for local democracy. Powerful lobbies representing unethical interests in the illegal settlements may have won a short-term victory in silencing me* . . .
    *[Ed note: Read Hackney Mayor backs Conservative bid to block anti-Veolia deputation for background]

    ARTICLE: “Hackney Mayor backs Conservative bid to block anti-Veolia deputation” , by Adam Barnett, Hackney Citizen, 11/29/12

    [EXCERPTS] A resident was prevented from speaking at a full meeting of Hackney Council last week by a cross party motion seconded by Mayor Jules Pipe, amid a dispute over plans to award waste contracts to a controversial multinational company.
    Caroline Day had hoped to speak to Hackney Council to put the case that the North London Waste Authority should refrain from working with Veolia, a French company which campaigners say is complicit in Israeli violations of international law in the West Bank and Gaza. . .
    . . . However, a blocking motion was proposed at the full council meeting by a former Labour councillor who defected to the Conservatives last year.
    Conservative councillor Linda Kelly’s motion, which proposed that the deputation should be not be heard, received cross-party support from Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative councillors and was passed with only two (Labour) abstentions. . .
    . . . In a further twist, the motion to block Ms Day’s deputation was drafted with the assistance of an organisation called UK Lawyers for Israel, which Councillor Kelly contacted for assistance. David Lewis, Secretary and Treasurer for UKLI, said: “I helped Linda Kelly in the drafting of the motion.”
    “We didn’t want the deputation to be heard by the council if we could find a way of preventing it,” he said. “We are there to defend Israel
    against demonisation and consider the No2Veolia campaign as part of the demonisation exercise.”
    Ms Day accused the council of being “vastly hypocritical” for rejecting the deputation while accepting “secret lobbying” by people who “work for the interests of Israel in the UK.” . . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to hackneycitizen.co.uk

    • DICKERSON3870
      December 23, 2012, 4:46 pm

      P.S. A COMMENT MADE IN RESPONSE TO THE ABOVE ARTICLE:

      #6 – Bob Dobbs on November 30th, 2012 at 11:54 am:
      The involvement of UKFLI in this affair was only revealed after Jonathon Hoffman Co-Vice Chair of the Zionist Federation (whom Linda Kelly is a supporter of) carelessly mentioned it in his JC blog – and it was subsequently exposed at the occupy news network. Although Kelly etc are now admitting their involvement with UKFLI, presumably no-one would otherwise have known except for this exposure.
      ARTICLE – link to occupynewsnetwork.co.uk

      • Linda Kelly: “They are solicitors of integrity, who work tirelessly free of charge to tell the truth and always look at both sides of the debate.”

      • UKFLI: “We are there to defend Israel against demonisation”

      I’m sure Hackney residents can draw their own conclusions about UKFLI’s reliability as “truth-tellers”.

      • Linda Kelly: “If you’re going to bring a motion on foreign policy you don’t take it to the council, you take it to your MP, ” Cllr Kelly said. “You don’t bring a deputation founded on lies.”

      Hackney residents can read the deputation for them selves here and make their own minds up if it is founded on lies or not (it covers health and safety, financial and environmental concerns about Veolia – as well as their complicity in violations of international law). – link to occupynewsnetwork.co.uk

      SOURCE – link to hackneycitizen.co.uk

    • DICKERSON3870
      December 23, 2012, 4:55 pm

      RE: “Powerful lobbies representing unethical interests
      in the illegal settlements may have won a short-term victory in silencing me . . .”
      ~ Caroline Day

      SEE THIS VIDEO (48:27) – Dispatches: Inside Britain’s Israel Lobby [from the UK's 'Channel 4'] (Full Version) Rating: 3.9/5

      November 16 2009 – Dispatches investigates one of the most powerful and influential political lobbies in Britain, which is working in support of the interests of the State of Israel.
      Despite wielding great influence among the highest realms of British politics and media, little is known about the individuals and groups which collectively are known as the pro-Israel lobby.
      Political commentator Peter Oborne sets out to establish who they are, how they are funded, how they work and what influence they have, from the key groups to the wealthy individuals who help bankroll the lobbying.
      He investigates how accountable, transparent and open to scrutiny the lobby is, particularly in regard to its funding and financial support of MPs.
      The pro-Israel lobby aims to shape the debate about Britain’s relationship with Israel and future foreign policies relating to it.
      Oborne examines how the lobby operates from within parliament and the tactics it employs behind the scenes when engaging with print and broadcast media.

