Is your home printer linked to the mistreatment of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation?
The answer is yes, if it was made by Hewlett-Packard.
This Wednesday the HP Board of Directors will hold its annual meeting with shareholders. Tell the Board of Directors to stop profiting from the occupation!
The West Bank is filled with Israeli checkpoints, and these checkpoints are powered by Hewlett-Packard.
Imagine this: You get ready to go to work in the morning, stand in line at a checkpoint for a brief time, or for hours at a time, submit yourself to a Hewlett-Packard hand scan, and if everything goes smoothly, you are allowed to go to work. And then you repeat the same process all over again in the evening.
If the machine rejects your hand print, tough luck.
The Israeli women of Machsom Watch have seen this process again and again. They refer to the Palestinians in the checkpoints as “invisible prisoners.”
Now, checkpoints are said to provide security for Israelis, but do they really? The vast majority of the checkpoints are inside the West Bank–beyond the 1967 “Green Line”—and they frequently divide one neighboring Palestinian communities from another.
Haaretz reported that Israel maintains a system of 101 permits governing Palestinian movement (1). You need technology to keep this system in place, and that’s where Hewlett-Packard sells its products. Hewlett-Packard is profiting from the oppression of Palestinians.
This is not the first time that technology has been used as a tool of oppression. IBM and Polaroid were directly linked to similar systems of population control in Apartheid South Africa. Let’s ask HP to stop reproducing the past!
Michael Batchelder, Jewish Voice for Peace
P.S.: Shamefully, Hewlett-Packard is one of the companies in which retirement giant TIAA-CREF invests its socially responsible funds. TIAA-CREF also considers Caterpillar, Veolia, and Motorola Solutions to be socially responsible investments. To learn more about our TIAA-CREF campaign and to take action, go to wedivest.org
(1) Haaretz, December 23, 2011: “Israel has 101 different types of permits governing Palestinian movement.”
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