On the second big Gaza solidarity march in London on 10th January, angry protesters smashed the front of a Starbucks store on Kensington High St, near the Israeli embassy, while other activists occupied the Ahava beauty shop in central London. Other actions in protest at the Israeli massacre in Gaza this month have included occupying the offices of the British Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM) in central London, ‘decommissioning’ the ITT/EDO arms factory in Brighton and university occupations across the country calling for divestment. So, who are these companies and why are they being targeted by protesters and campaigners? Corporate Watch takes a detailed look.
1. ARMS COMPANIES
Israel was the world’s 6th largest arms importer between 2003 and 2007, accounting for 3.80% of world deliveries, according to the SIPRI Arms Transfers Database. During that period, the US accounted for 94% of the exports of arms to Israel. France, Germany and the UK accounted for a big proportion of the rest. In 2007 alone, EU member states authorised the export of €200m worth of items on the EU Military List to Israel.