Thursday, May 1, 2008

Dubai begins to comply with calls to boycott settlement financier

Press release, Adalah-NY, 1 May 2008

"In a sudden reversal, just 16 days after Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev publicly announced plans to open two new jewelry stores in Dubai this year, a high-level Dubai government official said that Leviev had no trade license to open a store in the Emirate. The report in the 30 April edition of Dubai's Gulf News followed a flurry of media coverage of the 18 April call by Palestinians and New York activists for Dubai to boycott Leviev's businesses over his companies' settlement construction in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Issa Ayoub, a spokesperson for Adalah-NY, an activist group leading a boycott campaign against Leviev, commented, "We're gratified that, by refusing trade licenses for Leviev, Dubai has joined the growing movement to boycott Leviev's companies due to their violations of international law and human rights abuses in Palestine and Angola. We repeat our call to the people of Dubai to stop entirely the sale of Leviev's jewelry, even in local stores. Israeli businesses like Leviev's need to be held accountable for their role oppressing the Palestinian people." ..........

Daniel Lang/Levitsky of Jews Against the Occupation-NYC noted, "We've found support from New York to Dubai for the call to boycott Leviev's businesses as soon as people know that his companies are destroying Palestinian villages, and extracting tens of millions of dollars of diamonds in Angola while committing severe human rights violations there and leaving local communities in poverty. Leviev claimed on one of his websites that he supported the charity Oxfam; when we brought this to Oxfam's attention they immediately denied any ties to Leviev and repudiated him due to his violations of international law. We believe others will do the same until Leviev's companies cease their attacks on human rights in Palestine, Angola and elsewhere.""

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