In the News

Deutsche Bahn pulls out of illegal A1 rail project

May 10, 2011
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Media outlets are today reporting on the successful BDS campaign against Israel's illegal A1 train project.

The Financial Times reports:

Deutsche Bahn, the German railway operator, has pulled out of an Israeli project that cuts through the occupied Palestinian West Bank, after pressure from activists and Berlin.

The move marks a victory for pro-Palestinian groups and their so-called boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign, which tries to use economic pressure on Israel to help the Palestinian cause.

Campaigners were angered by the activities of Deutsche Bahn’s international consulting arm, which provided advice on the electrification of the new track linking Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The high-speed line, due to be completed by 2017, has attracted sharp criticism from Palestinian officials because a 6-km stretch cuts through the West Bank.

In February, the German transport minister wrote to Deutsche Bahn, a state owned company, to express the view that the A1 train project "is a problematic venture and a potential violation of international law, touching on questions of status". The ministry subsequently informed a member of parliament that Deutsche Bahn had ended its involvement in the project after the government raised its concerns. This is one of the first known government interventions relating corporate complicity with Israeli violations of international law.

German BDS campaigners and the Coalition of Women for Peace have been targeting Deutsche Bahn over their involvement in the project.

In Italy, a broad coalition has been formed to oppose the involvement of Parma based Pizzarotti in the project.

The story has been covered by a variety of other media outlets including the Associated Press and the Washington Times.

May 10, 2011
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