Palestine / Japan: Honda cancels event in Israeli settlement: includes company response to NGO

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Subsequent to concerns raised by civil society organizations in Japan and internationally, Honda cancelled a racing event it was sponsoring that had been originally been scheduled to take place in Petzael, an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank. After concerns were raised, Honda moved the event to a location within the 1948 borders of Israel, and later on cancelled the event altogether. In a response to Palestine Forum Japan after the cancellation, Honda states merely that the event was being held by the Israeli Motorsports Federation, and that the company’s local partner, Mayers Cars and Trucks, abides by local legislation. Honda then refused to enter into discussions with the NGO. 

All Israeli settlements in Palestine are illegal under international law, and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is currently creating a database of companies that, in violation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human RIghts, are profiting from Israeli settlement activity.

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Item
13 March 2018

Palestine / Japan: Civil society organizations in Japan welcome relocation of Honda’s racing event planned to take place at illegal Israeli settlement following BDS movement request

Author: Palestine Forum Japan

Honda’s case shows that for Japanese companies to cooperate with Israeli ones inevitably leads to the collaboration with the illegal apartheid policy of Israel. Last year, the Knesset, Israel's parliament, passed a law that bans companies from discriminating against settlers. Therefore, Japanese companies who do business in Israel could face the risk of being punished by Israeli law if they also attempt to abide by international law and avoid the provision of services or goods to illegal settlements.

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13 March 2018

Palestine / Japan: Honda response to Palestine Forum Japan

Author: Honda

1. [The event in question] was held by the Israali Motorsports Federation. Our company has no authority over decisions regarding the holding or cancellation of the event.

2. Our operations in Israel are conducted in partnership with Mayer's Cars and Trucks Co. Ltd. We understand that these operations respect local laws and are appropriate.

3. We cannot accept your offer to enter into discussions.

[Translated from Japanese by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.]

 

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+ 日本語 - Hide

Author: パレスチナの平和を考える会

今回のケースは、イスラエル企業との提携が、日本企業にとって必然的にイスラエルの違法なアパルトヘイト政策への加担に結びつかざるを得ないことを示しています。イスラエルは、2017年2月、「居住地による差別禁止法」によって、入植地に対する「差別的扱い」をペナルティの対象とする法制化を行いました。したがって、イスラエルに進出した日本企業が、国際法に従い、違法なイスラエル入植地に対するサービス提供等の企業活動を忌避することは、イスラエルの国内法によって罰せられるリスクを伴う状況にあります。

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Article
26 February 2018

Honda cancels racing event scheduled to take place in occupied West Bank settlement

Author: Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada

"Honda event in Israel with Joe Roberts is canceled", 22 February 2018

Palestinians are welcoming the cancellation of a racing event sponsored by Honda in Israel. The event, due to feature rising US motorcycle racing star Joe Roberts, had been condemned by human rights groups. Honda Israel announced on its Facebook page... that the meet-up scheduled to be held in the city of Arad on 23-24 February was canceled “due to the lack of a track suitable for riding”... In fact, the event had originally been scheduled for the newly built track in the Petzael settlement in the occupied West Bank in an area of the Jordan Valley where the Israeli military has been engaged in the forced displacement of Palestinians. All of Israel’s settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Syria’s Golan Heights, are illegal under international law. Human rights and peace groups in Japan had urged Honda to cancel the event and the Palestinian BDS National Committee warned [Honda]... it could face “international boycotts” if it went ahead. Honda Israel then abruptly announced that the event would be moved out of the West Bank, to Arad. Roberts [said]... that he had not been informed by organizers that the event was slated to be in the West Bank. “I wasn’t given a lot of details in the beginning, other than that the track was in Israel... I would not have attended the event had it been in the West Bank.”

 

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