UMKR has sent letters to executives of Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP Inc. , informing them of our call to boycott HP products and the reasons for that, and asking for them to address the policies that have warranted to boycott.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 


1. The following letter has been sent to the CEO and the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer of Hewlett Packard Enterprise.


March 14, 2017

Meg Whitman, Chief Executive Officer
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
3000 Hanover Street
Palo Alto, CA 94304

Dear Ms. Whitman:

We write on behalf of a global grassroots movement of several thousand United Methodists in dozens of annual conferences throughout the United Methodist Church whose goal is to achieve a just peace in the Holy Land for Israelis and Palestinians. We are responding to the urgent call from Palestinian Christians – as expressed in the Kairos Palestine Document – asking churches to take principled actions that can lead to peace, justice, and equality for the Palestinian people.

Palestinians in the West Bank live today under desperate conditions as a direct result of the Israeli military occupation and a system of illegal Israeli-only settlements, conditions that deny them their basic human rights. We believe the settlements hinder peace efforts, destroy the hope of Israelis and Palestinians who long for peace, and foster desperation that leads to violence from both. Palestinians in Gaza are living under horrific conditions created by Israel’s decade-long siege and blockade of that densely populated land, often described as an “open-air prison.”

The United Methodist General Conference has passed numerous resolutions stating our opposition to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and condemning the illegal Israeli-only settlements. United Methodists have participated in ecumenical shareholder engagement with Hewlett Packard for more than eight years and have repeatedly asked that HP end its involvement with the military occupation of Palestinian lands. United Methodists for Kairos Response (UMKR) advocates that church funds should not be used in support of companies that sustain violations of international law and of human rights in the West Bank and Gaza. Several annual conferences have divested of HP stock for these reasons.

In a resolution adopted in 2012, the United Methodist Church “asks all companies that profit from and/or support settlements through their business activities to examine these and stop any business that contributes to serious violations of international law, promotes systemic discrimination, or otherwise supports ongoing military occupation.”

In its extensive Living Progress ethics document, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) states that “respecting human rights is a core value” and that it “guard[s] against potential adverse human rights impacts associated with misuse of our products and services.” The document references the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Global Compact, and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. It is our belief that any company that expresses such a concern for human rights and international law should not have this kind of involvement in the occupation and illegal settlements in Israel/Palestine.

Hewlett Packard, and to our knowledge its successors HPE and HP Inc., profits from business activities that enable Israel’s serious violations of international law and Palestinian human rights. Because the successor companies share facilities, management, supply chains, and branding – and collaborate on purchasing and bidding – we include these companies as well as future spin-offs in our concerns shared below, until there is transparency that enables us to assess them separately.

HPE provides the Basel System of biometric access control installed in Israeli military checkpoints in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza. Israel uses this system to racially profile Palestinians. It allows the military to track and control the movement of Palestinian people at checkpoints, not only on the internationally recognized Israeli border but also within the West Bank, where checkpoints violate international law by restricting the freedom of movement of the Palestinian people on their own land. As visitors to Israel/Palestine, many United Methodists have been stopped at these checkpoints. Surely you do not want HP companies to be in breach of Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that: “Everyone has the right to freedom of movement…within the borders of each state.”

We are also aware that HP has contracts with the Israeli military to maintain servers and IT systems and provide other technical support. The Israeli military maintains the suffocating occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, an occupation that has lasted for 50 years as of 2017, and enforces the 10-year-long siege of the Gaza Strip, which has caused a humanitarian catastrophe of historic proportions. The Israeli Navy prevents Palestinian fishermen from reaching essential deep fishing waters and at times attacks them. Israeli military forces also bombard Gaza’s captive residents, who number in the millions, during major assaults. Israel’s blockade of Gaza constitutes collective punishment. Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits collective punishment and designates it a war crime. Do HP companies wish to be complicit?

Further, we understand that HP has business operations inside Israeli-only settlement cities in the West Bank. Such operations are illegal under Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Our information states that HP operates a development center in Beitar Illit, a settlement city built on land confiscated from the Palestinian villages of Wadi Foquin, Nahalin, and Husan. As an employer in the settlement, HP therefore profits from stolen land and contributes to the tax base and job opportunities that strengthen that illegal settlement.