      ● LINK TO VIDEO – link to undergrounddocumentaries.com

      ● ALSO ON YouTube – link to youtube.com

      ● AND HERE – link to niqnaq.wordpress.com

    • DICKERSON3870
      December 23, 2012, 5:13 pm

      RE: “. . . In a further twist, the motion to block Ms Day’s deputation [her speaking before the council] was drafted with the assistance of an organisation called UK Lawyers for Israel, which Councillor Kelly contacted for assistance. David Lewis, Secretary and Treasurer for UKLI, said: “I helped Linda Kelly in the drafting of the motion.”
      “We didn’t want the deputation to be heard by the council if we could find a way of preventing it,” he said. “We are there to defend Israel . . .”
      ~ from Adam Barnett’s article above

      MY COMMENT: This is yet another reason that I fear Revisionist Zionism and Likudnik Israel (specifically by virtue of their inordinate sway over the U.S.) might very well be an “existential threat” to the values of The Enlightenment [like "the right of free speech"] ! ! !

      OTHER EXAMPLES OF ISRAEL’S VALUES TRUMPING (OVERRIDING) THE VALUES OF THE ENLIGHNEMENT HERE IN THE U.S.
      “How We Became Israel”, By Andrew J. Bacevich, The American Conservative, 9/10/12
      LINK – link to theamericanconservative.com
      ‘Israelis are helping write US laws, fund US campaigns, craft US war policy’, by Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss, 6/30/12
      LINK – link to mondoweiss.net
      “America Adopts the Israel Paradigm”, by Philip Ghiraldi, Antiwar.com, 7/05/12
      LINK – link to original.antiwar.com
      “Report: Israeli model underlies militarization of U.S. police”, By Muriel Kane, Raw Story, 12/04/11
      LINK – link to rawstory.com
      “David Yerushalmi, Islam-Hating White Supremacist Inspires Anti-Sharia Bills Sweeping Tea Party Nation”, by Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, 3/02/11
      LINK – link to richardsilverstein.com
      “Boston airport security program rife with racial profiling has Israeli links”, by Alex Kane, Mondoweiss, 8/14/12
      LINK – link to mondoweiss.net

      • DICKERSON3870
        December 23, 2012, 5:22 pm

        P.S. RE: “I fear Revisionist Zionism and Likudnik Israel (specifically by virtue of their inordinate sway over the U.S.) might very well be an ‘existential threat’ to the values of The Enlightenment [like 'the right of free speech'] !” – me (above)

        MY ADDENDUM: And the right to “due process” ! ! !

        FOR EXAMPLE, REGARDING THE ADOPTION BY THE U.S. OF ISRAEL’S USE OF EXTRA-JUDICIAL ASSASINATIONS, SEE:
        “Obama’s kill list policy compels US support for Israeli attacks on Gaza”, By Glenn Greenwald, guardian.co.uk, 11/15/12
        The US was once part of the international consensus against extra-judicial assassinations. Now it is a leader in that tactic.

        [EXCERPTS] Israel’s escalating air attacks on Gaza follow the depressingly familiar pattern that shapes this conflict. Overwhelming Israeli force slaughters innocent Palestinians . . .
        . . . Meanwhile, most US media outlets are petrified of straying too far from pro-Israel orthodoxies. . .
        . . . Obama had no choice but to support these attacks, which were designed, in part, to extra-judicially assassinate Hamas military leader Ahmed al-Jabari as he was driving in his car. . .
        Extra-judicial assassination – accompanied by the wanton killing of whatever civilians happen to be near the target, often including children – is a staple of the Obama presidency. That lawless tactic is one of the US president’s favorite instruments for projecting force and killing whomever he decides should have their lives ended: all in total secrecy and with no due process or oversight. There is now a virtually complete convergence between US and Israeli aggression, making US criticism of Israel impossible not only for all the usual domestic political reasons, but also out of pure self-interest: for Obama to condemn Israel’s rogue behavior would be to condemn himself.
        It is vital to recognize that this is a new development. The position of the US government on extra-judicial assassinations long had been consistent with the consensus view of the international community: that it is a savage and lawless weapon to be condemned regardless of claims that it is directed at “terrorists”. From a 15 February 2001 Guardian article by Brian Whitaker on the targeted killing by Israel of one of Yasser Arafat’s bodyguards [emphasis added]:
        “International opprobrium was directed at Israel yesterday for its state-approved assassinations of suspected terrorists – a practice widely regarded as illegal. . .
        . . . “The United States, while also condemning Palestinian violence, made clear its disapproval of the assassinations. . .
        “State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said: ‘The use of Israeli helicopter gunships, Palestinian attacks against settlements and motorists, the use of mortars by Palestinians and the targeted killings by the Israeli Defence Force … are producing a new cycle of action or reaction which can become impossible to control. . .

        . . . As the Council on Foreign Relations documented in April of this year:

        “The United States adopted targeted killing as an essential tactic to pursue those responsible for the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency have employed the controversial practice with more frequency in recent years. . .

        In essence, what we find, yet again, is that the governments of the United States and Israel arrogate unto themselves the right to execute anyone they want, anywhere in the world, without any limitations, regardless of how many innocent civilians they kill in the process. . .

        ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to guardian.co.uk

  7. chinese box
    December 23, 2012, 4:57 pm

    This is great news. What is needed is for a large corp. to finally say “it’s not worth it anymore” and break completely with Israel. It would be better if it were an American company with higher name recognition (Caterpillar), but Veolia would do as well.

  8. talknic
    December 23, 2012, 6:46 pm

    Bravo …. drip … drip …. drip

  9. RoHa
    December 23, 2012, 8:11 pm

    “It also announced that it would operate “kosher” train routes – segregated sitting areas for men (in the front of the train) and for women (in the back of the train).”

    These are those “shared values” we’ve been told about. They didn’t mention the “shared with Saudi Arabia” bit.

  10. mikeo
    December 23, 2012, 8:47 pm

    I was in the council chamber when Caroline had her deputation blocked.
    Zionists seem so driven by their ideological passions that they cannot think strategically. If they had just allowed Caroline to speak the deputation would probably have been ignored and caused very little trouble – but they had to show her that they could prevent her speech. Well frankly it has backfired terribly on them generating a lot of negative and controversial coverage in our local newspapers.

    We had no idea of the revelations that would follow:
    link to occupynewsnetwork.co.uk

    The comments at the Hackney Citizen article reporting the blocking of the deputation are quite revealing of the mindset of our local Zionists (i.e. pretty unhinged…):
    link to hackneycitizen.co.uk

    The Hackney Gazette also reported the story:
    link to hackneygazette.co.uk

    The Hackney Citizen then ran an editorial criticising the decision to block the motion:
    link to hackneycitizen.co.uk

    Now with the news of Veolia pulling out the Hackney Citizen had run another article which further outlines the role of Luke Akehurst, an employee of BICOM (the UK’s closest thing to AIPAC) in blocking Caroline’s deputation. He formerly worked in PR for the arms industry:
    link to hackneycitizen.co.uk

    All in all, the blocking of the deputation has contributed greatly to causing exactly the sort of bad publicity I’m sure Veolia are desperate to avoid.

