New York, NY – Fifty human rights advocates with Adalah-NY and affiliated groups outshined the jewelry of Leviev Diamonds Friday night in Manhattan. Boycott advocates arrived to find Leviev Diamonds had closed for the organization’s protest for the fourth time in a row, all during the year’s biggest shopping periods. This year Adalah-NY scheduled the 10th annual holiday caroling protest against the companies of Israeli settlement-builder Lev Leviev to coincide with the Global Week of Action targeting Hewlett-Packard (HP). After caroling at Leviev, protesters marched to a nearby Staples store selling HP products for the second half of the demonstration.
Protesters, many wearing Santa hats, sang holiday carol tuned parodies calling for boycott of the two Israeli apartheid-profiting companies. They dazzled Manhattan’s Upper East Side with cheerful, anti-Apartheid holiday greetings and Palestine-solidarity messages, to the sounds of music and jingle bells. The International Week of Action targeting HP cites the company’s role in providing services and technology infrastructure that enable the illegal Israeli military occupation of Palestinian lands and the suppression of justice for the Palestinian people. The week of action started on Black Friday, November 25, 2016.
Riham Barghouti, who emceed the program, said that Adalah-NY’s participation in this Week of Action is one of a hundred public actions that took place across the globe, making it the biggest coordinated series of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against a single company in the history of the movement.
“Complicity in Israeli oppression of Palestinians is bad for business,” said Garik Ruiz, Los Angeles-based North American Liaison for the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC). “Multi-national corporations Veolia, SodaStream, Ahava, and Orange have all divested on different levels from Israel’s occupation following global boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) campaigns; and five mainstream church denominations in the US have already divested from HP.”
The companies of Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev have built hundreds of Israeli settlement homes on Palestinian land, harming Palestinian communities and violating international law. Leviev’s companies have also been accused of involvement in brutal human rights abuses in the diamond industry in Angola. Locally, Leviev recently settled claims after an investigation of his real estate activities by New York’s Attorney General.