Hewlett Packard (HP) is one of the world's largest information technology corporations. It has long been a leading Pentagon military contractor; and it sells PCs, printers, and many other computer products around the world. Israel is one of the few countries in which HP has a truly massive presence. HP provides crucial support for Israel's brutal and illegal 48 yearlong military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, according to the organization Who Profits and Global Exchange. Here is how HP sustains the occupation.
Checkpoints: One of the most oppressive aspects of the Israeli occupation is the network of mandatory checkpoints scattered throughout the West Bank (e.g. Abu Dis, Bethlehem, Ephraim Gate, Hebron, Jenin, Jericho, Nablus, Tarkumia and Tulkarem). These checkpoints severely restrict Palestinian movement, decimate the Palestinian economy, and hamper access to medical care, education, and employment. HP designed and maintains the BASEL System of magnetic biometric identification cards used by the Israeli military at these hated checkpoints.
Identification System: Israel maintains an extensive personal identification system which reinforces discrimination against non-Jewish citizens of Israel. The system is carefully stratified by ethnicity and religion. Jewish citizens of Israel have blue IDs. Orange and green IDs are given to Palestinians permitted to enter Israel. HP designed this system, manufactures the identification cards, and stores the relevant information.
Naval Information Technology: The Israeli navy enforces the illegal blockade of Gaza, restricts the activities of Palestinian fisherman, and bombards Gaza during major assaults. HP administers the information technology structure of the Israeli navy. It also supplies the Israeli army with essential computer equipment.
Illegal Jewish Only Settlements: HP operates a development center in the illegal Jewish only settlement of Beithar Illit. It also provides technological services for two of the largest Jewish only settlements in the West Bank: Mod'in Illit and Ariel.
Prisons in Israel: Israeli prisons contain numerous Palestinian political activists. HP provides computer hardware for prisons in Israel and also maintains many of the information technology systems used therein.
Not all of HPs activities supporting Israel's illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza are public. Hence the above list, though damning enough, is probably not complete. Please do not buy any Hewlett Packard computer products. For further action, contact Meg Whitman, the CEO of Hewlett Packard, at www.hp.com. Let her know that you will boycott HP as long as the corporation assists Israel's almost universally condemned occupation of the West Bank.
The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center's "Peace Train" runs every Friday in the Colorado Daily.