    Stupid Zionists…

    • straightline
      December 24, 2012, 5:46 pm

      Thanks mikeo –

      I just loved this from your link to hackneycitizen.co.uk:

      From Councillor Linda Kelly:

      “David, Martin, Jonathan,

      Please refrain from putting any more responses on this site. You are only giving Dobbs, Miranda Molly, Benjamin and the rest a platform.

      Please any intelligent reader of this page will realise what is going on. They will always have to have the last word, so feel free to follow on after I post this.”

      • mikeo
        December 25, 2012, 6:46 am

        @straightline

        It’s one of my favourites too…

        Translation:

        “David, Martin, Jonathan,

        Please refrain from putting any more [embarrasing] responses on this site. You are only giving Dobbs, Miranda Molly, Benjamin and the rest a platform [to make us look stupid and bigoted].

        Please any intelligent reader of this page will realise what is going on [we are rabid ethnic nationalists and will continue to defend the indefensible]. They will always have to have the last word, so feel free to follow on after I post this [our arguments can’t win in a rational debate so probably time to call it quits before we do any more damage by exposing ourselves in a public forum”

    • Annie Robbins
      December 24, 2012, 10:54 pm

      mikeo, it’s amazing you were there. i wish i was. thank for providing the extra links. not sure if you noticed but some of hackney’s articles were linked in article.

      it’s an amazing story and the lobby angle is worth a whole other story on it’s own almost. it’s incredible. kudos to hackney citizen news for doing such a great job covering it.

      • mikeo
        December 28, 2012, 8:45 am

        We were surprised when the deputation was blocked. We just expected a bit of fuss from some of the councillors who are Zionists and to be pretty much ignored. That it developed into a local scandal was opportune for us…

        Here’s the latest from the Hackney Gazette, this doesn’t really reflect well on the Mayor and the councillors involved.

        link to hackneygazette.co.uk

        link to hackneygazette.co.uk

  11. mikeo
    December 24, 2012, 9:41 am

    @DICKERSON3870

    We are lucky to have loose cannons like Jonathon Hoffman here in the UK.
    Without his indiscreet revelations link to thejc.com I doubt we ever would have found out about the involvement on UK Lawyers for Israel. He simply can’t keep his mouth shut and has a pathological need to crow about the bullying tactics he and his cronies employ.

    He encounters significant opposition among the Zionist establishment here as he is an attention-seeker and embarrassment to them. You can see the sort of unsavoury character he is here http://hoffmanchronicled.wordpress.com

    Nevertheless Stephen Pollard editor of the Jewish Chronicle “The UK’s oldest and most widely-read Jewish newspaper” allows Hoffman to have a blog at the newspaper’s website link to thejc.com Hoffman uses this blog to engage in petty feuds and to spew his usual bile and misinformation. I suspect many in the UK Jewish community find it all highly embarrassing and rather distasteful and this may be partly responsible for the JC’s plummeting readership figures…

  12. seafoid
    December 25, 2012, 9:23 am

    Veolia is in big trouble and BDS is a side issue imo.

    The company is in danger of being broken up. In such circumstances Israel is something rather incidental.

    link to ft.com

    ” Veolia’s revenue in 2011 was up 2 per cent at €30bn. But operating cash flow and adjusted operating income showed sharp declines and the group posted a net loss of €314m compared with a profit of €820m in 2010 because of impairments and tough operating environments across its empire. Part of Veolia’s problem is that its businesses in many countries are too small: a municipal heating system for a small town in the Czech Republic (now sold) was hardly adding value. With its shares 85 per cent below their 2007 high, realising what value some of these operations have must be a priority”

    Zionism can’t provide cashflow or keep jobs alive. It is pure Jewish arrogance and nothing else.

    • mikeo
      December 28, 2012, 9:45 am

      This was one of the reasons we didn’t want Veolia.

      Who would bear the costs incurred if Veolia were declared bankrupt part way into the £4.7 billion contract?

      Taxpayers would be the last in line to get their money back – that’s for damn sure…

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