What unfortunate timing for the Jerusalem Post to accuse the SPSC of fabricating stories about boycotts of the Israeli water cooler company Eden Springs. Following a student occupation last week in support of Gaza at Strathclyde University in Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city, the University authorities have pledged in writing not to buy any further supplies of tainted water from this Israeli company. (Yes, we know the water is sweet and Scottish, but profits are remitted to Israel to finance the Israeli murder machine.) A similar occupation at Edinburgh University is ongoing as we write, and includes at the top of its demands boycott and specifically the ending of the University’s dealings with Israeli Eden Springs.
The Jerusalem Post deliberately distorted the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign claims to supposedly ‘refute’ them. The article quotes Eden Springs denying the fact that the east of Scotland depot had been closed, insisting that, "The company has not closed any offices or warehouses in Scotland. This is a bald lie, as a visit to the now closed site shows.
Scottish PSC initiated the campaign to boycott this Israeli company and the campaign has been widely taken up across Scotland and beyond.
We said, and it is factually true, that:
- Eden Springs is very keen to conceal its Israeli identity
- Eden Springs’ East of Scotland depot at Loanhead has closed
- Eden Springs has lost the contracts we reported, contracts with East Lothian and West Lothian Councils and Caledonian MacBrayne Ferrries
- Many other organisations have cancelled following approaches by a wide range of concerned citizens
- A number of Scottish trade union and student bodies voted to boycott Eden springs explicitly on human rights grounds
As with the multi-billion dollar cancellation of Veolia’s Swedish contract, however, the cancellations of the Israeli company’s contracts have been publicly justified on grounds other than Eden Springs’ open involvement in human rights violations. Britain still has legislation on the statute book introduced by the Thatcher Government during the South African apartheid era to criminalise boycott actions taken on ethical, humanitarian or anti-apartheid grounds. This legislation was explicitly deployed by Edinburgh City Council to justify its decision not to boycott Eden Springs, even while the majority of Councillors did not contest the facts of the Israeli company’s violations of international law.
This violator of international law is now in the sights of many people angry at Israeli crimes and determined to make a practical difference through boycott: Eden Springs is very vulnerable to such pressure.
Even at Strathclyde University, the agreement with the occupying students was not to cancel Eden Springs’ contract, but simply to buy no further supplies from them. This ‘silent boycott’ is well under way and will continue and grow, despite the Jerusalem Post’s dishonesty and outright denials of incontestable fact.
Mick Napier, (Chair) Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, 12 February 2009
See also Scottish Government helped Israeli company deal with boycott "threatening future of Eden Springs UK" (7 April 2012)