Ken Loach for boycott of Israeli company Bezeq

By Jessica Elgot, November 18, 2010

Film director Ken Loach has denounced BT for signing a partnership deal with Israel's major communications company, Bezeq International.

Activists say Bezeq should be boycotted as it provides communications to Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

But BT denies any of its products ever reach the West Bank. The deal means Bezeq International is now part of the "BT Alliance", helping BT sell communications services to multi-national companies in Israel. None actually operates in the West Bank. Bezeq also has a partnership with Palestinian network PalTel to connect calls between Israel and the Palestinian territories.

A letter condemning BT was published in the Guardian, signed by Mr Loach, along with War on Want's John Hilary, Rev Canon Garth Hewitt of the Amos Trust, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign's Hugh Lanning, and Jews for Justice for the Palestinians' Diana Neslen. It read: "We call on the company to end its complicity in the illegal occupation of Palestinian land. By allowing Bezeq into the alliance programme, BT is supporting the infrastructure which enables illegal Israeli settlements to exist."

BT said: "BT has no business dealings in the Occupied Territories."

Last updated: 9:52am, November 19 2010