Via the Palestinian BDS National Committee.
âThe Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Committee of Palestinian Citizens of Israel (BDS48) calls upon our Palestinian people in the homeland and the Diaspora, the peoples of the Arab world, and people of conscience worldwide to boycott and divest from Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), until it ends its involvement in Israelâs violations of our human rights, particularly in Jerusalem and the Naqab (Negev),â said an action alert released on Tuesday.
The alert calls on people around the world âto boycott Hyundai productsâ and urges institutions, including investment funds and churches, to divest from Hyundai shares.
Municipal bodies should exclude Hyundai from public tenders, the action alert states.
Complicity in ethnic cleansing
While Israelâs abuse of the South Korean companyâs products has been documented for years, BDS48 says the campaign comes âat this particular moment in light of the extensive use of Hyundai equipment by the Israeli authorities in the recent demolitionsâ of many homes of Palestinian citizens of Israel in the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran in the southern Naqab region, and in the town of Qalansawa further north, last month.
Another wave of demolitions in Umm al-Hiran is expected imminently, part of Israelâs plan to destroy the community and replace it with a town for Jews, to be called âHiran.â
In December, Israel also used Hyundai equipment to demolish a home in the occupied Golan Heights.
The BDS48 action alert, which was disseminated by the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), notes that Hyundai has been presented with evidence of its âpersistent complicity in Israeli ethnic cleansing policies against Palestinians and Syrians in the territories occupied since 1967.â
But, the company âhas failed to stop its business-as-usual involvement,â the alert states.
Hyundai âhas thus forfeited its responsibilities as stated in the UN Global Compact and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rightsâ â standards that are supposed to promote sustainable development and halt corporate complicity in state abuses.
Until the early 2000s, Hyundai was a single group encompassing such activities as vehicle production, shipbuilding, construction, steel, finance, retail, aerospace and defense.
It was broken up into five major companies, including Hyundai Heavy Industries, which makes ships and construction equipment, and Hyundai Motor Group.
But, all the companies continue to be controlled by a few members of the founding Chung family as part of a complex web of entities.
All the spin-offs trade on the goodwill of the famous Hyundai name, a brand that risks being tarnished by association with Israelâs crimes.
Consumers around the world would be most familiar with cars made by Hyundai Motor Group and its affiliate Kia.
In recent years, Hyundai has shot into the worldâs top five automakers.
It is a popular brand in Middle East countries, with Saudi Arabia accounting for more than 40 percent of its regional sales.
In 2016, Hyundai saw its first dip in auto sales in almost two decades. Its workers have also staged widespread strikes over wages.
The BDS48 action alert urges Hyundai workers and the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions âto stand in solidarity with our peaceful struggle by pressuring the Hyundai management to stop the companyâs complicity in Israeli violations of human rights.â
âOur campaign is not intended at all to harm the interests of the companyâs workers but to protect the rights of our people as stipulated in international law,â it states.