Additionally, HP is known to provide services and technologies to two of the other largest Israeli-only West Bank settlements, Modi'in Illit and Ariel. HP participated in the “Smart City” project in Ariel, providing a storage system for the settlement's municipality.
 
Another area in which HP's business practices harm the Palestinian people is in its contracts with the Israel Prison Service (IPS). The IPS has retained the services of HP to maintain its servers and other IT infrastructure as well as to provide training for its personnel. HP is contracted to provide these services to the IPS at least until the end of 2017. IPS is in charge of all incarcerated persons in Israel/Palestine. The Israeli military regularly raids Palestinian villages, invades homes, and arrests children and adults without due process, often holding adults for years in administrative detention without charge. Palestinian prisoners, including child prisoners, are often transferred from the occupied Palestinian territories to detention centers and prisons located outside the occupied Palestinian territories in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention (Article 76), which prohibits the transfer of prisoners outside an occupied territory. Children are separated from their families and are often interrogated without parents or lawyers present. Families are required to obtain special permits to travel to visit their children if they are given them at all. Children as well as adults face ill treatment and torture in these prisons, where HP's prison management systems contribute to these violations of human rights and international law, including violations of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.    

It is for these compelling reasons that United Methodists for Kairos Response, along with many other faith-based organizations, has issued a call to United Methodists to avoid purchase of the HP family of companies until HP companies end all contracts with Israel by which they profit from the military occupation of Palestine, including the siege of Gaza, and from involvement with illegal Israeli-only settlements.
In addition to individually avoiding HP products, we are presenting resolutions to many of our annual conferences in 2017 encouraging these church bodies also to avoid HP products until the above conditions are met.

In previous correspondence with one of our regional bodies, the Susquehanna Annual Conference, your staff stated that HP does not take sides in political disputes. However, by providing vital services to the Israeli military and conducting business with and in the illegal settlements, HP is in effect taking sides. HP aids Israel substantially in maintaining a military occupation that has lasted for 50 years. Enabling the oppression of a people living under brutal conditions is not a neutral business decision. We believe history will record that HP companies have been on the wrong side of the global struggle for freedom, equal rights, and justice for the Palestinian people.

We hope that you will agree to correct this wrong, so we therefore call on all HP companies to bring to an end such contracts and operations as discussed above. We respectfully invite your response within 45 days.

Sincerely yours,

Rev. John Wagner        Ms. Andrea Whitmore
Co-Chair                          Co-Chair


On behalf of United Methodists for Kairos Response

________________________________________________________

End notes
United Methodist Engagement with Corporations on Israel-Palestine Issues, 2004 – 2011             
https://www.kairosresponse.org/corporate_engagement_04-11.html

Opposition to Israeli Settlements in Palestinian Land, 2016 United Methodist Book of Resolutions #6111 https://umc-gbcs.org/resolutions/opposition-to-israeli-settlements-in-palestinian-land
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Global Human Rights Policy,
http://www8.hp.com/us/en/hpe/hp-information/livingprogress/governance/humanrights.html
UNICEF, Children in Israeli Military Detention, Observations and Recommendations (2013):
https://www.unicef.org/oPt/UNICEF_oPt_Children_in_Israeli_Military_Detention_Observations_and_Recommendations_-_6_March_2013.pdf
UNICEF, Children in Israeli Military Detention
Observations and Recommendations, Bulletin No. 2: February 2015,

https://www.unicef.org/oPt/Children_in_Israeli_Military_Detention_-_Observations_and_Recommendations_-_Bulletin_No._2_-_February_2015.pdf
UNOCHA, Concern Over Conditions And Violence Against Palestinian Children In Detention, Feb. 9, 2016,
https://www.ochaopt.org/content/concern-over-conditions-and-violence-against-palestinian-children-detention
 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
 http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/44/a44r025.htm


_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


2. The following letter has been sent to the CEO and the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer

of HP Inc.

It is the same as the letter above in most parts; the primary difference is in the fifth paragraph, which refers to HP Inc's  "Sustainability Policy" in the letter below, and in the letter above, refers to  HPE's "Living Progress" ethics document.


March 14, 2017


Dion Weisler
Chief Executive Officer
HP Inc.
1501 Page Mill Road
Palo Alto CA 94304

Dear Mr. Weisler:

We write on behalf of a global grassroots movement of several thousand United Methodists in dozens of annual conferences throughout the United Methodist Church whose goal is to achieve a just peace in the Holy Land for Israelis and Palestinians. We are responding to the urgent call from Palestinian Christians – as expressed in the Kairos Palestine Document – asking churches to take principled actions that can lead to peace, justice, and equality for the Palestinian people.

Palestinians in the West Bank live today under desperate conditions as a direct result of the Israeli military occupation and a system of illegal Israeli-only settlements, conditions that deny them their basic human rights. We believe the settlements hinder peace efforts, destroy the hope of Israelis and Palestinians who long for peace, and foster desperation that leads to violence from both. Palestinians in Gaza are living under horrific conditions created by Israel’s decade-long siege and blockade of that densely populated land, often described as an “open-air prison.”

The United Methodist General Conference has passed numerous resolutions stating our opposition to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and condemning the illegal Israeli-only settlements. United Methodists have participated in ecumenical shareholder engagement with Hewlett Packard for more than eight years and have repeatedly asked that HP end its involvement with the military occupation of Palestinian lands. United Methodists for Kairos Response (UMKR) advocates that church funds should not be used in support of companies that sustain violations of international law and of human rights in the West Bank and Gaza. Several annual conferences have divested of HP stock for these reasons.

In a resolution adopted in 2012, the United Methodist Church “asks all companies that profit from and/or support settlements through their business activities to examine these and stop any business that contributes to serious violations of international law, promotes systemic discrimination, or otherwise supports ongoing military occupation.”

In its Sustainability Policy, Hewlett Packard states “Respecting human rights is embedded in the way we do business. Human rights are the fundamental rights, freedoms and standards of treatment to which all people are entitled.” The HP website indicates the company is a signatory of the UN Global Compact and aligns with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights It is our belief that any company that expresses such a concern for human rights and international law should not have this kind of involvement in the occupation and illegal settlements in Israel/Palestine.

Hewlett Packard, and to our knowledge its successors HPE and HP Inc., profits from business activities that enable Israel’s serious violations of international law and Palestinian human rights. Because the successor companies share facilities, management, supply chains, and branding – and collaborate on purchasing and bidding – we include these companies as well as future spin-offs in our concerns shared below, until there is transparency that enables us to assess them separately.

HPE provides the Basel System of biometric access control installed in Israeli military checkpoints in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza. Israel uses this system to racially profile Palestinians. It allows the military to track and control the movement of Palestinian people at checkpoints, not only on the internationally recognized Israeli border but also within the West Bank, where checkpoints violate international law by restricting the freedom of movement of the Palestinian people on their own land. As visitors to Israel/Palestine, many United Methodists have been stopped at these checkpoints. Surely you do not want HP companies to be in breach of Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that: “Everyone has the right to freedom of movement…within the borders of each state.”

We are also aware that HP has contracts with the Israeli military to maintain servers and IT systems and provide other technical support. The Israeli military maintains the suffocating occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, an occupation that has lasted for 50 years as of 2017, and enforces the 10-year-long siege of the Gaza Strip, which has caused a humanitarian catastrophe of historic proportions. The Israeli Navy prevents Palestinian fishermen from reaching essential deep fishing waters and at times attacks them. Israeli military forces also bombard Gaza’s captive residents, who number in the millions, during major assaults. Israel’s blockade of Gaza constitutes collective punishment. Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits collective punishment and designates it a war crime. Do HP companies wish to be complicit?

