The Israel Committee Against House Demolitions – UK: Shocking pictures and film footage of JCB bulldozers demolishing a Palestinian property were projected in English and Arabic on to a wall at a central London building on 25th November.
ICAHD UK commissioned a specialist film unit to reveal the appalling images of destruction to draw attention to JCB’s complicity in war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory where homes, farms, water infrastructure, animal shelters and orchards are routinely destroyed.
Israeli company Comasco imports JCB machinery which is used to further Israel’s policy of destroying Palestinians lives and livelihoods, plunging them into poverty and homelessness. The equipment is used not only to destroy Palestinian homes and livelihoods but also to build Jewish settlements in the West Bank – another grave breach of International Humanitarian Law.
ICAHD UK Executive Committee Member Sharen Green said, “For nearly two years, we have campaigned on JCB, and we have worked with a coalition of other human rights organizations to pressure JCB to stop sales to Israel. Not once has the Bamford family, owners of JCB, responded to us. Therefore, with the ongoing demolitions which threaten the ability for Palestinians to remain on their land, we thought it time to go another step in raising awareness by publicly shaming JCB.”
This action comes hard on the heels of a victory of Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights which took JCB to the National Contact Point (NCP), part of the Department of Trade. The NCP administers ethical business practices in the UK and it found JCB to be committing grave human rights abuses in Israel-Palestine.
On 18th November, Amnesty International issued its report ‘JCB Off Track: Evading responsibility for human rights violations committed with JCB machines in the Occupied Palestinian Territories’. Human Rights Watch, Save the Children, and Israeli NGO B’Tselem have all highlighted the use of JCB equipment in Palestine.
In February 2020, the UN identified JCB as one of only three British companies profiting from Israel’s occupation because of JCB’s bulldozer use in the construction and maintenance of Israel’s illegal settlements.
Despite all the evidence, JCB insists that they are not responsible for crimes committed by a third party.
That same evening ICAHD UK did another wall projection next to the office of the UK’s largest children’s charity the National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). It insists on accepting money from JCB, with over £5 million having been donated to date. The NSPCC states that every child matters yet it ignores what is happening to Palestinian children.