HP Canada: Apartheid is bad for business

As part of the global Boycott HP campaign, the following open letter signed by friends and members of the Canadian BDS Coalition was sent to HP President & CEO Mary Anne Yule and Canadian HPE President and CEO Meg Whitman:

March 19, 2017

Mary Anne Yule,
President and CEO at HP Canada
5150 Spectrum Way #600,
Mississauga, Ontario L4W 5G1

Meg Whitman,
President and CEO, HPE
Canadian HPE HQ
5150 Spectrum Way, Floor 4-5
Mississauga, Ontario L4W 5G1

Delivered by Registered Mail

Dear Ms. Yule and Ms. Whitman,

Canadian citizens concerned about International Humanitarian Law violations and human right abuses are among the more than 1.8 million people who have signed a petition calling on Hewlett Packard (HP) and Hewlett Packard Enterprises (HPE) to end its role in Israeli apartheid and settler colonialism.

We write to you, as the Presidents and CEOs at HP Canada and HPE to let you know that we are concerned, and look to you to take leadership within HP Canada and HEP; leadership to speak out against the violations of International Humanitarian Law and abuses of human rights associated with HP/HPE technology infrastructure that Israel uses to maintain its system of apartheid and settler colonialism over the Palestinian people.

From November 25 to December 3, 2016, a Global Week of Action took place that led to over 150 actions in over 100 cities on six continents. These actions highlighted HP/HPE’s provision of key services and technology infrastructure that enables the Israeli military occupation of Palestinian lands and suppression of Palestinian human rights.

We write to make you aware that Canadians took part in these actions in several cities across the country, as well as through social media actions. We are hearing from consumers that they are concerned about the social actions of HP/HPE.

Canadians like people across the world will continue this action, with the hope they can show you, that enabling Israeli apartheid is bad for business. Just as companies like Veolia and G4S have stepped away from Israeli contracts following worldwide BDS campaigns, so too can the HP companies — especially if HP/HPE wants to begin to live up to its stated principles of global citizenship that fulfills its “responsibility to society by being an economic, intellectual and social asset to each country and community where they do business.”

The campaign against HP was launched quite recently but has already achieved some important successes.

South African Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote, “I have been to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and I have witnessed the racially segregated roads and housing that reminded me so much of the conditions we experienced in South Africa under the racist system of Apartheid.”

In the 1970s, there was a similar campaign targeting Polaroid for likewise providing imaging services used by the South African apartheid government’s racist ID system. Procurement decisions led to Polaroid eventually withdrawing from Apartheid South Africa along with other corporations — something widely acknowledged today as speeding the fall of that brutal system of oppression. Leaders of the Polaroid campaign are today calling for a boycott of HP.

Recently a professional poll has indicated that our government’s policy on Israel is out of touch with the Canadian public’s opinion. Most Canadians say sanctions and boycott are reasonable measures to defend Palestinian rights.

We expect you to show just leadership and stand on the right side of history to end your company’s complicity with Israeli oppression.

We would be glad to meet with you in this regard.

Respectively signed by friends and members of the Canadian BDS Coalition:

Independent Jewish Voices – Winnipeg
Palestinian and Jewish Unity (PAJU) – Montreal
Justice for Palestinians, Calgary
United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine and Israel (UNJPPI)
Canada Palestine Association, Vancouver
Palestinian Solidarity Working Group, Sudbury
Peace of Peace, London
University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) & Durham College Students for Justice for Palestinians
Barnard-Boecker Centre Foundations (BBCF)
Palestine Solidarity Network-Edmonton
CODEPINK
Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) – Toronto
Actions for Palestine- Toronto
Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid-Victoria
Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice
Christian Peacemaker Teams – Ontario
Independent Jewish Voices, Canada
Solidarity with Palestine, St. John’s, Newfoundland

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