Further, we understand that HP has business operations inside Israeli-only settlement cities in the West Bank. Such operations are illegal under Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Our information states that HP operates a development center in Beitar Illit, a settlement city built on land confiscated from the Palestinian villages of Wadi Foquin, Nahalin, and Husan. As an employer in the settlement, HP therefore profits from stolen land and contributes to the tax base and job opportunities that strengthen that illegal settlement.

Additionally, HP is known to provide services and technologies to two of the other largest Israeli-only West Bank settlements, Modi'in Illit and Ariel. HP participated in the “Smart City” project in Ariel, providing a storage system for the settlement's municipality.
 
Another area in which HP's business practices harm the Palestinian people is in its contracts with the Israel Prison Service (IPS). The IPS has retained the services of HP to maintain its servers and other IT infrastructure as well as to provide training for its personnel. HP is contracted to provide these services to the IPS at least until the end of 2017. IPS is in charge of all incarcerated persons in Israel/Palestine. The Israeli military regularly raids Palestinian villages, invades homes, and arrests children and adults without due process, often holding adults for years in administrative detention without charge. Palestinian prisoners, including child prisoners, are often transferred from the occupied Palestinian territories to detention centers and prisons located outside the occupied Palestinian territories in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention (Article 76), which prohibits the transfer of prisoners outside an occupied territory. Children are separated from their families and are often interrogated without parents or lawyers present. Families are required to obtain special permits to travel to visit their children if they are given them at all. Children as well as adults face ill treatment and torture in these prisons, where HP's prison management systems contribute to these violations of human rights and international law, including violations of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.    

It is for these compelling reasons that United Methodists for Kairos Response, along with many other faith-based organizations, has issued a call to United Methodists to avoid purchase of the HP family of companies until HP companies end all contracts with Israel by which they profit from the military occupation of Palestine, including the siege of Gaza, and from involvement with illegal Israeli-only settlements.
In addition to individually avoiding HP products, we are presenting resolutions to many of our annual conferences in 2017 encouraging these church bodies also to avoid HP products until the above conditions are met.

In previous correspondence with one of our regional bodies, the Susquehanna Annual Conference, your staff stated that HP does not take sides in political disputes. However, by providing vital services to the Israeli military and conducting business with and in the illegal  settlements, HP is in effect taking sides. HP aids Israel substantially in maintaining a military occupation that has lasted for 50 years. Enabling the oppression of a people living under brutal conditions is not a neutral business decision. We believe history will record that HP companies have been on the wrong side of the global struggle for freedom, equal rights, and justice for the Palestinian people.

We hope that you will agree to correct this wrong, so we therefore call on all HP companies to bring to an end such contracts and operations as discussed above. We respectfully invite your response within 45 days.

Sincerely yours,

Rev. John Wagner            Andrea Whitmore
Co-Chair                              Co-chair

On behalf of United Methodists for Kairos Response

_________________________________________________________


End Notes

United Methodist Engagement with Corporations on Israel-Palestine Issues, 2004 – 2011              https://www.kairosresponse.org/corporate_engagement_04-11.html

Opposition to Israeli Settlements in Palestinian Land, 2016 United Methodist Book of Resolutions #6111

https://umc-gbcs.org/resolutions/opposition-to-israeli-settlements-in-palestinian-land

Hewlett Packard Sustainability Policy

http://www8.hp.com/h20195/v2/GetDocument.aspx?docname=c05075378

UNICEF, Children in Israeli Military Detention, Observations and Recommendations (2013):
https://www.unicef.org/oPt/UNICEF_oPt_Children_in_Israeli_Military_Detention_Observations_and_Recommendations_-_6_March_2013.pdf

UNICEF, Children in Israeli Military Detention
Observations and Recommendations, Bulletin No. 2: February 2015

https://www.unicef.org/oPt/Children_in_Israeli_Military_Detention_-_Observations_and_Recommendations_-_Bulletin_No._2_-_February_2015.pdf

UNOCHA, Concern Over Conditions And Violence Against Palestinian Children In Detention, Feb. 9, 2016

https://www.ochaopt.org/content/concern-over-conditions-and-violence-against-palestinian-children-detention

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/44/a44r025.htm

UMKR Letters to HP Companies

March 2017

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