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Veolia In Israel
Veolia in the United States
Veolia has hundreds of operations in North-America. See interactive map here.
Shareholder meetings are held annually in Paris, France in early May.
Veolia is a multinational French company operating in the fields of water, waste management, energy and transport services. In the occupied West Bank, the Israeli subsidiary of Veolia operates segregated buses for Israeli settlers; it operates a settler landfill in the occupied Jordan Valley; and it is also engages in a light rail project designed to connect the city of Jerusalem with illegal settlements around it. The company holds full control of Veolia Environnement Israel, which provides services to the Israeli Ministry of Defence.
What Do They Do
Veolia is a French multinational company that supplies privatized municipal services in the areas of transportation, waste management, water, and energy in the United States and around the world.
Egregious practices in OPT / Israel
Bus services on Apartheid Road 443
Veolia’s subsidiary, Connex operates regular bus services to Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including Beit Horon and Givat Ze’ev along road 443, which is an apartheid road. Built in the late 1980s on land expropriated from Palestinians, Road 443 has become a major artery for Israeli commuters but, ostensibly due to military concerns, it was shut off to Palestinian motorists, forcing them to take inferior roads. It has come to symbolize how Israeli security restrictions have created separate road systems in the West Bank for Israelis and Palestinians, which some argue is an echo of apartheid-era South Africa. A ruling from the Israeli Supreme Court forced the Israeli Army to lift the ban on Palestinian use in May 2010. However, additional security checkpoints and blocked exits to Jerusalem and Ramallah continue to prohibit Palestinian use of the road making a mockery of the Court ruling. Veolia buses continue to use the portions of the road still closed to Palestinians.
Jerusalem Light Rail
Through its subsidiary Connex Israel, Veolia was one of the companies in the CityPass consortium contracted to operate the light rail project in Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Light Rail connects the city of Jerusalem with the illegal settlements around it. Veolia
unexpectedly sold to an Israeli company (the Dan Bus Company) 49% of its shares in CityPass, the French-Israeli joint venture company that holds the construction contract with the State of Israel for the light rail project. After five years, the Israeli company will purchase the remaining 51% shares. Veolia’s sale was attributed by Palestinian officials and activists to their boycott and lobbying efforts. Veolia continues to operate and profit from the rail.
Through its subsidiary, Veolia Environmental Services Israel (which has bought T.M.M. Integrated Recycling Services), Veolia operates the Tovlan Landfill in the occupied Jordan Valley, confiscating Palestinian natural and land resources for the needs of Israeli settlements. Veolia has sold the Toval landfill to Masua, an illegal settlement in the Jordan Valley. However, Veolia remains active as a supervisor and consultant, and continues to operate the dump.
Ayalon Sewage Treatment
Veolia Water Services (VW) Israel, a subsidiary of System vivendi water France, operates Ayalon Sewage treatment institute, which collects sewage from the illegal settlement of Modi’in Ilit.
Offering gender segregated bus services
Inside Israel, Veolia Transport operates a gender-segregated bus service 322 from Tel Aviv to Ashdod: Women enter through the rear of the vehicle and the men from the front. They cannot touch each other or sit next to one another. In some buses, a thick blanket is hung in the middle of the bus between the two sexes.
Internationally, Veolia is has been targeted for other offenses including water privatization, mismanagement, and corruption.
Due to its participation in the Jerusalem Light Rail and other projects that support the Israeli settlement infrastructure in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Veolia has been the target of international BDS campaigns such as Derail Veolia, for many years. The
campaigns have resulted in the Company’s loss of more than $16 billion in canceled or withdrawn contracts including a $7.5 billion contract in North London in December 2012. Veolia has become the target of a number of campaigns in the United States including in St. Louis, Missouri, where the City Board decided to carry out an investigation of Veolia prior to considering a contract following outcry over the company’s human rights violations in Palestine. In Northern California, Veolia withdrew from an over $300 million contract after a concerted campaign by local activists. There are ongoing U.S. campaigns protesting Veolia Transportation public contracts in Sonoma County and Los Angeles, CA; Baltimore, MD; Boston, MA; and beyond. The statewide California Israel Divestment Campaign calls on CalPERS public pension system to divest from Veolia
In a report to the General Assembly, on October 25, 2012, UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk called on the GA and civil society to boycott Veolia Environment and a number of other companies targeted by the We Divest Campaign, including Hewlett-Packard, Caterpillar, G4S, Elbit Systems, and Motorola, for their violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law through their involvement in the establishment and maintenance of illegal Israeli settlements.
In 2012, the Quaker Friends Fiduciary Corporation (FFC) divested from Veolia following concerns expressed by Quakers regarding the company’s violations of Palestinian rights..
Company Response – statements,
press releases, etc in response to BDS activities
In late 2010 and early 2011 Veolia and Alstom both announced that they would sell their shares in the Jerusalem Light Rail. Nevertheless, the two companies will continue to profit from the scheme for years to come and the pressure on them must continue until such time as they admit responsibility for their actions, provide reparations to their Palestinian victims and be held accountable for their gross complicity with Israeli violations of international law.
Sources and Additional
Global Exchange: http://www.globalexchange.org/economicactivism/campaigns/veolia
For information on Veolia contract in your community use this tool developed by Global Exchange: http://www.globalexchange.org/economicactivism/veolia/contracts
BDS National Committee (BNC): http://www.bdsmovement.net/activecamps/veoliaalstom