EXCLUSIVE: Leicester City Council relies on Israeli products, despite boycott

EXCLUSIVE: Leicester City Council relies on Israeli products, despite boycott

Stephen is the Jewish News' Foreign Editor


by Stephen Oryszczuk

Leicester City Council relies on products from companies with links to Israeli settlements, despite councillors recently voting to boycott them.

The admission follows a Freedom of Information (FoI) request submitted by a parliamentary candidate, who asked whether the council worked with companies blacklisted by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.

As well as using products from technology companies such as Motorola, HP, Intel, IBM, Lexmark, Siemens, Apple and Microsoft, the council uses products from Coca-Cola, Eden Springs, Nescafe, Kimberley Clark and Danone.

It also holds a contract with G4S for processing payments for its car parks, and has worked with other boycott target Veolia.

If comes after a council vote in November, in which Labour councillors chose to boycott any produce originating from “illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank” until the country withdraws from Palestinian territories.

Despite the admission, it was far from clear this week which products derived directly from the settlements, and therefore which products would no longer be purchased by the council.

“It’s ridiculous,” said Conservative parliamentary candidate Kishan Devani, after receiving his FoI response. 

“The motion was to boycott settlement products, but if you listen to the BDS campaign, they tell you to boycott companies with links to the settlements, so where does it end? It’s completely unenforceable. I doubt the council could tell us now exactly which products has which parts in them that came from Israel.”

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