Hewlett-Packard’s complicity in occupation makes headlines

Israel/Palestine
on 22 Comments
Chronicle

(Graphic: SF Chronicle)

The lead article in Sunday’s business section of the San Francisco Chronicle warns HP’s role in Israel could lead to political pressure. Although never mentioning the Boycott Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement directly, the Chronicle informs its readers Hewlett-Packard, a local Bay Area company, is the target of “an international campaign” that has “emerged to pressure Israel by persuading investors to dump shares of companies that do business with the government or operate in the disputed territories.”

The article reads like a 101 boycott primer alerting Americans there’s a movement against Israel’s occupation of Palestine similar to the anti-apartheid movement against South Africa.

Unbeknownst to many Americans, the Palo Alto computing giant makes the high-tech identification cards Israel uses to operate checkpoints in the disputed West Bank, territory Israel captured in 1967 but Palestinians claim as their own country.

Until recently, none of this attracted much attention, partly because information technology is kind of boring but also because the United States is a strong ally of Israel…..

Ticking time bomb

Whether you side with Israelis or Palestinians, this much is true: A Silicon Valley titan has parked itself on top of a ticking public relations time bomb.

The divestment movement hasn’t really caught on in the United States, and studies focusing on South Africa during apartheid found little fiscal impact on companies that were the target of similar protests.

Perhaps HP, which generates about 64 percent of annual revenue overseas, thinks the risk is worth it.

The thought of anybody in America dumping stock to protest Israeli policies would have been absurd just a few years ago. That’s what makes the Presbyterian Church’s decision so momentous.

HP would be wise to take note.

(Hat tip Karen Platt)

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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22 Responses

  1. Kay24
    June 30, 2014, 2:05 pm

    Great article Annie, it brings our attention to what HP is directly doing over there.
    I am one of those who never knew that HP makes the ID cards for use at check points. Corporate greed supersedes basic empathy, and doing the right and decent thing for long suffering human beings.
    I am sure if we look hard enough, we would find many other mega companies, like Caterpillar and their cursed bulldozers, aiding the occupier, and making life difficult for those living under this occupation. We should also thank SF Chronicle for being brave enough to address this issue. The US is as usual very backward when it comes to boycotts and sanctions when it comes to Israel (quite speedy when it came to Iraq and Iran), and still unlike France, Spain, and Italy, have not warned it’s citizens to not have business dealings with companies in the illegal settlements, perhaps maybe our officials do not want to incur the wrath of Israel.

  2. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    June 30, 2014, 2:21 pm

    Have to admit I had no idea that HP was making ID cards for the IDF. Am ashamed to say that I have a HP computer. I’m in the market for a new printer soon, and have now crossed HP off the list.

    Thanks for the info.

    • Annie Robbins
      June 30, 2014, 3:36 pm

      i recommend reading the whole article at SF chron. HP was one of the 3 american companies targeted in the recent presby divest campaign. i recall a few years ago being at an end the occupation conference in chicago and as i recall a vote to target the company was made at that conference. it’s been a few years.

      the article mentions the presby divest, scarlett soda stream etc.

      • thetruthhurts
        June 30, 2014, 11:58 pm

        presbyterian to you, got it!

    • thetruthhurts
      June 30, 2014, 11:57 pm

      good job dude, you put your money where your heart is!

  3. amigo
    June 30, 2014, 2:43 pm

    LIVE UPDATES: Israeli forces find bodies of three kidnapped teens
    Security cabinet to convene emergency session at 9:30 P.M.; large security force situated near Hebron; teens’ families are notified.
    By Gili Cohen , Barak Ravid and Jack Khoury | Jun. 30, 2014 | 8:30 PM

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.602189

    • ritzl
      June 30, 2014, 3:26 pm

      @amigo- per the updates, here comes the bloodbath. Still no proof who did it and “even” Meretz is on board the “Hamas/Gaza must pay with blood” bandwagon.

      Shark-brained Kill! Kill! Kill! is all they know. The refrain should be Occupation! Occupation! Occupation! …6+ dead Palestinians ALREADY! Enough! Solve it!!

      I think the Israeli body politic is peeved that world didn’t care all that much and now the Palestinians are going to pay for it — to show the world just how big a deal three dead Jewish kids is and just how much it should have cared. (If that makes no sense, you’re right. It’s just Israeli pathology playing out.)

