We at QPIN have started to focus on Hewlett Packard’s role in facilitating the Israeli occupation through the information systems it sells to Israel. Among the actions Quaker meetings can take– at the monthly, quarterly, and yearly levels– is to craft a minute in support of boycotting and divesting from HP. Here’s a sample minute:
“Look upon our treasure, the furniture of our houses, and our garments, and try whether the seeds of war have nourishment in these our possessions.” – John Woolman
This summer’s Operation Protective Edge, the 51 day bombardment of the Israel Defense Forces on Gaza which killed over 2,000 Gazans, the expansion of Israeli settlements into east Jerusalem in September, and the ongoing human rights abuses of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory all reveal the excessive violence and repression enacted by the Israeli government on Palestinians. The US government and US citizens are complicit in the occupation through the $3 billion in military aid we supply through defense contract vouchers to Israel each year. Several US companies are also complicit and profit from the continued occupation of Palestinian territory including Hewlett Packard which manufactures and supplies the biometric identification technologies that limit Palestinian movement and identifies them as targets for other forms of discrimination. Hewlett Packard is the largest IT supplier to the Israeli military and is profiting from the oppression of the Palestinian people.
As Quakers opposed to all wars and who affirm the essential equality and dignity of all people, we take a moral stand against the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory and companies which profit from the suffering of others. We have carefully deliberated and educated ourselves on the situation in Israel and Palestine and take a public stand to boycott all HP products and divest from any holdings in our investments that would support the continued oppression and subjugation of Palestinians including of HP investments as long as HP continues their practice of supplying tools of oppression to the Israeli government. We will participate in public boycott actions and encourage all Quakers to join us in renouncing complicity in the occupation and taking a moral stand against the occupation especially through boycott and divestment actions of all companies which profit from the occupation, but especially Hewlett Packard as a United States company.
Several US companies are complicit and profit from the continued occupation of Palestinian territory including Hewlett Packard which manufactures and supplies the biometric identification technologies that limit Palestinian movement and identifies them as targets for other forms of discrimination. Hewlett Packard is the largest IT supplier to the Israeli military and is profiting from the oppression of the Palestinian people. Here are five things you and your Meeting can do to put pressure on Hewlett Packard to stop profiting from human rights abuses.
1. Educate your community about HP’s connection to the Israeli military occupation. (Link to the resources listed here under “Focus on HP”)
2. Sign the petition to HP.
3. Introduce a Minute in your Monthly Meeting. A sample minute will be posted here shortly.
4. Look at your investment portfolio and divest from your HP shares.
5. Join in Holiday actions to bring attention to the HP boycott. (Stay tuned for suggestions for alternative carols and actions)
Over many years, Quakers have worked to support the development of lasting peace with justice in Israel Palestine. In the past few years several monthly meetings and yearly meetings have issued minutes of support for boycott and divestment as a nonviolent approach to advocate for change. Ann Arbor Meeting, Swannanoa Valley Meeting, Illinois Yearly Meeting to name just a few have expressed concern and actively advocated for peace and there is a growing energy and movement emerging among Friends. Q-PIN (The Quaker Palestine Israel Network) was founded in the Fall of 2013 to support the growth of this movement of Friends, to educate about boycott, divestment, and sanctions as a nonviolent approach, and to work together across Quaker meetings and churches and with the interfaith movement for greater impact.