B’nai B’rith International has issued the following statement:
French telecommunication company Orange CEO Stephane Richard’s statement that “[o]ur intention is to withdraw from Israel,” is deplorable and suggests corporate acquiescence to the pernicious Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that aims to single out Israel for unjust discrimination and harm.
In Cairo, Richard said that, if it were financially feasible, he would terminate his company’s relationship “tomorrow” with Partner, the Israeli company that licenses the Orange name in Israel.
Orange does substantial business in Israel, where it is a top mobile service provider.
This is not the first time Orange has demonstrated a lack of corporate responsibility in the Middle East. In 2012, B’nai B’rith revealed that Orange was one of the companies, along with multiple U.N. agencies, to hire Emad Hajjaj, a Jordan-based Palestinian cartoonist with a long record of virulently anti-Semitic imagery in his work. B’nai B’rith wrote to the groups patronizing Hajjaj, but Orange failed to reply.
We urge the French government, which has a stake in Orange, to deplore Richard’s comments and firmly oppose BDS campaigns against the Middle East’s only democracy.
Click below to read B’nai B’rith’s letter of concern to the French prime minister: