Deutsche Bahn pulls out of Israel project


By simoneq
May 13, 2011
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Deutsche Bahn pulls out of Israel project (Financial Times)

By Tobias Buck in Jerusalem

Published: May 9 2011 16:52 | Last updated: May 9 2011 16:52

Deutsche Bahn, the German railway operator, has pulled out of an sraeli project that cuts through the occupied Palestinian West Bank, after pressure from activists and Berlin.

The move marks a victory for pro-Palestinian groups and their so-called boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign, which tries to use economic pressure on Israel to help the Palestinian cause.

Campaigners were angered by the activities of Deutsche Bahn’s international consulting arm, which provided advice on the electrification of the new track linking Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The high-speed line, due to be completed by 2017, has attracted sharp criticism from Palestinian officials because a 6-km stretch cuts through the West Bank.

Opponents said the project was illegal because it used occupied Palestinian territory for a project that would be used primarily, or solely, by Israeli citizens. They also argued that the new line could have easily been built on Israeli territory alone, making land confiscations in the West Bank unnecessary.

Deutsche Bahn, which is state-owned, declined to comment on the reasons for the pull-out but said: “We told Israel Railways in February that we would not provide further services for this particular project.”

The operator added that the involvement in the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem line had been “modest” and that DB International, its consulting subsidiary, would continue to provide services to the Israeli rail operator elsewhere.

According to a letter sent by Germany’s ministry for transport to a member of parliament, the operator faced criticism for its involvement from the government itself: “The federal government pointed out [to Deutsche Bahn] that the project of the Israeli state railway is problematic from a foreign policy point of view and potentially breaches international law,” it said. The letter added that the German operator confirmed “in writing” that there would be no further involvement of its international subsidiary in “this politically very sensitive project”.

The document, dated March 11, was published on Monday on the website of Change.org, a campaign group.

Merav Emir, an activist with Who Profits, the campaign group that leads the lobbying effort against the rail project, welcomed the decision. “I want to congratulate the German government for making such a clear and bold statement about the illegality of this train route under international law,” she said. “We call on other European governments to follow suit in making sure that companies in their countries abide by international law.”

The Israeli transport ministry did not return calls for comment.

Copyright The Financial Times Limit

COMMENTS

Advis3r

Fri, 05/13/2011 - 08:10

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The company had been serving as a consultant to Israel Railways, and for this specific project was responsible primarily for reviewing documents.

A big victory indeed!


Joe Millis

Fri, 05/13/2011 - 08:21

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"Advis3r", in the Israeli press, which you obviously have no access to, it was reported that Deutsche Bahn was doing most of the technical work on the high-speed line and was going to lay the rails for the part near Latrun which was beyond the Green Line.
Two things occur. First, the line's route is already doing massive ecological damage. So why not rethink it inside Israel? Surely it is not beyond the wit of man or woman to come up with a high-speed link that follows the old Ottoman route.
Second, if the state-owned rail company of one of Israel's best friends in Israel thinks the route's politically dodgy...


Advis3r

Fri, 05/13/2011 - 08:40

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Ha ha mine was a direct quote from Haaretz what was yours from - Al Quds?

see:
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/deutsche-bahn-pulls-out-of-ta-...


amber

Fri, 05/13/2011 - 08:49

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The bigot simoneq continues to spout her hatred with the help of the JC.

The land is not "occupied" and nor is it Palestinian - never was.


Joe Millis

Fri, 05/13/2011 - 09:01

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Speaking of bigotry, jonathamber, how's yer mate Bruce Levi?


Joe Millis

Fri, 05/13/2011 - 09:03

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Out was from yediot achronot, "advis3r.. The print edition which you can't get wherever you live, obviously.


Advis3r

Fri, 05/13/2011 - 09:21

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Yediot well known for getting things wrong direct me to the page and date I will check it and if necessary I will write to the editor - the Ha'aretz version is supported by the FT which reported "The operator added that the involvement in the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem line had been “modest” and that DB International, its consulting subsidiary, would continue to provide services to the Israeli rail operator elsewhere.."
As`I said big victory for the Nazi prodigies in the BDS movement - I do not suppose it was lost on them that it was a German Rail Company given their history of Jews and trains. In the meantime I do not suppose you can tell me what advert appears on the bottom left hand side of page 7 of todays "In Jerusalem"? But I can tell you. Obviously you need to read the article I referred you to, it may help.


Joe Millis

Fri, 05/13/2011 - 09:30

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Of course you will, "adviser", of course you will. And don't forget to write to maariv too. It may have escaped you, but it was the Israeli government which gave the tender to Deutsche Bahn. Theyll be buying german submarines next and government ministers will have Audis Oh, they already do on both counts.
The past is the past but business is business.


Advis3r

Fri, 05/13/2011 - 09:34

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"I do not suppose it was lost on them that it was a German Rail Company given their history of Jews and trains" was directed at the Nazi BDSers. However the subtlety obvously escaped you.


amber

Fri, 05/13/2011 - 09:35

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millis, trying to present me as Jonathan Hoffman is quite amusing - especially in light of the fact of who you used to be on these blogs.


Joe Millis

Fri, 05/13/2011 - 09:35

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And unlike you, "advis3r", I don't claim to be in israel. So nice try with the advert test, but you didnt expect anyone to fall for it.


amber

Fri, 05/13/2011 - 09:35

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And yet again, millis, you side with the antisemites like simoneq.

You reallly should be ashamed.


Advis3r

Fri, 05/13/2011 - 09:36

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Of course you will, "adviser", of course you will. And don't forget to write to maariv too.

Why not I have written to Israeli newspapers before.


amber

Fri, 05/13/2011 - 09:37

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Adviser, I thought the same. How ironic that German railways pull out of a project due to a Nazi boycott.

simoneq is too thick to make he connection. But the again, perhaps she has, and that's why she supports boycotting the Jews.


amber

Fri, 05/13/2011 - 09:38

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millis, do you really think I'm jonathan Hoffman?


Joe Millis

Fri, 05/13/2011 - 09:38

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I see no denial from jonathamber. But I can deny categorically that I have posted as anyone else.


Joe Millis

Fri, 05/13/2011 - 09:39

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It's not a question of think. It's know.


Advis3r

Fri, 05/13/2011 - 09:40

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I claim to be in Israel because I am but someone as self delusional as you has trouble handling the truth - but don't worry you can get help. Attacking me personally in an attempt (pathetic springs to mind) to deflect from the hollowness of your responses only makes Israel's case that much stronger.


JC Webmaster

Fri, 05/13/2011 - 09:46

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