Human rights campaigners are today calling on BT to end its complicity in 'serious' breaches of international law and human rights abuses, through its partnership with Israeli telecommunications company Bezeq International.
In January 2010, BT welcomed Israeli company Bezeq International into its Global Alliance.
Bezeq International is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bezeq, which provides telecommunication services to illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The settlements are not just illegal under international law – they violate the human rights of Palestinians living under military occupation, campaigners point out, suggesting they are an obstacle to a just peace in the region.
BT claims to conduct its business according to high ethical standards, placing a commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility – as well as respect for human rights – at the heart of what it does.
A Just Peace for Palestine, an initiative of Amos Trust, is launching the ‘Disconnect Now’ campaign today to tell BT to do the right thing and ensure that the company’s high standards are not just talk.
‘Disconnect Now’ is supported by War on Want, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, and Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC).
The launch of the campaign coincides with the publication of War on Want’s report ‘Boycott Divestment Sanctions: Winning Justice for the Palestinian People’, as well as PSC’s week of BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) action. The initiative seeks to educate, resource, and mobilise faith communities and groups across Britain who support a just peace. Amplifying the voices of partners on the ground in Palestine/Israel, it takes its lead from grassroots peacemakers and works within a framework of inter-religious action, with a focus on Christian groups.
Rev Canon Garth Hewitt, Director of Amos Trust said: “BT has the chance to prove that its commitment to human rights is not just talk. The message is simple – BT must ‘disconnect’ from its relationship with Bezeq International and end its complicity in the illegal settlements.”