UN expert's call for North London Waste Authority boycott on Veolia over Israel links 'irresponsible'

A United Nations expert has called on the North London Waste Authority to boycott project bidder Veolia because of its “illegal” operations in Israel.

Veolia is bidding to the NLWA, which is made up of seven local authorities including Barnet, for some of its waste management contracts.

The global environmental services firm has a minority stake in a project alleged to include the building of railway links between Israel and the occupied territories in the West Bank and the Gaza strip.

The settlements have been condemned as illegal by the UN and the UK and UN expert on Palestine, Richard Falk, wrote to the authority and other interested parties calling for a boycott on the firm.

Campaigners have previously lobbied Barnet Council on the issue.

Councillor Brian Coleman, a former member of the NLWA board, was disciplined for labelling two campaigners a “disloyal Israeli” and a “Nazi blackshirt” during email exchanges on the subject.

Mr Falk’s calls for a major boycott have been labelled “irresponsible and unacceptable” by the US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice.

She said: "His recommendations do nothing to further a peaceful settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and indeed poison the environment for peace."

The British government also complained to the UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights about Mr Falk’s allegations.

A Veolia spokesman said in a statement: “Veolia Environment has a presence in Israel through its operating local subsidiaries, owned by Veolia Israel. In relation to the occupied territories, there are no current plans to undertake any further activities or to service the Israeli settlements situated there.”

The NLWA said it had taken legal advice and could not exclude any bidder for the reasons outlined by Mr Falk.

Comments (9)

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8:55pm Mon 26 Nov 12

nlygo says...

this is nothing to do with being anti-israel, but anti-semitism at its most blatant
this is nothing to do with being anti-israel, but anti-semitism at its most blatant nlygo

1:12pm Tue 27 Nov 12

hursthill says...

Richard Falk is only a UN expert on slandering Israel. There are 100's of UN employees who do not agree with him.

Interesting Falk is not complaining about the 40,000 + killings in Syria, or the abuses of human rights in Egypt, Libya , Saudi Arabia etc.

This is a story planted in the local press by the BDS group - a neo-nazi organisation.
Richard Falk is only a UN expert on slandering Israel. There are 100's of UN employees who do not agree with him. Interesting Falk is not complaining about the 40,000 + killings in Syria, or the abuses of human rights in Egypt, Libya , Saudi Arabia etc. This is a story planted in the local press by the BDS group - a neo-nazi organisation. hursthill

9:09pm Tue 27 Nov 12

jmgreen says...

Israel's illegal settlements are considered an obstacle to peace.

It is not the opposition to companies servicing settlements that 'poison the environment for peace' as Susan Rice claims. It is the very existence of the settlements in the first place.
Israel's illegal settlements are considered an obstacle to peace. It is not the opposition to companies servicing settlements that 'poison the environment for peace' as Susan Rice claims. It is the very existence of the settlements in the first place. jmgreen

9:34pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Mill-Hill-Boy says...

The so called occupied terrorities with settlements are only 3% of the West Bank. Israel has offered to exchange that percentage with the palestinian authority (PA) for a two state solution. The PA in turn doesn't want to come to the table for other reasons. Also Israel vacated the Gaza strip in 2004 with the hamas being elected having their own country but terrorising Israel is with thousands of missiles every year.
The so called occupied terrorities with settlements are only 3% of the West Bank. Israel has offered to exchange that percentage with the palestinian authority (PA) for a two state solution. The PA in turn doesn't want to come to the table for other reasons. Also Israel vacated the Gaza strip in 2004 with the hamas being elected having their own country but terrorising Israel is with thousands of missiles every year. Mill-Hill-Boy

11:04pm Tue 27 Nov 12

PG_Bill says...

Nlygo, it's anti-human rights abuse, not anti-Semitism - not even anti-Israel. If Israel stops its blatant and chronic abuse of the Palestinians all campaigning against it will stop (well maybe not all - there are genuine anti-Semites out there).
In any case this particular campaign is aimed at Veolia who are not, so far as I am aware, controlled by Jews, so how is campaigning against them anti-Semitic?

