Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Boycott roundup: US tear gas-maker CSI urged to cancel Israel sales

Report, The Electronic Intifada, 10 January 2011

"Four activist groups in the US are calling on a tear gas manufacturer to stop providing its products to the Israeli military following the death of Jawaher Abu Rahmah from severe respiratory distress on 1 January 2011 after inhaling tear gas fired by the Israeli army in the occupied West Bank village of Bilin.

Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel, Code Pink, Jewish Voice for Peace and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation issued a letter to US-based Combined Systems, Inc (CSI) on 3 January urging the company to "cease providing CSI equipment to the Israeli government in response to the Israeli military's ongoing and foreseeable misuse of CSI crowd control equipment to kill and maim protesters in the Occupied Palestinian Territories" ("Combined Systems, Inc, Stop providing equipment ...," 3 January 2011).

"Over the last two years alone, the Israeli military has used your products to kill two peaceful protesters from one family in the West Bank village of Bilin, to severely injure two peaceful protesters from the US and to seriously injure many more," the letter stated. "According to the the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem, two other Palestinians were killed by Israeli tear gas in 2002."

The letter added that the tear gas canisters sent by CSI to the Israeli military could have been provided as part of the US government's military aid package to Israel -- funded by US taxpayer money.The groups pointed out that the US State Department provided nearly $2 million worth of "tear gasses and riot control agents" in its 2007 and 2008 aid packages. "As taxpayers, we strongly object to the possibility that CSI may be using our tax dollars to support Israel's repression of Palestinian rights," the groups stated.

The Electronic Intifada published an action alert drafted by Adalah-NY's Coalition for Justice in the Middle East which urges individuals to email executives at CSI and the companies that invest in CSI, "and tell them to stop providing their tear gas to the Israeli military before more protesters are killed and maimed."...."

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