The international Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement today scored a major victory as Dublin City Council passed a resolution calling on the City Manager not to sign or renew any contracts with French multinational Veolia – the operators of the LUAS who have also tendered for the Metro North project.
Veolia operate Israeli rail, bus and waste services in the illegally occupied West Bank, making them complicit in Israel’s contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Indeed, Veolia has a direct involvement in building the infrastructure of apartheid in Israel/Palestine.The resolution, tabled by Cllr. Joan Collins (People Before Profit), was passed by unanimously at the sitting of Dublin City Council this evening (May 10th 2010) and is an important statement of solidarity with Palestine by the elected representatives of a European capital city. This solidarity mirrors the deep empathy that exists throughout Irish society for the Palestinian people and the widespread revulsion at the behaviour of the apartheid Israeli state.
Commenting on the motion’s passage, Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) chairperson Dr David Landy said: “This is a monumental victory for the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. The passing of this motion represents the elected representatives of a European capital city clearly standing up and saying ‘No’ to companies that collaborate with Israeli human rights abuses against the Palestinian people. It is doubly welcome coming as it does on the same day that Israel was scandalously accepted into the OECD.”
Dr Landy continued: “Furthermore, this is just the latest in a string of such defeats that Veolia has suffered as a result of their active participation in Israel’s apartheid policies – victories for the BDS movement have been seen in Sweden, Holland, Australia, Iran, France and elsewhere in Ireland. The IPSC once again urges Veolia to heed the Palestinian call for BDS and divest now from its Israeli operations in the occupied Palestinian territories. However, until it does so, the IPSC will continue to campaign for Veolia not to be granted contracts in Ireland.”
“The IPSC will now be working with other local councils to ensure the passage of similar motions nationwide. The IPSC will also now step up the pressure on the Rail Procurement Agency, which is responsible for awarding the highly lucrative Dublin Metro North contract. The city of Dublin has spoken loudly and clearly, and it says no to collusion with Israeli apartheid. The RPA should listen carefully – the Palestine solidarity movement is not going to quietly stand by while such companies are given Irish taxpayers’ money. It’s not on.”
Dr Landy concluded: “Finally, on behalf of the IPSC, I would like to thank all of the councillors who supported this motion, not least People Before Profit’s Cllr Joan Collins whose motion it was. I would also like to thank everyone who contacted their councillors in support of the motion, and those who came out on the many demonstrations and actions over the past three months that the IPSC held in the run up to this momentous vote.”
Details of Veolia’s illegal operations in occupied Palestine can be viewed on the IPSC website: http://www.ipsc.ie/veoliaNotes:
 The full text of the motion reads as follows:Dublin City Council recognising
1. That Veolia is a leading partner in the consortium contracted to build a light railway system linking Israel to illegal settlements in occupied East Jerusalem
2. That the Irish government and the U.N does not recognise Israel’s annexation and occupation of East Jerusalem and have repeatedly stated their views that the Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank contravene international law
3. That Veolia’s involvement in the project is in contravention of the UN’s stated demand that Israeli settlement activities and occupation should not be supported;
This Council calls on the City Manager not to sign any new or renew any existing contracts with Veolia as it would be in contravention of the wishes of this council. Galway and Sligo city/county councils have supported similar motions.
Cllr Joan Collins Veolia is set to merge with Transdev, who are one of the two final tenderers for the Dublin Metro North contract.http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20100505-703713.html
 Dublin City Council is the third Irish council to pass such a motion, following on from Sligo and Galway.