BDS Turkey’s statement: Arkas Holding, stop being the Trojan Horse of Israel!

On the 1st of August, Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT) announced that a Turkish-flagged container ship linked to the Israeli shipping line ZIM will be docking on the port of Rades in Tunisia between 5 and 21 August 2018. According to the official website of the Israeli company ZIM, the Turkish ship “Cornelius A” is one of the carrier vessels used for operating the announced shipping line between Haifa and Rades using the Spanish port Valencia as a cargo transfer point.

However,  the disclosure and protest by UGTT and TACBI (the Tunisian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel) forced the vessel to stop at Valencia and not to continue its way to Rades port. The Tunisian laws do not allow  any activity of Israeli companies in Tunisia, while a more recent  bill, currently being discussed in the Tunisian Parliament, incriminates any relations with Israel.

ZIM Company was established in 1945 by the Jewish Agency and Histadrut, two of the Zionist movement’s basic bodies that had played an important role in the foundation of the Israeli State. ZIM was formerly known for  its activities during the Zionist migration to the Palestinian land as well as for supplying food and military equipment to the Israeli army during its wars. It seems that ZIM is trying to bypass the boycott against Israel in Tunisia via a Turkish vessel. “Cornelius A” is a Turkish-flagged ship owned by the Turkey-based  company Arkas. It is widely known that Israel tries to find ways to get around the boycott of the Arab countries.

BDS Turkey’s call to Arkas Holding company:

ZIM Company seems to use Arkas Holding as a “Trojan Horse” to bypass the commercial boycott in the Arab countries.  BDS Turkey found out that there is a “vessel sharing agreement” and a commitment to use one another’s resources between both companies.  At the same time, Arkas holding is operating shipping lines between Israel and Turkey.

We call Arkas Holding to give up being an instrument of a company that assumed a substantial role  in the establishment of the apartheid regime in Palestine and went on supplying logistic support to the Israeli army in its wars and crimes against Arab countries. We believe that every penny the Israeli apartheid earns   turns back as further  bombardment of Gaza and more illegal settlements in the West Bank. While the Palestinian people is living under the apartheid regime’s blockade from the air, land and sea, normalizing this regime means complicity in its systematic violation of  human rights and the international law.

Thus, we call upon Arkas Holding to  terminate its partnership with the Israeli company ZIM, which has always been an active agent of the establishment and maintenance  of the Israeli colonialism and to stop complicity in its ongoing crimes against  the  Palestinan people.

Let’s strengthen the solidarity with UGTT and TACBI!

As BDS Turkey, while we express our solidarity with UGTT and TACBI  we call the Turkish society and the Turkish trade unions to support this campaign and raise their voice to take sides with the Tunisian people’s volition of boycotting the Israeli state.

BDS Turkey

August 9, 2018