Australian, Canadian firms pull out of Israeli settler railway

Youths throw stones at a tram
The Jerusalem light rail which links Israel’s illegal West Bank colonies is a symbol of oppression to Palestinians. (photo: Faiz Abu Rmeleh / ActiveStills)
There is a growing acknowledgement that doing business with Israel’s settlements makes companies complicit in human rights violations.
By Ali Abunimah | The Electric Intifada | May 8, 2019

Palestinian campaigners see the latest withdrawals as victories for their efforts to hold companies complicit in Israel’s occupation and colonization accountable.

The Electronic Intifada can exclusively reveal that Canadian engineering giant Bombardier has pulled out of a bid to expand and operate an Israeli tramway linking settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Bombardier is one of several global firms – two others being Australia’s Macquarie and Germany’s Siemens – to drop out of the tender to build the next phase of the Jerusalem light rail.

The light rail system links settlements to each other and to Jerusalem, helping to entrench and facilitate Israel’s colonial expansion in the occupied territory – a war crime.

The tramway is a symbol of oppression for Palestinians.

Last month Israeli business publication Globes reported that investment fund Macquarie was withdrawing its support from the bidding consortium that includes Bombardier and Austrian company Wiener Linien.

According to Globes, the consortium was “looking for an investment fund to replace Australian fund Macquarie.”

However, a spokesperson for Macquarie confirmed to The Electronic Intifada on Wednesday that not only had the Australian financier withdrawn, but the entire consortium spearheaded by Bombardier had pulled out altogether.

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