Dublin’s City Council is slated to vote on a resolution to boycott Hewlett Packard over its ties with Israel, claiming the California-based information technology giant helps the Jewish state to “maintain its system of apartheid over the Palestinian people.”
The City Council of Dublin, Ireland, is slated to vote next month on a resolution to boycott Hewlett Packard over its ties with Israel and as part of the city’s endorsement of the anti-Israel the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign.
The motion, put forward by Councillor John Lyons, claims that “since its violent establishment in 1948 through the ethnic cleansing of more than half of the indigenous people of Palestine, the State of Israel has denied Palestinians their fundamental rights and has refused to comply with international law” while committing another broad array of crimes and atrocities.
Therefore, the City Council “fully supports” BDS and “commits itself to discontinue all business contracts it has with Hewlett-Packard, both HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise for business and government services.
The motion claims that HP provides and operates much of the technology infrastructure that Israel uses to “maintain its system of apartheid and settler colonialism over the Palestinian people,” and therefore should face sanctions by the City Council of Dublin.
Hewlett-Packard has investments in both Ireland and Israel, and passing this motion could put the investment in Ireland at risk.
BDS Flourishes in Dublin
The Dublin City Council had already endorsed BDS in a 2014 vote.
Lyons, of the left-leaning People Before Profit party and a vocal BDS supporter, was behind the motion in May to have the Palestinian flag flown from the City Council building. He said the move would support communities living under a form of “apartheid, worse than South Africa.”
“Passing such one-sided anti-Israel resolutions will not benefit Palestinians, it will not bring peace closer,” Irish4Israel, a pro-Israel activist group, stated.
“It will, however, simply damage Dublin’s image as a tech hub and a place to invest,” the group noted. “It will make multinationals question their investment in Dublin.”
While most European countries have rejected BDS as an anti-Semitic and discriminatory movement, Ireland continues to be a country where BDS flourishes. Just this past February, an Irish law that would have criminalized purchasing goods produced by Israeli companies was sidelined.
Ireland’s parliament was poised to pass legislation that would have made the purchase of souvenirs in Israel a criminal act, punishable by a maximum of five years in jail and a $310,000 fine. When the Trump administration became aware of the bill, it opened up channels of communication with Irish politicians to warn them of the significant consequences they would face if they adopted the legislation, effectively shooting down the motion.