New report exposes South Korea's complicity with Israeli apartheid
Palestine Peace & Solidarity in South Korea (PPS), a Seoul-based group part of the global Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, launched a report denouncing South Korea's complicity with Israel's regime of occupation, colonization and apartheid against the Palestinian people. The report details Korea's ties with Israel at the military, economic, academic and cultural levels. This relationship, the report contends, has contributed to Israel's impunity and lack of accountability.
"Treating Israel as a normal state, as opposed to one that oppresses and denies the right to self-determination of Palestinians, sends the signal that its appalling human rights record can be tolerated. Israel must be treated for what it is, a pariah state," said YaPing an organizer with PPS.
Among the examples cited in the report are Korea Aerospace Industries' business ties with Elbit Systems, an Israeli company widely denounced for its role in the construction of the apartheid wall in the West Bank, declared illegal in 2004 by the International Court of Justice; and the supply of bulldozers to the Israeli military by Hyundai Heavy Industries that are used in the demolition of Palestinian homes, an act that constitutes a war crime under the IV Geneva Convention. Daesung Industrial Corporation, Korea’s leading energy company, imports and distributes Ahava cosmetics to the Korean market. Ahava is an Israeli settlement company that was recently accused of pillaging natural resources of the West Bank in a report by Palestinian human rights group al-Haq.
Korea's government is currently in negotiations with Israel for a Free Trade Agreement, although a deal seems frozen for now. "Koreans will continue to oppose the free trade agreement with Israel to avoid being complicit with human rights abuses and violations of international law," added YaPing. “Koreans have a strong sense of solidarity with Palestinians and oppose their continued oppression.” The report found that Korea's ties with Israel violates Korea's own constitution and norms of international law.
Among the recommendations of the report, the Korean government and business community are urged to freeze immediately all ties with Israel, particularly those that directly aid and abet violations of international law related to Israel's settlement enterprise and the Wall.
Korean activists plan to use the research to build strategic campaigns as part of the growing Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
The full report is available to download here: http://intifadakorea.