Hursthill: Richard Falk happens to be the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights abuses in the Palestinian Territories. His remit does not cover Syria, Egypt, Libya or Saudi Arabia. There are (I imagine) other UN Special Rapporteurs covering human rights abuses in those countries. In any case it would get very tedious if anyone wanting to criticise what went on in one country had to list all of the human rights abuses in every country of the world - it would be an extremely long list. Even such a shining defender of human rights as yourself would probably get bored reading it for the umpteenth time.
Oh, and please give your sources for the "100s of UN employees who do not agree with him".

One small correction: the BDS group is not neo-nazi. It is, as you've probably gathered by now, in favour of human rights. Want to join?
Nlygo, it's anti-human rights abuse, not anti-Semitism - not even anti-Israel. If Israel stops its blatant and chronic abuse of the Palestinians all campaigning against it will stop (well maybe not all - there are genuine anti-Semites out there). In any case this particular campaign is aimed at Veolia who are not, so far as I am aware, controlled by Jews, so how is campaigning against them anti-Semitic? Hursthill: Richard Falk happens to be the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights abuses in the Palestinian Territories. His remit does not cover Syria, Egypt, Libya or Saudi Arabia. There are (I imagine) other UN Special Rapporteurs covering human rights abuses in those countries. In any case it would get very tedious if anyone wanting to criticise what went on in one country had to list all of the human rights abuses in every country of the world - it would be an extremely long list. Even such a shining defender of human rights as yourself would probably get bored reading it for the umpteenth time. Oh, and please give your sources for the "100s of UN employees who do not agree with him". One small correction: the BDS group is not neo-nazi. It is, as you've probably gathered by now, in favour of human rights. Want to join? PG_Bill

10:26am Wed 28 Nov 12

nlygo says...

join BDS? i'd rather be straight!
join BDS? i'd rather be straight! nlygo

3:48am Sat 1 Dec 12

harvey_uk says...

How can this company claim any social responsibility dealing with such a country. Customers and shareholders should boycott this company. Israel has no respect for its neighbours, who’s land they steal and build settlements illegally, knowing the neighbours don't have the equal military means to defend themselves. Pure bullying from a nation who should know better from history! Clearly Coleman put race/religion into all his political decisions and alliances, something a politician should remain neutral on.
How can this company claim any social responsibility dealing with such a country. Customers and shareholders should boycott this company. Israel has no respect for its neighbours, who’s land they steal and build settlements illegally, knowing the neighbours don't have the equal military means to defend themselves. Pure bullying from a nation who should know better from history! Clearly Coleman put race/religion into all his political decisions and alliances, something a politician should remain neutral on. harvey_uk

2:29pm Sat 1 Dec 12

james smyth says...

Can someone explain in simple clear terms what the hell is the problem with Gaza and Isreal,west bank,nat west bank or wherever!!
Is it not about time that both their leaders both grew up, meet together,draw a line in the sand and what has gone on in the past is in the past and MOVE ON for the sake of all their people?
Im fed up up of people bellyaching on and on about things in the past,especially when its decades ago.
Can someone explain in simple clear terms what the hell is the problem with Gaza and Isreal,west bank,nat west bank or wherever!! Is it not about time that both their leaders both grew up, meet together,draw a line in the sand and what has gone on in the past is in the past and MOVE ON for the sake of all their people? Im fed up up of people bellyaching on and on about things in the past,especially when its decades ago. james smyth

11:05pm Sat 1 Dec 12

nlygo says...

i just wish all the critics of israel would be as vocal concerning syria, where the death toll from the civil war is currently over 30,000 and still rising
i just wish all the critics of israel would be as vocal concerning syria, where the death toll from the civil war is currently over 30,000 and still rising nlygo

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