[News] Palestinians call for boycott of Hyundai

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Wed Feb 8 11:29:05 EST 2017


  Palestinians call for boycott of Hyundai

Ali Abunimah <https://electronicintifada.net/people/ali-abunimah> 7 
February 2017

Palestinians are calling for a boycott of Hyundai over the company’s 
failure to stop its construction equipment being used by Israel to 
destroy their homes and communities.

“The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Committee of Palestinian Citizens 
of Israel (BDS48) calls upon our Palestinian people in the homeland and 
the Diaspora, the peoples of the Arab world, and people of conscience 
worldwide to boycott and divest from Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), 
until it ends its involvement in Israel’s violations of our human 
rights, particularly in Jerusalem and the Naqab (Negev),” says an action 
released on Tuesday.

The alert calls on people around the world “to boycott Hyundai products” 
and urges institutions, including investment funds and churches, to 
divest from Hyundai shares.

Municipal bodies should exclude Hyundai from public tenders, the action 
alert states.

    Complicity in ethnic cleansing

While Israel’s abuse of the South Korean company’s products has been 
documented for years <https://electronicintifada.net/tags/hyundai>, 
BDS48 says the campaign comes “at this particular moment in light of the 
extensive use of Hyundai equipment by the Israeli authorities in the 
recent demolitions” of many homes of Palestinian citizens of Israel in 
the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/umm-al-hiran> in the southern Naqab 
region, and in the town of Qalansawa 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/qalansawa> further north, last month.

Another wave of demolitions in Umm al-Hiran is expected imminently 
part of Israel’s plan to destroy the community and replace it with a 
town for Jews 
to be called “Hiran.”

In December, Israel also used Hyundai equipment to demolish a home 
in the occupied Golan Heights.

The BDS48 action alert, which was disseminated by the Palestinian 
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), notes that 
Hyundai has been presented with evidence 
<https://whoprofits.org/company/hyundai-heavy-industries> of its 
“persistent complicity in Israeli ethnic cleansing policies against 
Palestinians and Syrians in the territories occupied since 1967.”

But the company “has failed to stop its business-as-usual involvement,” 
the alert states.

Hyundai “has thus forfeited its responsibilities as stated in the UN 
Global Compact <https://www.unglobalcompact.org/> and the UN Guiding 
Principles on Business and Human Rights 
– standards that are supposed to promote sustainable development and 
halt corporate complicity in state abuses.

    Tarnished brand

Until the early 2000s, Hyundai was a single group encompassing such 
activities as vehicle production, shipbuilding, construction, steel, 
finance, retail, aerospace and defense.

It was broken up 
<http://app1.chinadaily.com.cn/star/2003/0807/cn10-2.html> into five 
major companies, including Hyundai Heavy Industries, which makes ships 
and construction equipment, and Hyundai Motor Group.

But all the companies continue to be controlled by a few members of the 
founding Chung family 
<http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20151201000957> as part of a 
complex web 
of entities.

All the spin-offs trade on the goodwill of the famous Hyundai name, a 
brand that risks being tarnished by association with Israel’s crimes.

Consumers around the world would be most familiar with cars made by 
Hyundai Motor Group and its affiliate Kia.

In recent years, Hyundai has shot into the world’s top five automakers 

It is a popular brand 
in Middle East countries, with Saudi Arabia accounting for more than 40 
percent <http://www.arabnews.com/news/522951> of its regional sales.

In 2016, Hyundai saw its first dip in auto sales 
<http://www.reuters.com/article/us-hyundai-motor-sales-idUSKBN14L1D3> in 
almost two decades. Its workers have also staged widespread strikes 
over wages.

The BDS48 action alert urges Hyundai workers and the Korean 
Confederation of Trade Unions “to stand in solidarity with our peaceful 
struggle by pressuring the Hyundai management to stop the company’s 
complicity in Israeli violations of human rights.”

“Our campaign is not intended at all to harm the interests of the 
company’s workers but to protect the rights of our people as stipulated 
in international law,” it states.

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