Two Dutch charities have refused to accept future donations from G4S after they were informed by a blogger known as Sonja about the company’s role in Israel’s detention of Palestinian children.
Meanwhile, a protest was staged outside G4S’ headquarters in London last Friday (21 December), highlighting the company’s provision of services to Israeli jails (see video above). The activists called for the immediate release of all Palestinian political prisoners, including prisoners on hunger strike. The protestors informed the public about G4S’s role in the ill-treatment of Palestinian child prisoners who are unlawfully transferred from the occupied West Bank to prisons in Israel.
My post earlier this month, “Israeli prisons equipped by notorious security firm G4S hold Palestinian teens in solitary confinement,” prompted Sonja — whose blog is called Hotel Terminus — to examine G4S’s activities in the Netherlands. After learning that G4S had boasted of its support to four Dutch charities, she informed the charities about how the firm was assisting Israel’s violations of international law.
The Food Bank in Utrecht ended its cooperation with G4S in response to the information provided by Sonja.
A few days later, another charity Jantje Beton — which promotes free outdoor play for children — announced on its website that it had severed its relationship with G4S, its main sponsor. Jantje Beton explained that its decision:
follows the coverage of the relationship between G4S Group and security activities in Israeli jails. Both parties agree that for Jantje Beton, which is an organization aiming to improve outdoor play facilities for children in the Netherlands, it is undesirable to cooperate with a sponsor that is associated with violations of child and human rights elsewhere. G4S Cash Solutions Netherlands had sponsored Jantje Beton since 2010.
A third charity, the Ronald McDonald Children’s Fund, has indicated that it is investigating the situation, while the fouth charity, the PIM Foundation, has not yet responded. G4S has removed Food Bank Utrecht and Jantje Beton from the list of charities it supports, published on its website.
G4S provides assistance to charitable causes and local community activities to cultivate an image of a “socially responsible” employer. The Dutch charities who no longer want to play a role in whitewashing G4S’s complicity in Israel’s unlawful acts have set an inspiring example.
(Adri Nieuwhof / electronicintifada.net / 24.12.2012)