      • amigo
        June 30, 2014, 3:49 pm

        “I think the Israeli body politic is peeved that world didn’t care all that much and now the Palestinians are going to pay for it — to show the world just how big a deal three dead Jewish kids is and just how much it should have cared. (If that makes no sense, you’re right. It’s just Israeli pathology playing out.)” ritzl

        The knesset ,( Fascist central) is meeting to discuss the response.

        Wanna bet they will attempt a complete takeover of all that is left of Palestine and will blame it on Palestinian Terroreeeesm and hatred of Jews.

        Would someone get Abbas to seek justice at the ICC forthwith.No more procrastinating.Just do it.If nothing else , it might make Israel have second thoughts about doing what I believe they are about to do.

        Cast lead will seem like a practice run compared to what I believe these criminals are planning.

      • SQ Debris
        July 1, 2014, 1:13 pm

        “Cast lead will seem like a practice run compared to what I believe these criminals are planning.”
        Recall that Israel trashed Lebanon and occupied it for more than a decade under the pretext that one of their diplomats was assaulted (not killed) in Paris. Amigo’s not being alarmist in his expectation of a massive pogrom against any and all living and inanimate things that could be construed as “Palestinian.”

  4. ritzl
    June 30, 2014, 3:11 pm

    Way to go PC(USA)!! Thanks for your courage and leadership.

    Is this what the front-end of a tipping point looks like?

  5. Hostage
    June 30, 2014, 3:13 pm

    studies focusing on South Africa during apartheid found little fiscal impact on companies that were the target of similar protests.

    It didn’t use to possible to prosecute or sue corporate officials for aiding and abetting human rights violations. There are laws on the books now that could make that possible.

  6. Basilio
    June 30, 2014, 7:24 pm

    I guess this gives me more of a reason to not like HP. I own a Toshiba, thankfully. I had one HP laptop years back, but that was the last time I got one. If they think helping an occupation is fine, then I wouldn’t ever consider buying one in the future. If I saw a bargain for an HP and was looking, I would look the other way. The more customers find out about this, the more they will lose business. It would take time, however.

  7. saidso
    July 1, 2014, 5:21 am

    Better BDS that Toshiba. Toshiba Medical System develops and manufactures in Israel and OCZ Storage Solutions – a Toshiba Group Company develops high performance solid-state storage in Israel. 250 multinational R&D centers in Israel employ tens of thousands, companies that include Intel, Apple, Samsung, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Siemens. Checkpoint firewalls are almost every where. So you may have to BDS the internet and your smartphone, as well.

    • Giles
      July 1, 2014, 8:18 am

      Whatever it takes to fight against evil.

    • Hostage
      July 1, 2014, 11:57 am

      Better BDS that Toshiba. Toshiba Medical System develops and manufactures in Israel

      BDS targets companies that 1) profit from or facilitate the occupation; or 2) profit from or facilitate the violation of the human rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel or the Palestinian refugees. Can you explain how Toshiba does either of those things?

  8. Steve Macklevore
    July 1, 2014, 6:08 am

    Too bad the Chronicle cowards refer to ‘disputed territories’ rather than the truth with is of course illegally occupied territories, or the illegally occupied West Bank.

  9. talknic
    July 1, 2014, 8:41 am

    @ saidso “Better BDS that Toshiba. Toshiba Medical System develops and manufactures in Israel and OCZ Storage Solutions – a Toshiba Group Company develops high performance solid-state storage in Israel.”

    Uh huh…. In Israel…or ILLEGALLY in the occupied territories? Illegally using non-Israeli resources in the occupied territories?

    “250 multinational R&D centers in Israel employ tens of thousands, companies that include Intel, Apple, Samsung, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Siemens”

    In Israel…or ILLEGALLY in the occupied territories? Illegally using non-Israeli resources in the occupied territories?

    I’ll wait for an intelligent honest response ….. take your time … http://talknic.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/waiting_for_the_israeli_propagandist.gif

  10. saidso
    July 1, 2014, 2:36 pm

    BDS (http://www.bdsmovement.net/) declares:
    Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

    This includes Intel, Apple, Samsung, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Siemens, as “violators”.
    And, their technology is at everywhere a Caterpillar tractor or Veoila garbage truck is.

    • Hostage
      July 1, 2014, 8:26 pm

      BDS (link to bdsmovement.net) declares:
      Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

      This includes Intel, Apple, Samsung, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Siemens, as “violators”.

      Neither resolution 194, nor the link to bdsmovement.net that I followed actually included any references to Apple, Samsung, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Siemens, as “violators”. Intel is a top 10 targeted company, because it’s plants are located on pillaged land that belonged to the expelled villagers of Iraq Al Manshiya.

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