Hewlett Packard (HP), a household name in Britain for consumer electronics such as computers and printers, suffered a reputational blow today as a pledge to boycott their products signed by over 21,000 consumers was made public.
A key target for the Palestinian-led Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement and the British-based Palestine Solidarity Campaign, consumers have pledged to boycott HP until it ‘ended complicity in the illegal Israeli occupation’.
HP technology underpins the Israeli biometric ID cards issued in the occupied West Bank, which is used by the Israel for the control of movement & surveillance of the Palestinian population. The technology is also used to differentiate Palestinian and Jewish citizens of Israel, among other ethnicities and religions.
HP provides core IT infrastructure and support services for the Israeli Navy, helping it to maintain the illegal siege on Gaza. In addition, HP technology is used by the Israeli Prison Service in prisons where Palestinian prisoners – including children- are often held without trial and in contravention of international law.
In further troubling news for HP, recent YouGov reports on the attitudes of consumer boycotters demonstrated that after deciding to boycott a brand, 67% refuse to buy it again – even if the company changes its objected to practices.
Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers said:
The NUT does not buy or use HP products or services as a gesture of solidarity with the Palestinian people. Both at headquarters and in our regional and Wales offices we have determined that they will be HP Free Zones. HP is complicit in the illegal occupation of the West Bank.
Ben Jamal, director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign said:
HP should sit up and take notice – being complicit in human rights violations tarnishes your brand beyond repair. Technology-enabled racism and reckless profiteering from the oppression of the Palestinian people doesn’t sit well with customers. Over 21,000 consumers have deserted HP. We’re calling on councils, businesses and faith groups to do the same. This is the wake up call.