Friday 20th August 2010
Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign: Media Release
COUNCIL TO INVESTIGATE SEAFIELD FIRM’S ISRAEL LINKS
The firm responsible for the notorious Seafield stench is to be investigated by Edinburgh Council over its links to Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine.
Veolia, which runs the Seafield plant, is currently in the running to take over a raft of public services in the city. However, the French multinational is also involved in the construction of a tramway that the United Nations Human Rights Council considers, “in clear violation of international law”. The line is set to link Israel with its illegal settlements in Occupied Palestine.
At yesterday’s Full Council Meeting, the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) argued that Veolia’s record meant it could be and should be excluded from Council contracts, but the ruling Lib Dem/SNP administration decided that due to a “risk of a legal challenge from Veolia”, they would commission “further investigations” with a report due by December.
A joint Green and Labour motion also condemned Veolia’s record. Green Councillor Maggie Chapman said, “Veolia props up the illegal Occupation by Israel of the Palestinian Territories, and the Council should have no part in such despicable activities. It is not enough for us to use warm words in support of the Palestinian people; we have to act on our convictions.”
Labour’s Angela Blacklock said she was “delighted that Edinburgh Council has decided today to bring back a report on whether or not we can exclude Veolia from all Council contracts. Dublin and Swansea Councils have already taken action and I am hopeful that Edinburgh will follow suit.”
The Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, reports that Veolia has lost “major projects in Europe because of its involvement in the Jerusalem job [tramway]”, and the French firm is currently being prosecuted in French courts over its activity in Palestine.
Veolia is bidding to take over Edinburgh services such as rubbish collection, street cleaning and ground maintenance.
Notes for editors:
1. The Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign started in autumn 2000 in response to the Palestinian second uprising against Israeli occupation (Intifada). The SPSC has branches and groups of supporters in several Scottish cities and universities, as well as individual members across Scotland and elsewhere.
For further information, contact:
SPSC Chair, Mick Napier: 0131 620 0052; 07958002591
(default reply to this email)
2. Edinburgh Council met on Thursday 19th Aug 2010.
The agenda for the meeting of the Full Council can be found here:
This includes the motion by the Green party’s Maggie Chapman (Item 10.4), and by the Labour party’s Angela Blacklock (Item 10.7)
These motions were composited and will be available online from the Council’s search facility soon:
The successful Lib Dem/SNP group motion will also be available from the above facility soon.
3. Resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council: A/HRC/RES/13/7
14 April 2010
Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan
“The Human Rights Council… 5. Expresses its grave concern at: … (g) The Israeli decision to establish and operate a tramway between West Jerusalem and the Israeli settlement of Pisgat Zeev, which is in clear violation of international law and relevant United Nations resolutions”.
4. Dublin City Council passed a resolution calling on the City Manager not to sign or renew any contracts with French multinational Veolia on 12th June 2010:
5. Israeli press indicates Veolia losing contracts due to involvement in the tram project:
Jerusalem rail operator jumps ship, Tel Aviv group isn't even responding
“According to various reports abroad, the French firm had been losing major projects in Europe because of its involvement in the Jerusalem job.”
6. Reports of Veolia being shortlisted to run Edinburgh Council services:
Edinburgh Evening News, 21 June 2010
Seafield and tram firms bid to take over city services
7. Edinburgh Councillors were each sent the following Veolia Briefing Document:
8. The Council is being asked by SPSC to:
a) exclude Veolia Environnement or any of its subsidiaries - Veolia Transport, Veolia Environmental Services, Veolia Water, Onyx, Cleanaway, Connex , TMM - from all Edinburgh City Council contracts.
b) cancel contracts and/or ad-hoc arrangements that are in place to use services provided by Veolia Environnement or any of its subsidiaries.
9. More details of the SPSC campaign against Veolia can be found here: