By Al Qalam Reporter
An Israeli company with alleged links to human rights abuses against Palestinians has announced plans to acquire a majority shareholding in South Africa’s Clover Dairies, sparking outrage on social media.
If the deal goes ahead, it could mean that the next time you pour Clover milk into your coffee, you could indirectly be funding the suppression of Palestinian rights by the Zionist state.
News that Israel’s Central Bottling Company (CBC), together with several smaller partners (including the South African firm Brimstone investments) has formed a company called MilCo – that intends to buy out majority clover shares for R4.8 Billion – has sent shockwaves in the activist community. If the deal succeeds, Israel’s CBC will take control of 59.5% of the South African milk and dairy company.
But, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS-South Africa) said in a statement on Wednesday that it is currently investigating the terms of the possible deal – and could mobilise a mass boycott movement in South Africa against Clover if it comes to that.
In the interim, however, BDS spokesman Tisetso Magama, said the body was meeting with other human rights’ activist groups to strategise.
BDS was also planning meetings with the Israeli company’s South African partners, Brimstone Investment Corporation, led by Fred Robertson and Mushtaq Brey, to dissuade them from investing with the Israeli company.
“If the deal proceeds, we will actively initiate, support and or join the call for direct-action and a militant but peaceful campaign, including protests and disruptions, against Clover and a boycott of all its products”, Magama said.
BDS said in the statement that CBC was complicit in human rights abuses and violations of international law. It has a tarnished image.
* CBC, in violation of international law, has operations in Israel’s illegal settlements – both in the occupied Palestinian West Bank and in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.
* CBC and its subsidiaries own a regional distribution centre in the illegal Israeli Atarot settlement industrial zone, a vineyard near mount Shifon in the occupied Golan Heights and a dairy farm as well as offices in the illegal Israeli settlement of Shadmot Mehola in the Jordan Valley – all in violation of international law.
* In addition, CBC – through its wholly owned Atarot distribution centre, denies the Palestinian franchisee, the National Beverages Company (NBC) – access to East Jerusalem, constituting an unfair captive market for the Israeli distributor.
* In 2015 CBC donated over R150 000 to the right wing, racist and facist organization Im Tirtzu, a group that, among others, directly funds campaigns in support of Israeli soldiers and the IDF. During the 2014 Israeli attacks on Gaza, which left 2500 Palestinians dead, Im Tirtzu (together with the son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) facilitated supplies to IDF soldiers. They also support IDF reservists and advocate for reserve soldiers to receive preferential grants.
* In 2009 CBC hosted a special reception to honour Israeli Brigadier-General, Ben-Eliezer who served as Israeli Defence Minister and in that capacity, presided over the 2002 storming of Jenin, a refugee camp, leaving hundreds of Palestinians dead.