BNC to Telkom South Africa: "Don´t enter into a deal with AMDOCS"
The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) calls on Telkom South
The BNC is a wide coalition of the largest Palestinian mass organizations, trade unions, networks and organizations and bases its appeal to Telkom on the Palestinian civil society call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions issued in 2005 by all major political parties, organizations and unions.
Palestine, September 11 2008
Chief Executive Officer, Telcom South Africa Ltd
cc: Chief officers of Telcom South Africa Ltd
Dear Reuben September,
We are writing on behalf of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC). The BNC serves as the Palestinian reference and coordination point for the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the 1948 Nakba that saw the ethnic cleansing of more than 750,000 indigenous Palestinians from their homeland and the beginning of ongoing Israeli colonization, dispossession and racist oppression of our people.
We are grateful for the support and solidarity we have received over the years from the South African people. Moreover, the position of the South African civil society, particularly major political and social forces, on the anniversary of the Nakba was heartening. While much of the world disingenuously celebrated the “birth of Israel,” South Africa stood with the Palestinians as we commemorated our 60th year of dispossession and apartheid.
Given this history, we are dismayed to learn that the main South African telecommunications company is considering entering into a large business deal with an Israeli company. We have received information that Telkom SA, Ltd. has entered into negotiations with Amdocs Ltd. in the hopes of signing a deal outsourcing billing functionality to the latter. While Amdocs has established a headquarters in Missouri, USA it is based in Israel. One of Israel’s largest and most important software companies, Amdocs’ central offices are located in Ra’anana, Israel, and the majority of its employees are Israeli.
As was true in South Africa during apartheid, doing business with Israeli companies, despite Israel’s consistent violation of international law and fundamental human rights, , cannot be construed except as a form of complicity in maintaining Israel’s occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people. This is especially true given the glaring similarities between Israel’s own apartheid and colonial regime and South Africa’s, a fact that was recognized by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, South African Minister Ronnie Kasrils, former US president Jimmy Carter and former UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights Prof. John Dugard, among many others.
Furthermore, it has been widely reported that Amdocs may have links to Mossad spy operations, primarily in the United States. The company, which maintains nearly all call records for US phone companies, has been investigated several times by the FBI and other agencies. In 1999, the US National Security Agency warned that call records were falling into foreign hands, in particular Israel.
On 9 July 2005, inspired by the South African struggle for justice, over 170 Palestinian organizations, movements, parties and unions came together to launch the unified Palestinian civil society Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). Many in the international community have positively responded ever since, by launching diverse campaigns aimed at isolating Israel until it meets its obligations under international law and until its system of apartheid is dismantled once and for all.
South African solidarity has been essential in supporting this BDS movement, which is itself inspired by the boycott movement that eventually overturned the apartheid regime in South Africa. A large number of national, social and political forces, including the ANC, have vowed to support the Palestinian struggle against Israeli occupation and colonialism. Many others, such as COSATU and the South African Council of Churches, have endorsed a full boycott of Israel. It is crucial that South African companies take up the boycott of Israel and its economy. Economic relationships with Israeli companies must be ceased until justice, freedom, equality and respect for universal human rights are fully realized.
We hope that you will stand with the Palestinian people and look elsewhere for your business solutions.
Steering Committee of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC)